This is a classic and fundamental question; a clash between, logic, myth, culture, family values and gender norms.
It is a very important question indeed, and provides an opportunity for politicians, reformers, scientists and religious scholars to resolve some of these sensitive issues.
In my opinion as a doctor, male circumcision should not be banned, and should not be in any way equated with female genital cutting (FGC).
As for male circumcision, significant studies have shown a decreased risk of HIV infections after the procedure. In last seven years public health specialists including WHO/UNAIDS have committed to implementing it as a preventive measures.
Ignoring all the cultural and religious factors, male circumcision is a benign procedure with minimal risk especially when it is done at earlier age in a medical setting and has well studied medical benefits to prevent STIs and HIV.
FGC on the other hand is a cruel, crude violent procedure with no medical benefit and has actually been shown to increase the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections
According to one study,168,000 women in United States have had or are at risk of FGC.
This is a violent procedure, often done in a primitive, non-medical setting and is mostly accomplished with crude instruments and performed without anesthesia.
The risk of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and HIV infection are actually increased in women undergone such surgery.
Karen Armstrong, one of the world’s most prominent scholar of religion has said that myth and logic are two wings upon whom the bird of humanity fly.
In this case, logic must prevail in debates about circumcision and religion.
Mohammad A. Khalid, M.D. is a doctor of internal medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland.