Read Mahican story. 

I am 38 years old and a medical doctor with more than 10 years of experience. I am the mother of two boys and two girls and I grew up in Holland with strictly Muslim parents.

The first time I was out alone at night was at the age of 23, when I ran away from home with my Dutch boyfriend. My family did not accept him and it lasted all the way until our wedding five years later before we got closer again. 

By 2009 we decided to work in Denmark, partly to establish physical distance to my family, which is incredibly nice, but insist on exerting significant influence on everything.

That became very obvious by the time we had our first son in 2009, Mikael. In their opinion he had to be circumcised – of course.

Mikael was born with a heart defect and during the first months of his life we were hospitalised. He underwent surgery and we did not know whether we would be allowed to keep him with us. That was the experience which granted me the final strength to say NO to circumcision.

Surely, one does not cut into healthy children, unless they are ill and running terrible risks may be necessary.

My familie were not happy with it, but thanks in part to the physical distance I have only been exposed to the perpetual pressure to circumcise, when we have been in contact via phone or during the yearly visits. They bring it up every time we are in contact with one another. Every single time. Mikael is 8 by now og we have another boy, Kristoffer, who is now 1 year old. He was born with respiratory difficulties and had to be on a ventilator the first day. Still my mother could not help trying to pressure me into circumcising him within an hour after birth, while I was at the children’s ward with Kristoffer.

Luckily, I have a good and supporting husband, who agrees with me completely, which enables me to keep standing strong for my boys. If I did not have my husband or still lived in the vicinity of my family in Holland, I am not sure I could have been this strong. The pressure is not a one-time thing, it is repetitive and perpetual. The manipulation encompasses everything from “The boys will blame you, when they get older” via “They can’t get into heaven” to “Come on, you’re normally a clever girl” etc. etc.

I love my family dearly, and they love me. They are the most lovely people. But I wish they could let go of this unnecessary ritual which is potentially dangerous and not beneficial at all.

From my Turkish acquaintances (primarily in Holland, since I don’t know so many in Denmark) I know that Turkish girls/women circumcise their boys because they have to, not because they want to and the majority are not strong enough to resist the pressure.

That creates a vicious circle which can only be broken through legislation such as the Citiznes Initiative from Intact Denmark. That is why I support their work and through that support all boys who are oblivious and have not requested any changes to their perfect bodies.