Egypt: Islamic supremacists pushing to legalize female genital mutilation

Islamic apologists in the West maintain that female genital mutilation has nothing to do with Islam, and that only greasy Islamophobes think otherwise. But eventually Muslims themselves get around to vindicating every last charge that greasy Islamophobes have ever made about Islamic belief and practice.

“Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) (by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the bazr ‘clitoris’ [this is called khufaadh ‘female circumcision’]).” — ‘Umdat al-Salik e4.3, translated by Mark Durie, The Third Choice, p. 64

“It happens at night: Genital mutilation in Egypt,” by Cornelia Wegerhoff for Deutsche Welle, November 22 (thanks to Lachlan):

Despite being legally banned, female genital mutilation in Egypt is on the rise, causing lifelong pains, health problems and even death for the women who undergo it. Islamists are pushing to legalize the procedure again.

Umm Mohamed lives in a part of Cairo where others dump their garbage. The 47-year-old Muslim woman has experienced many hardships in her life. Putting on a brave face, she says she is used to being daily surrounded by dirt and misery. But what really hurts, she admits, is the pain she personally had to endure 35 years ago.

When Mohamed was 12, nearly all parents from the quarter where she lived brought their daughters of the same age to a hair dresser. “We didn’t know why,” she says, “but we were all very excited, as each girl had just been given a new, white dress.”

In celebration of the day, the girls’ hands had been painted with henna. They were ever so proud. But then came the moment of shock: “Suddenly this man, who was really a stranger to us, started to undress us,” she recalls. “Then he got out his razor blade.” All the girls underwent the procedure which mutilated them for life – without narcotics and without even minimal hygene standards.

‘How can my family do this to me?’

Mohamed bled for three days. When it didn’t stop, her father went to the local baker for some ashes to cover up the wound. But the dirt only made everything worse. “I still remember asking myself how my family could do this to me,” Mohamed says, tears clouding her eyes. Another girl from her neighbourhood, she adds, even died after the procedure.

And that girl was hardly alone. As the number of deaths rose, Egypt banned female genital mutilation (FGM) by law in 2008. Medical practitioners and midwives, who traditionally perform the procedure in the countryside, now do so at the risk of imprisonment. Issuing an Islamic legal opinion, a so-called fatwa, Egypt’s Grand Mufti has also clarified that female genital mutilation is against the Islamic value system.

Yet in doing so he has contradicted legal rulings endorsed by al-Azhar (quoted above) and the words of Muhammad himself. Muhammad is depicted in the Hadith as not condemning it, but merely cautioning against going overboard: “A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.” – Sunan Abu Dawud 41.5251

This raises the question of whether the Grand Mufti’s condemnation was honest, or was for Western consumption.

But since the revolution, Umm Mohamed says she has seen a new increase in female genital mutilations.

During the Mubarak regime people used to fear punishment, but these days the medical practitioners in her quarter don’t even bother to hide their actions any more: “During the day, they circumcise little boys, and the girls they do at night for twice the money,” Mohamed says angrily. “Everybody knows this.”

Mustering her courage as a simple woman, Mohamed went to the police station to make a report. “But the officers told me that they had other things to worry about,” says the mother of three, who was able to save her own daughter the painful mutilation.

Umm Mohamed openly addresses what for most Egyptian woman is a taboo: Most victims live in chronic pain and have problems with their sexuality, and they also face serious health problems both during pregnancy and giving birth.

Omayma Idris, a Cairo-based gynaecologist, says that more than 90 percent of all married Egyptians today are thought to have undergone mutilation. After the prohibition, she says, one could see a decline, “but since the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists are in power in Egypt, the numbers are on the rise again; they encourage families to do it again.”

Not even the deeply religious Muslims in Saudi Arabia mutilate girls and women, she adds.

Islamists push for legalization

Salafists and representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood – the political home of Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi – want to see female genital mutilation legalized again. Their push for legalization alerted the German advocacy group for women’s rights, Terre des Femmes, which collected 12,000 signatures against the practice in Egypt.

The group presented the signatures together with a petition to the Egyptian ambassador in Berlin at the beginning of November.

In several places around the country, Islamists have already created precedents, according to Mervat Tallawy, president of the National Women’s Council for Egypt. A few weeks ago, she learned about the Muslim Brotherhood using buses as mobile clinics in the rural Minia province.

“The mutilation of girls had been offered as a sort of health service, free of charge,” Tallawy says. And the buses, she adds, had stickers with the logo of the “Party for Freedom and Justice” – the political branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi (c) Spencer Platt/Getty Images Pressure groups ask President Mursi to explicitly condemn FGM

Following the incident, the National Women’s Council contacted the local governor and the Ministry of Health in Cairo. But a spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood flatly denied all charges and, in turn, accused the villagers of misusing the logo.

Tallawy laughs bitterly laugh about that. Villagers, she says, lead very simple lives and many can barely read. She doesn’t think they’re capable of such forgery. But what she does believe to be more likely is that the Muslim Brotherhood is funding illegal mutilation procedures in the countryside.

“That’s child abuse and a barbaric act,” Tallawy says with disgust. “But as long as the Egyptian president doesn’t explicitly condemn such actions, the fundamentalists are going to carry on and lead us back into the Middle Ages. I have no idea where their hatred for women comes from.”

Really?

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Comments

  1. says

    There are a lot of nasty works of the D’evil…FGM is one of them…
    When an uncircumcised male converts to Islam, does he have to undergo circumcision as a duty to Allah?

  2. says

    I just went to the site of the NOW (National Organization for Women). FGM is nowhere to be found in their list of current issues. To their credit, when I did a search, they have several articles specifically opposing FGM, and even supporting legislation to forbid it.

    But, I should emphasize, the NOW is not actively devoting any time or attention to preventing FGM. In my opinion, FGM is far more important than equality of wages, equality of marriage, or equality of representation in professions.

  3. says

    Omayma Idris, a Cairo-based gynaecologist: “Not even the deeply religious Muslims in Saudi Arabia mutilate girls and women”. Oh my, as if the practice is barely known in KSA:

    http://www.fgmnetwork.org/intro/fgmintro.html.

    Circumcison in KSA is also described in the following: “The practice is known to exist throughout the Middle East, particularly in northern Saudi Arabia” :

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0810/p06s01-woiq.html?s=t5

    Mervat Tallawy, president of the National Women’s Council for Egypt: “the fundamentalists are going to carry on and lead us back into the Middle Ages. I have no idea where their hatred for women comes from.”

    Always this white-washing of the clearly obvious. Whether she is culturally unable to see this, or she has made a conscious decision to ignore it, or she is afraid of the fallout if she does go straight to the ehart of the matter, or she quite simply does not know because it has been suppressed, this I cannot say.

  4. says

    Allah can’t allow women to enjoy sex now can he? After all, women are for raping and cooking and beating, and child terrorist bearing, and nothing else.

    Just imagine what would happen to this world if muslim women could start enjoying sex? There could actually be peace, love and happiness in muslim homes.

    ALLAH SEZ: NO WAY BITCHEZ

  5. says

    At least 130 million women have had genital mutilation,most of them Muslim women.Though not in the Koran,it is mostly praticed by Muslims.

    Check out:

    “The Tapada of Lima,or the Use of the Niqab in America from 1560-1860,for 300 Years”

    http://www.antisharia.com/2012/05/21/the-tapada-of-limaor-the-use-of-the-niqab-in-america-from-1560-1860for-300-years/

    “Tamerlane’s Curse on those who would Open his Tomb and Hitler’s Invasion of the Soviet Union”

    http://www.antisharia.com/2012/06/18/tamerlanes-curse-on-those-who-would-open-his-tomb-and-hitlers-invasion-of-the-soviet-union/

  6. says

    From a book I read:

    A Sudanese Muslim man found a wife in Cairo, and took her back to Khartoum. Shortly after they were married, he had to go away on business. The women in his family, on learning the wife was uncircumcised, persuaded her to undergo the procedure, saying her husband would leave her if she remained uncircumcised.
    The foolish girl believed their malicious story and had it done. When the husband came home, he was horrified at what had happened, and divorced her; she returned to Cairo, damaged, betrayed and traumatised. He had chosen a wife from Egypt precisely because he wanted an uncircumcised wife.

  7. says

    Any man made ritual to my mind is sick – circumcision, rabby sucking a penis and the rest.

    If “Allah” the mighty wanted a boy’s penis without a foreskin, that would have happened. Either Allah is not that mighty cracked out to be by the Mussies or there is no need for any circumcision. So much for that Allah’s will used in each sentence by Muslims.

  8. says

    Circumcision in the male in NO WAY impedes pleasure during sex, nor does it come (excuse the pun) with any deleterious aspects respecting urination. Moreover, to date, while cancer of the penis is very rare, no cancer of the penis has ever been reported in a circumcised male. ALL penile cancers are found with uncircumcised males, helping to prove that sometimes nature doesn’t get it right.

    By contrast, female circumcision comes with all kinds of problems, including the inability to have sexual pleasure (the real reason, of course, why it is performed—gotta’ have the women obedient and denied to keep them in line, eh?) and urination difficulties.

    Conclusion: Moral (and circumcision) equivalency thinking shows its stupidity once again.

  9. says

    “Issuing an Islamic legal opinion, a so-called fatwa, Egypt’s Grand Mufti has also clarified that female genital mutilation is against the Islamic value system.” –from the article.

    Not clarified. On the contrary, the mufti employed ambiguity. As I recall from that case, the mufti explicitly did not condemn Islamically proper female circumcision. (That is, he did not condemn the Sunnah or the major Islamic jurists–which is what such a condemnation would logically require). The mufti condemned a vague unspecified un-Islamic and illegal form of female genital mutilation that is practiced by some in Egypt. The mufti employed ambiguous terms in the condemnation, while at no time condemning the form of female circumcision deemed Islamically proper by Muhammad in the Hadith and by all major schools of Islamic jurisprudence.

    But I wouldn’t expect the mainstream media to pick up on the semantic sleight-of-hand in the mufti’s public relations statement (which meant one thing to westerners and another to pious Muslims). I might expect that of critically-minded competent journalists who do investigative research, who could have easily exposed the mufti with a few follow-up questions, but I wouldn’t expect that of the mainstream media today.

  10. says

    Muhammad is depicted in the Hadith as not condemning it, but merely cautioning against going overboard: “A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.” – Sunan Abu Dawud 41.5251

    The origin of this despicable practice is older than Islam, but Islam is the only religion that endorses it. The self-appointed doesn’t condemn it all. It’s plain to see that Muslims hate women. Islam is authoritarian, irrational and backward. From these prerequisites you can conclude that it’s inhumane and intolerant. But there are still many Western women who convert to this barbaric faith. Human stupidity is a disease that can’t be cured.

  11. says

    “Islam is a magna carta for women”. ~ Yvonne Ridley.

    Yeah, they all say that, but when asked for proof, they can’t provide it without Taqiyya…

  12. says

    Egypt: Islamic supremacists pushing to legalize female genital mutilation
    ………………………..

    Well, this surprises me not at all. FGM has been so pervasive in Egypt even when it was briefly technically illegal that it is well over 90%”which means even a few of the otherwise civilized Christian Copts had come to practice this horror. One of the few places that is worse than Egypt is Islamic hell-hole Somalia, where the mutilation of women is almost 100%.

    More:

    Islamic apologists in the West maintain that female genital mutilation has nothing to do with Islam, and that only greasy Islamophobes think otherwise. But eventually Muslims themselves get around to vindicating every last charge that greasy Islamophobes have ever made about Islamic belief and practice.
    ………………………..

    Yep. And the fact remains that except for some animists and a handful of Christians in Africa”usually living in close proximity to large Muslim populations”that the only practitioners of FGM are Muslim.

    Outside of Africa”in places like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Iraq”FGM is *entirely* a Muslim practice. And when this atrocity rears its ugly head in the West, it is always Muslims involved. In other words, not only are Muslims the main practitioners of FGM, but they seem much more wedded to it than the few non-Muslims who practice it.

    And why not? Islam is the *only* creed that mentions FGM in its religious texts, and speaks of it approvingly. Certainly, this is not true of Christianity, nor is Christianity misogynist the way Islam is.

    And this is not just some historical curiosity. Islamic clergy laud it to this day, and many Islamic schools of thought consider the violent control of female sexuality to be central to the faith.

    More:

    Mohamed says, tears clouding her eyes. Another girl from her neighbourhood, she adds, even died after the procedure.

    And that girl was hardly alone.
    ………………………..

    No indeed. The number of deaths”from bleeding to death, infection, difficult childbirths (especially with Type III FGM–infibulation)”are shockingly high.

    More:

    As the number of deaths rose, Egypt banned female genital mutilation (FGM) by law in 2008.
    ………………………..

    Indeed, this led to increased opposition to Mubarak from the country’s “Islamists”. And even of the Egyptians who obeyed the law, how many will now rush to have their girls mutilated if the law is rescinded?

    More:

    But since the revolution, Umm Mohamed says she has seen a new increase in female genital mutilations.
    ………………………..

    And why would that be, if FGM had nothing to do with Islam? It’s just ridiculous.

    More:

    During the Mubarak regime people used to fear punishment, but these days the medical practitioners in her quarter don’t even bother to hide their actions any more: “During the day, they circumcise little boys, and the girls they do at night for twice the money,” Mohamed says angrily. “Everybody knows this.”

    Mustering her courage as a simple woman, Mohamed went to the police station to make a report. “But the officers told me that they had other things to worry about,” says the mother of three, who was able to save her own daughter the painful mutilation.
    ………………………..

    Right now the police are turning a blind eye”this is very common in quasi-Shari’ah states. And under full legalization it will be even worse.

    More:

    Not even the deeply religious Muslims in Saudi Arabia mutilate girls and women, she adds.
    ………………………..

    Actually, this is not true”although I can understand the impulse to imply that FGM has nothing to do with Islam. FGM is actually quite common in Saudi Arabia, although it is even more ubiquitous in the Mahgreb.

    More:

    In several places around the country, Islamists have already created precedents, according to Mervat Tallawy, president of the National Women’s Council for Egypt. A few weeks ago, she learned about the Muslim Brotherhood using buses as mobile clinics in the rural Minia province.
    ………………………..

    Yes. That appalling story is here:

    “Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood organizing mobile medical convoys offering female genital mutilation”

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/05/egypt-muslim-brotherhood-organizing-mobile-medical-convoys-offering-female-genital-mutilation.html

    In my comments on that story”this was back in May of this year”I wrote:

    “FGM is still technically illegal in Egypt.

    My guess is that this will be one of the first laws repealed if any of the “Islamists””the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafists”get elected.”

    Not that there was anything terribly prescient in my noting this.

    More:

    “That’s child abuse and a barbaric act,” Tallawy says with disgust. “But as long as the Egyptian president doesn’t explicitly condemn such actions, the fundamentalists are going to carry on and lead us back into the Middle Ages. I have no idea where their hatred for women comes from.”

    Really?
    ………………………..

    Once again we see that even decent Muslims”those who are decent and courageous enough to stand against specific horrors of Islam”can never bring themselves to admit, publicly or likely even to themselves, that this barbarism is an intrinsic part of the barbaric creed they were born into.

    And so it never ends…

  13. says

    That practice is despicable and indefensible but what about Rabbis who suck the penis of a young boy after the youth is circumscribed?

    Yeah, and what about those Eskimos that eat whale blubber?…Something has to be done about that…

  14. says

    And yet, I’m sure you’d swear that you have no axe to grind.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that maybe instead of devoting your free time to an anti-Semitic scandal rag you might benefit from actually learning something about Jews and Judaism.

    One of things that has always been a hallmark of modern, rabbinic Judaism is that it strives to always keep itself relevant to the time. This has been the sole reason for the millions of words of comentary written about Jewish law. When science advances, Jews pay attention.

    Among the major conundrums of modern Judaism has been organ donorship. Jewish law is very specific on what is to be done when someone dies, not the least of which is the injunction against desecrating the body. Prior to the advent of organ transplantation, there probably was no good reason to ever mutilate the dead other than embalming (which is not a Jewish practice). Medical science has changed all of that. Hundreds of orthodox rabbis have come out saying that not only is organ donorship ok, but it is a way that Jews can continue “the repair of the world (Tikkun Olam)” even in death. If I had to guess, I would say that in 30 years’ time signing up to be an organ donor will be ubiquitous among Jews.

    http://www.hods.org/

    What does this have to do with your idiotic missive? The fact that a few ultra-orthodox moils still practice metzitzah b’peh isn’t news, it’s an aberration. Every religion has adherents who don’t have enough imagination to look beyond explicit religious edicts. They will continue to use this practice until they can’t anymore.

    I am sorry for going off on a tangent not completely relevant to this post but it frosts me when idiots conflate FGM with the Jewish practice of Brit Milah. The Jewish practice exists to consecrate a newborn boy to the Almighty. The muzzie practice is for the express propose advancing a girls transformation into a sex slave.

  15. says

    David

    by way of contrast…

    a *fascinating* article that appeared in Jerusalem Post (yes, in Jerusalem Post) a couple of years ago.

    On the rabbinic interpretation of ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’, as applied specifically to marital relations.

    http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishFeatures/Article.aspx?id=138084

    Apr 3, 2009 0:20 | Updated Apr 3, 2009 9:27
    Don’t scream ‘Oh my God,’ but sex is a mitzva
    By MATTHEW WAGNER

    …”Judaism obligates the husband to provide his wife with sexual pleasure,” Knohl said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post last week.

    “This obligation emanates from the biblical commandment to ‘love thy neighbor like thyself.’

    Rabbis have written quite a bit about what is the best way to perform this commandment.”…

    ‘Judaism is surprisingly open about discussing the most intimate aspects of sex, explained Knohl.

    **The husband is actually obligated to pleasure his wife to the point where she reaches satisfaction before he does.**

    {my emphasis – dda; to be frank, NOTHING perhaps encapsulates the radical difference between Judaism and Islam, than the fact that A/ Judaism has come up with *this* revolutionary and deeply civilised and civilising ‘ladies first’ idea whereas B/ Islam promotes **the excision of the clitoris and often other gross mutilations of the woman’s intimate organ** AND ALSO permits **marital rape** [whereas no less a person than the great Maimonides, Moshe ben Maimon, explicitly *condemned* marital rape…what happens in the marriage bed *must* be freely consensual]

    ‘Based on this assumption, rabbis throughout the ages,
    including in periods when talk about sex was strictly taboo,
    have devoted much literature to explaining precisely how a husband goes about performing his holy duty.’…END EXCERPT

    I read that article and I thought: hmmm, *now* I know why the Jews have survived everything that the world has thrown at them for over two thousand years…

  16. says

    …rabbis throughout the ages,
    including in periods when talk about sex was strictly taboo,
    have devoted much literature to explaining precisely how a husband goes about performing his holy duty.’

    Interesting; perhaps Dr. Ruth, the pop sex therapist, is channeling a deeper historical tradition than one thinks at first glance. (Btw, she avowed once in an interview on the Arsenio Hall talk show back in the late 80s that in her youth she had fought with the Stern Gang.)

  17. says

    “He had chosen a wife from Egypt precisely because he wanted an uncircumcised wife.”

    Well, then, that Sudanese guy was about as stupid as our Lefto-feminists.