Does a child have religious freedom? If yes, should parents be allowed to permanently mutilate a child’s body, in order to satisfy beliefs that the child does not hold, and may disagree with in the future?
National Secular Society Chief Executive Stephen Evans said: “The chief rabbi is entitled to his view, but in a democratic society campaigns against religious violations of individual rights and freedoms must not be silenced.
“Religious practices aren’t beyond reproach and religious groups shouldn’t be given a free pass to carry out harmful practices.
“Secularists seek to ensure that the right to religious freedom is always balanced against other considerations, including the protection of children. People from all religious backgrounds and none should be able to unite behind that principle.”
The chief rabbi described circumcision within Judaism as “the sign of our covenantal relationship with God”.
He continued: “For Jewish men, it is an essential part of our existence. An attack against our right to perform circumcision is an attack against a most fundamental element of our belief.”