Finally we have a pronouncement, which states that “FGM is not an Islamic requirement. There is no reference to it in the holy Qur’an that states girls must be circumcised. Nor is there any authentic reference to this in the Sunnah, the sayings or traditions of our prophet. FGM is bringing the religion of Islam into disrepute.”
The above text was taken from –
Muslim Council of Britain says female genital mutilation is ‘un-Islamic’
However, just because we have a pronouncement, we cannot expect the matter to be immediately resolved. We are dealing with traditions here, and those that are supported by women – the very people that have to undergo the suffering.
There is another disquieting factor here – “Group issues explicit guidance for the first time, condemning practice which it says is no longer linked to religious teaching”. This implies that it has been linked up till now, although there is apparently no religious basis for it.
At variance with the pronouncment above, Wikipedia reports that “There is no mention of FGM in the Bible or Quran. Although its origins are pre-Islamic, it became associated with Islam because of that religion’s focus on female modesty and chastity, and is found only within or near Muslim communities. It is praised in several hadith (sayings attributed to Muhammad) as noble but not required, along with advice that the milder forms are kinder to women.”
Be that as it may, the practice has roots in traditions dating back to Egypt’s Middle Kingdom, c. 1991–1786 BCE. , and traditions die very hard.
We cannot afford to relax our vigil against this terrible practice. The pronouncement is a useful tool in the fight against it, but nothing more.
Sweden, the first country to outlaw the practice, still has a battle on its hands, with estimates of some 42,000 women and girls in Sweden having been subjected to the controversial procedure, of whom some 7,000 are less than 10 years old. They are now planning an on-line campaign against the problem, which is increasing due to increased immigration.
It occurs to me that a much more radical approach could be effective – refuse entry to any person who has had FGM performed, and deport those who allow their children to suffer the same fate.