Circumcision is “obligatory” for “both men and women” — so says a legal manual of the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence, ‘Umdat al-Salik (e4.3). This school is dominant in Egypt, where 97% of women have suffered genital mutilation. The Hanbali school teaches, in contrast, that female genital mutilation is not obligatory, while noting that it is accepted Islamic practice; the Hanafi school calls it “a mere courtesy to the husband.”
In any case, the Islamic justifications given for the practice enable it to continue. Yet in the West it is considered “Islamophobic” to mention these Islamic justifications. However, the longer they are ignore, the more girls will be mutilated in Britain and the West in general. Calling this an African custom, as this article does, is a misdiagnosis, and like all misdiagnoses it will contribute nothing toward a cure.
“Thousands of girls mutilated in Britain,” by Richard Kerbaj in the Times, March 16 (thanks to News4U):
The NHS is to advertise free operations to reverse female circumcisions, with experts warning that each year more than 500 British girls have their genitals mutilated.
Despite having been outlawed in 1985, female circumcision is still practised in British African communities, in some cases on girls as young as 5. Police have been unable to bring a single prosecution even though they suspect that community elders are being flown from the Horn of Africa to carry out the procedures.
The advertisement will appear from next month on a Somali satellite TV station much viewed in Britain. It features Juliet Albert, a midwife who does the reverse operations, and promises, in English and Somali, confidentiality for victims of female genital mutilation.
The advertisement was expected to help to undermine demand for girls to be circumcised, and to popularise the reversal procedure, Ms Albert said. Thousands of such operations have been carried out at specialist clinics and hospitals around Britain and demand is growing slowly.
Female circumcision, which is done for various reasons, such as religious and cultural traditions, can cause severe health complications including infections and psychological problems. The procedure, predominantly carried out on girls aged between 5 and 12, can range from the removal of the clitoris to the removal of all the exterior parts of the vagina, which is then sewn up.
A study by the Foundation for Women’s Health, Research and Development (Forward), estimated that 66,000 women living in England and Wales had been circumcised, most before leaving their country of origin. The government-funded research also found that more than 7,000 girls were at a high risk of being subjected to genital mutilation in Britain.
Sarah McCulloch, of the Agency for Culture Change Management UK, said that every year more than 500 British girls were having circumcisions. “A lot of them are done in the UK, but some still travel overseas,” she said….