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Female circumcision 'should be allowed by law' - leading member of Ireland's Islamic Cultural Centre
From the Irish Independent and the Irish Times
Female circumcision "has been described in a horrible way" and should be considered in certain circumstances, a leading member of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland has said.
Dr Ali Selim called female circumcision "an inherited practice" and said parents should be allowed to have it carried out on their daughter if a doctor says it's necessary. He also said that you "cannot control people" and people will travel overseas for the procedure.
Speaking on Prime Time on RTE One last night, he explained: "I am not an advocate of female genital mutilation, but of female circumcision. If we see female circumcision in the same way as male circumcision, it might be needed for one person and not another, it has to be determined by a doctor and practiced in a safe, medical environment."
Exactly the argument that Haitham al hadad the hate preacher makes in London.
Dr Selim, who is an Arabic lecturer at Trinity College,(not a medical practitioner!) said he feels that female circumcision has been harshly portayed. "It has been described in a horrible way, it's always described as 'barbaric' and we always hear the term mutilation, it is portrayed as a dark skin practice, or something that belongs in the Dark Ages. In Europe people want to be cool so you have to show a revolutionary attitude, it's an inherited practice. If it's inherited it doesn't have to be rejected, it has to be considered and not rejected just because it's inherited,"
"I would say to anyone who wants to bring their daughter overseas for circumcision to ask their doctor, a medical doctor has to say that they need it,"
Under the 2012 legislation, not only is FGM prohibited in Ireland, it is also a criminal offence for a person to take a girl to another country to undergo it.
However, in a letter to The Irish Times on Friday, former master of the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital, Prof Chris Fitzpatrick, and a number of activists opposing FGM, said they objected strongly to Dr Selim’s comments.
“Female circumcision is no longer a phrase acceptable to any medical or other authority,” they write. They said there are “no health benefits to FGM” The group, which also includes Mary McGuckian of the Ifrah Foundation, a charity that supports women subjected to and at risk of FGM, called on the leaders of all religions and denominations “to support unequivocally the ending of FGM”.
"The serious long-term gynaecological, urological, pain-related and psycho-sexual consequences of FGM are well recognised – as well as the risk of dying from haemorrhage and infection at the time of mutilation. FGM also causes deaths in women and babies as a consequence of complications of childbirth in countries where it is practised,” the letter to The Irish Times states.
“The comments made by Dr Ali Selim in relation to FGM are medically incorrect and highly dangerous in both advocating for this criminal procedure and in encouraging parents to consider it for their daughters."
Shaykh Dr Umar al-Qadri, imam of the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre in Blanchardstown, tweeted: “Although I’m in the US at the moment, I have received messages from Muslim medical doctors based in Ireland that are appalled at the remarks by Clonskeigh Mosque’s spokesman Dr Ali Selim on #FGM. They requested I highlight that most Muslims disagree with this horrific practise”.