Western news articles about female genital mutilation routinely assert that it is solely a cultural practice, not justified by any religion. Yet again and again we see Muslim clerics — such as Kiai Hajj Amin Ma’ruf, who is not an “extremist” but the head of Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, justifying it, and it is sanctioned in Islamic law.
“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
“Islamic law permits by definition, by prophetic statement and by practice female circumcision” — Australian Imam Afroz Ali
Sharia Alert from modern, moderate Indonesia: “Indonesian Ulema in favour of female circumcision: a ‘human right,'” by Mathias Hariyadi for Asia News, January 24 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) is in favour of female circumcision (and men) that, although it can not be considered mandatory, it is still “morally recommended.” This is shown by the words of the leader of the largest Islamic organization in the most populous Muslim country in the world. He warns, however, to avoid “excesses”, coming to the removal or cutting of the clitoris. In the meantime, has come under investigation and will be prosecuted by a court “ethical” the judge who, in recent days, he “joked” about sexual violence to women, causing a veritable wave of outrage (see AsiaNews 15/01 / 2013 Ordinary Indonesians against judges and politicians who “justify” sexual violence).
The reference point for Islamic issues (such as the legality of a food and a drink), a “consultor” to the government in matters of faith, the body responsible for issuing fatwas – the answers on Muslim questions of faith and morals – the MUI has taken a position on female circumcision. And by the mouth of his head, Kiai Hajj Amin Ma’ruf, pointed out that it is an “advisable practise on moral grounds”, at the same time, he rejects any attempt to declare this practice illegal or contrary to the principles. It comes under the sphere of “human rights,” said the Islamist leader, and is “guaranteed by the Constitution.”
“Female circumcision – said Amin – is commonly practiced by cutting out parts that cover the clitoris” and, at the same time, he invites believers to refrain from “excessive circumcision” that ends up becoming a real mutilation genital. He recalled that the Mui can not make this practice “mandatory”, but “strongly rejects” the possible cancellation of this “tradition” which is performed in a “ritualistic ceremony” and also applies to men….