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Female Genital Mutilation Advocated By Muslim Scholars

February 10, 2010
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I have been reading up on the trial of Mr. Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician on trial for a “hate speech” he made including anti-Muslim remarks.  Mr. Geert Wilders’ websites had listed a Muslim cleric that they wanted to present at trial to validate their stance that Muslims allow for and condone female “circumcision” as they call it, female genital mutilation as the world calls it.  I didn’t know whether or not to believe this website of Mr. Wilders’, so I went to the site myself and was disgusted by what I found:

However, the most moderate opinion and the most likely one to be correct is in favor of practicing circumcision in the moderate Islamic way indicated in some of the Prophet’s hadiths – even though such hadiths are not confirmed to be authentic. It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to a midwife: “Reduce the size of the clitoris but do not exceed the limit, for that is better for her health and is preferred by husbands”. The hadith indicates that circumcision is better for a woman’s health and it enhances her conjugal relation with her husband. It’s noteworthy that the Prophet’s saying “do not exceed the limit” means do not totally remove the clitoris.

Actually, Muslim countries differ over the issue of female circumcision; some countries sanction it whereas others do not. Anyhow, it is not obligatory, whoever finds it serving the interest of his daughters should do it, and I personally support this under the current circumstances in the modern world. But whoever chooses not to do it is not considered to have committed a sin for it is mainly meant to dignify women as held by scholars.

Notice that the scholar says “whoever finds it serving in the interest of HIS daughters,” meaning a father decides to cut a girls’ sexual organs or gains ownership of those organs through cutting.  Note too that the scholar refuses to recognize outside laws denouncing this procedure as a criminal act, because Muslim scholars say it is “meant to dignify women,” as if intent is all that matters. But also note that Mauritanian Muslim leaders ban female gential mutilation.

A group of 30 Mauritanian Muslim leaders have issued a religious edict banning female genital mutilation in the West African country.

Cheikh Ould Zein, head of the Forum of Islamic Thought, says the scholars believe the Koran does not endorse cutting young girls’ genitals to limit their sexual activity as women. He said Monday that the leaders also agreed to preach against the practice at their mosques.

They appear to be in the minority.  And notice that it says the  “agreed to preach against the practice at their mosques” as though the have been talked into, perhaps not taking this action of their own accord.
Perhaps Dutch legislators didn’t want the Muslim cleric in question to be used as a joke in their proceedings as he has been also known to advocate the consumption of camel urine and feces:
Elaborating on the ruling on the excrement of animals whose meat is lawful to eat, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states:
”Muslim jurists have different opinions regarding the purity of the urine and excrement of the animals whose meat is lawful to eat such as camels, cows, sheep, chicken, ducks, geese, pigeons, etc. According to the Malikis, the urine and excrement of such animals are pure. In Ash-Sharh As-Saghir, Ad-Dardir states that the urine and excrement of the edible animals … and all edible birds are pure unless such animals have been fed on an impure stuff; if so, their excrements will be also regarded as impure.Muhammad ibn Al-Hassan, the Hanafi scholar, agreed with Imam Malik with regard to considering the urine of the edible animals pure. He cited as evidence for this the hadith in which Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) prescribed for the people of `Uraynah to drink the urine and milk of camels as a treatment. Had the urine of camels been impure, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would not have prescribed it for them as a treatment, for Allah would not make unlawful things be treatments for Muslims.

But then again, who are the Dutch protecting with this ruling?  Note that the web link to these posts goes back to Geert Wilders.org, which is suspicious to me, but is apparently hosted by Islamonline.net.
The Huffington Post has an article by Mona Eltahavy:  “Smashing the Silence Around Female Gential Mutilation.”  Ms. Elahavy has a family history of female genital mutilation and although was spared the mutilation, speaks cuttingly of the cultural belief that it is somehow justified:
Imagine if 3 million boys had their penises cut off every year.Imagine that despite accounts of the unfathomable pain boys endure to ensure chastity and passage into manhood, religious leaders for decades taught their communities that God had decreed such mutilation.

A world tongue-tied by cultural relativism says nothing

Sounds absurd, doesn’t it?

It’s a painful reality for at least 3 million girls who each year have parts or all of their clitorises cut off in a procedure known as female genital mutilation (FGM). The clitoris has double the nerve endings of a penis so my analogy to chopping off little boys’ organs isn’t too far off.

This past weekend marked International Day of Zero Tolerance of FGM so allow me to shake you out of oblivion by reminding you that 6,000 girls a day are subjected to one of four types of FGM.

The most “minor” – known as clitoridectomy – is the partial or total removal of the clitoris. The most severe – known as infibulation – is the removal of parts of the external genitalia followed by stitching together of what remains. The girl subjected to this then has her legs bound for about two weeks to create a seal over her genitals.

Have I been graphic enough?FGM is not an abstract issue I’ve collected under the umbrella of my feminism. Along with an aunt who is four years older than me, I belong to the first generation of women in my extended family not to have been subjected to it.

The article is worth the read, because it contrasts with the male Muslim cleric view that a girls’ genital should be cut at her father’s discretion or her mother’s direction:

I’m tired of hearing “but it’s the mothers who do it to their daughters” with no thought as to why and as if men were innocent benefactors of a mother’s cruelty. At its heart, FGM is the starkest embodiment of the disempowerment of girls and women.

As recent as the 1950s, partial or total removal of the clitoris was prescribed in western Europe and the U.S. in response to hysteria, epilepsy, mental disorders, masturbation, nymphomania, melancholia and lesbianism.

My opening analogy of penis chopping was absurd not just because if boys were being mutilated the world would not be so silent but because, really, who would want to control male sexuality? We invent little blue pills to boost it.

What to do?

Legislation is a start but it’s useless unless combined with unblinking education about the harm of FGM – lasting psychological trauma, extreme pain, chronic infections, bleeding, abscesses, tumors, urinary tract infections, infertility and decreased sexual desire – and more forceful denunciations from religious leaders.

The UK outlawed FGM in 1985 and in 2003, it became illegal to take a girl overseas for cutting. Yet in a country where up to 500 girls a day are at risk, the police have failed to secure a single conviction.
My country of birth Egypt finally passed a total ban on FGM in 2008. Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood and independent parliamentarians objected, arguing that the practice was part of Islamic law because it protected a woman’s chastity.

That was despite an edict in 2007 from Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa saying FGM was religiously prohibited. The grand sheikh of Cairo’s al-Azhar, bastion of Sunni Muslim learning, and Egypt’s Coptic Christian pope have said neither the Koran nor the Bible demand or even mention cutting.

But why the long silence in a country where 96 percent of women – Muslim and Christian – have been cut? It explains why among Egyptian girls aged 10 – 19 prevalence is still as high as 84 percent.

Although I do take issue with the writer’s assertion that FGM is done by mothers to prevent “daughters from being ostracized.”  Really, if you have to cut your genitals to be accepted by your social group, I would say there is a problem with your social group or future husband.  If you agree to cut your child’s genitals and permanently scar and injure them to fit in with your social group, then you are sadistic fiend who really shouldn’t have had children to begin with, but that is no reason still to mutilate a girl’s vagina.  If your friend jumps off a cliff, would you?  It’s a paltry excuse to say that everyone is doing it and is therefore justified.  Hitler used the same line of reasoning.

So really, why isn’t FGM talked about more, prevented?  In NY, recent articles were just published about this very issue. But realistically, is the Dutch government covering up or protecting witnesses that might speak of Islam in such a way that the government doesn’t agree with and that’s why they banned them from court?

  • Mauritanian Muslim leaders ban female circumcision (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
  • Geert Wilders Warning to America Part 1 of 2 About His Belief that Islam Isn’t a Religion But a Takeover (unaskedadvice.wordpress.com)
  • Anti-Muslim Dutch Lawmaker’s Trial Tests Freedom of Speech (time.com)
  • Geert Wilders in Dutch court over anti-Islam comments (telegraph.co.uk)
  • Dutch lawmaker tries to avoid hate speech charges (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
  • Dutch lawmaker faces hatred charges for Islam film (cnn.com)
  • Far-right Dutch MP holds news conference in London (netnewsdaily.com)
  • Why I Stand with Geert Wilders (danielpipes.org)
  • Leon de Winter: Stop the Trial of Geert Wilders (online.wsj.com)
  • Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker faces hate speech trial (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
  • Mona Eltahawy: Smashing the Silence Around FGM (huffingtonpost.com)
  • Report: Vaginal Plastic Surgery Has Same Risks As FGM [(Don't) Pimp My Vadge] (jezebel.com)
  • Vaginal Surgery, Female Genital Mutilation and the Jihad War Against Feminism (unaskedadvice.wordpress.com)
  • WHO says doctors shouldn’t perform genital mutilation (ctv.ca)
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