Somalis have been trying to cope without a government since 1991 (BBC)
Dhimitude refers to the status of non-Muslims under Islam. Muslim women aren’t dhimmis.
On the other hand, I often get questions about female circumcision, so this seems as good a place as any to set the record straight Allow me to quote from an excellent book:
“The barbarity of female circumcision is practiced within the House of Islam as well as by some Third World non-Muslims.” (Islam Unveiled, p.87).
Most Muslim societies do not practice female circumcision, but it is practiced in Egypt, Ethiopia, and other parts of Africa. While many say that there is nothing in Islam which requires female circumcision, one of Sunni Islam’s “Four Great Imams,” Ahmad ibn Hanbal (from whom the Hanbali school of Islamic jurisprudence takes its name) quotes Muhammed as saying “Circumcision is a law for men and a preservation of honour for women.”
Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi of Egypt’s Al-Azhar Universitycalled circumcision “a laudable practice that did honor to women.”
From The Guardian:
A maternity hospital in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, has been forced to close after a doctor who removed a woman’s womb in a life-saving operation received death threats from her family.
The doctor insists the surgery was essential, but her family says she is “as good as dead” because she can no longer bear children.
Members of the family, who are reportedly claiming compensation of 50 camels, hired gunmen to threaten staff at the city’s SOS hospital.
Patients were evacuated and medical workers went on strike on Monday, complaining of intimidation by the 20 or so hired gunmen, who have been prowling the hospital grounds and harassing staff.
The hospital is the only free medical facility in Mogadishu.
The woman’s uterus was removed by Bashir Sheikh, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at the hospital. He said the operation was vital because the woman was carrying a dead foetus.
“I was waiting to be thanked, but instead I am receiving death threats,” he told the BBC.
The cause of the foetus’s death was not known, but the most likely cause of complications was that that the mother had been circumcised. During female circumcision in Somalia, the vagina is sewn together to leave a tiny aperture, causing internal damage and prolonging childbirth for up to 10 days.
Babies frequently suffocate during labour.
Dr Sheikh has complained in the past that female circumcision “is a very bad practice, and against our religion”.
He said: “We have had women spending from three days to seven days in labour. Ten days is also normal. At that time the child can suffer asphyxia.”
Elders, religious leaders and women’s groups have been calling on the family to withdraw the militiamen, but they say they will back down only if they get the 50 camels – the traditional Somali compensation for taking a woman’s life.