The feminists who hail Linda Sarsour don’t know it, but she is not telling the truth here. In reality, this repulsive practice is justified in Islamic texts.
“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
Why is it obligatory? Because Muhammad is held to have said so: “Abu al- Malih ibn Usama’s father relates that the Prophet said: ‘Circumcision is a law for men and a preservation of honour for women.’” — Ahmad Ibn Hanbal 5:75
“Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah: 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.’” — Abu Dawud 41:5251
“Do not cut severely,” but not “Do not cut.”
That’s why it is so common around the world. A Muslim cleric in Russia said that “all women should be circumcised.” A Muslim cleric in India likewise urged that it be done. A Muslim cleric in Australia said that Islamic law permitted the practice. A leading U.S. Muslim jurist from the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) said it was an “honor” in Islam. A marabout — a Muslim holy man — was arrested in France for having it done on his daughters.
Why do these Muslim clerics and ascetics misunderstand what is so clear to Linda Sarsour? In the UK, there were 5,500 cases of FGM in 2016 alone. It is commonly claimed to be an East African problem, but 93% of Muslim women in Malaysia have suffered this procedure, and it is common in Indonesia.
It is certain to become increasingly common in the United States.