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”.
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.
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