Friday, 8 May 2009
Gambia: Senegambian Scholars Condemn FGM (but only up to a point)

That's a good headline isn't it? But when you read further, well there is always a but . . . From the Daily Observer
Islamic scholars in The Gambia and Senegal are the latest to join gender and human rights activists in condemning Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a phenomenon that has generated protracted debate over the years.
 The scholars noted that Muslims should stay healthy - physically and mentally – in order to perform the duty of worship that human beings are created for, arguing that any practice that may tamper with the security of the body or mind of man should be looked into.
These remarks were made by the scholars during presentations on the topic ‘Harmful traditional practices (Female Genital Mutilation)’, on Thursday, at the Sheraton Hotel in Brufut. According to Ebrahim Touray, second secretary general of the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council, Allah warned believers in Suratul Ahsab, verse 36 in the Holy Qu’ran, that they should desist from contradicting His commandments as well as the orders of his prophet, Muhammad (SAW).
According to Touray, there are two Arabic words for the practice and each refers to a particular type: “Khifaadh”  and “Khitan”. He said Khifaadh was totally condemned by the prophet when he came to Madinah, and it was termed by the scholars of Islam as the ‘pharaonic circumcision’. For this type, he said, there should not be any debate between Muslims and others. He noted that it is totally Haram because of its brutal nature and severe harm it causes to women.
He said Khitaan, which is the other practice is what they should discuss. Touray went further to make references to many Hadiths about female circumcision and recommended that a research team be established to study the matter empirically and that the team should comprise of scholars in Islamic jurisprudence, cultural figures, and medical doctors, among others.
So full infibulation is forbidden, but the lesser mutilation???? Have to think about that one.

Posted on 05/08/2009 1:41 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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