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Muslim Scholars for Banning FGM


By Sobhy Mujahid



CAIRO — Muslim scholars from around the world have called for banning the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and pressed for a legislation criminalizing the practice.

"Female genital circumcision is harming women psychologically and physically," the scholars said Thursday, November 23, in a joint statement wrapping up a Cairo-hosted conference on the ugly phenomenon.

"Therefore, the FGM practice must be stopped as Islam is totally against harming human beings."

The FGM, which involves the full or partial removal of the clitoris, is common in many Islamic and African countries.

It robs women of sensitivity in their sexual organs.
Parents who support the practice argue that it helps prevent promiscuous behavior in their daughters.

"The FGM is an old habit practiced by some Muslims in a number of countries with no ground from a Qur'anic text or hadith," added the statement.

"The FGM is considered an abuse that requires punishment."

Muslim scholars for decades have emphasized that there is no Islamic basis for the very harmful practice, which causes many deaths among young girls each year.

The conference was organized by Egypt's Darul Ifta in cooperation with German human rights group Target.

It brought together prominent Muslim scholars from 13 Arab, African and European countries.

Prominent among attendees were also Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohamed Sayyed Tantawi and Egypt's Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa.

No Evidence

Prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi said there is no evidence in the Noble Qur'an confirming the FGM.

"Circumcision is necessary for only males according to the religious and medical evidence," added Qaradawi, the president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS).

"But scholars are at odds over the FGM whether the practice is a must or favorable," he added, underlining that banning FCM was permissible.

Gomaa said no examples of the FCM could be found in the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).

"Prophet Muhammad didn't circumcise his [four] daughters," he added. 

Attendees have pressed for legislation "criminalizing the FGM and those practicing it".

Mushira Khattab, the Secretary-General of Egypt's National Council for Motherhood and Childhood (NCCM), said that the CFM was a violation of the women's right.

The conference called on regional and international parties to acquaint people with the rights sound bases of dealing with women and ending the FCM practice.

They also urged educational and media institutions to highlight the CFM harms and its negative consequences in the society.


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