“If only Islam has prohibited FGM …”

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Aram Bamo recently discussed some interesting thoughts about religion and FGM in the Kurdish magazine Hawpshti:

Even if we allow the scholars this assertion that Islam seriously wanted to face FGM out why they failed to do so in the course of fourteen centuries? Why is it that Egypt, which is one of the most important sources of Islamic jurisprudence and thought and home of the Al-Azhar University and yet has one of the highest rates of FGM in the Islamic world? The truth is that the Muslim world has indirectly maintained and protected the practice in a strategy that is tied with keeping the societies busy with economic struggles and neglecting the rights and requirements of women, and hiding behind the pretext that there exist much more important issues in the society to be dealt with and treated and that the issue of FGM is not that critical for “scholars” to occupy themselves with. These are all indications of the laziness of the Islamic states towards solving societal problems in general and the pervasive agreement of the Islamic systems on minimizing the importance of women in the society. Not surprisingly, the active discussion of the issue of FGM in the Muslim cultures arose only after the mounting international pressure (particularly from Western countries), for otherwise these states would have never taken the initiative of labelling FGM as an unjust practice and attempting to solve it.

Although Islam does not actively mandate FGM it doesn’t prohibit it either, and the majority of Muslims who practice FGM cite religious reasons and justifications. If only Islam has prohibited FGM we wouldn’t have even heard of it or knew what it meant.

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