Tuesday, January 31, 2012


HJS Comments: In these pages the last few years I have written much about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), especially as practiced by Muslims in the Middle East and Africa and transported to Europe, Canada, and here. One of the main reasons for retaining the barbarous practice, according to the people who approve of the procedure, was to help each female child to remain “pure” until the time when they were married. In some instances, the goal was not achieved, and in other instances, it went beyond its purpose in that the procedure could not be undone when it was time for marriage. In the latter event, one could expect either a cancelled marriage or a quickly annulled one. I hope that I need not describe the procedures; a quick check of the internet will suffice to bring you every bloody detail, although it does nothing to describe the pain and suffering of the little girls who must endure this madness, both the dead and the living.

Medical science generally decries these procedures that have resulted in the death of too many children—I remember the European newspapers reporting finding the bodies of these victims discarded in vacant lots or behind buildings, until such reporting was stopped because of the bad publicity it was giving the immigration programs Europe’s leaders felt they needed. Last year an America medical association attempted to step in and help make the procedures more sanitary by providing our doctors with guidance in providing their services in the process, but we and others quickly launched objections that brought forth protests from many sources, motivating the association to withdraw such support. They did not get the point, apparently. To help the little girls one does not try to make the procedures safer; one tries to stop people from doing them!

One of the most important justifications for continuing the process in the light of the harm it did to the innocent victims—one’s own daughters and granddaughters—was Dawud’s hadith 5251, in which the prophet is said to have offered suggestions to a person engaged in the cutting. I have complained in these pages that the hadith was weak and had not the force of law and could not be used as such. I can now offer as evidence the Grand Mufti of Egypt’s fatwa on the issue. The Grand Mufti, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, stated in RESPONDING FROM THE TRADITION: One Hundred Contemporary Fatwas by the Grand Mufti of Egypt[i], that all of the hadiths relating to FGM are “weak and flawed and cannot be used as evidence”.

From page 98 thru page 104, the sheikh attacks FGM whole heartedly, showing that the procedure is not required by the Shariah, has nothing to do with religion, and it does great harm to the innocent young children and society. He states in the end that "...medical specialists have come to the consensus that even the least invasive of the circumcision procedures cause harm.

Thus it has become necessary to prevent female circumcision by saying that it is forbidden and to criminalize its practice."

The Middle East is obviously undergoing much upheaval at present; however, nothing happening there should affect the power of this fatwa. Because it was written with the consensus of many scholars, not just those with the same political view, the fatwa, like many others, should survive the present upheaval and any that follow. Anyone not married to the destructive traditions of the past could not help but support this fatwa.

As the Grand Mufti said, the scholars who had approved FGM in the past “wanted to avoid abandoning something that we had inherited. If, however, they had seen the recent studies upon which I am basing my opinion, then they would have acceded to the agreement of the medical community just as they taught us to do. The issue of female circumcision does not allow for much difference of opinion now that its facts have come to light. And God is Most High and knows best.”

We must never forget the staying power of ignorance; ignorance, like the poor, will always be with us. Nonetheless, we must see that the bloody and deadly snake that is FGM is stopped now and never
raises its ugly head again!

[i] Publisher Fons Vitae, Louisville, KY, 2011

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