Friday, September 09, 2005

Denmark: Imams call for ban on circumcising girls

More about FGM in Scandinavian languages:

HRS: Kjønnslemlestelse

Imams call for ban on circumcising girls

Circumcising girls should be prohibited, says a group of prominent Danish imams. The imams stated in their declaration that circumcision is a cultural practice - not a religious one - and can and should be avoided, reported daily newspaper Information on Friday. The declaration was signed by Abdul Wahid Pedersen, Mohammed Fouad al-Barazi, Ahmed Abu-Laban, Fatih Alev, Abu-Bakar Nur Shirwa, and Adan Yusuf Qanyare. Al-Barzi's status as a prominent Islamic clergyman lent authority to the statement. 'No forms of circumcision of women are required or customary for Muslims, and Danish law prohibits any form of female circumcision - regardless of whether it takes place in Denmark or outside of the country - therefore we recommend that circumcision of girls in all its forms is stopped,' the imams wrote in their declaration. How many girls in Denmark have been circumcised is unknown, but according to the World Health Organisation, the practice is slowly on the rise internationally.

Islamic Ruling on Female Circumcision

Actually, this is a controversial issue among jurists and even among doctors. It has sparked off fierce debate in Egypt whereby scholars and doctors are split into proponents and opponents. However, the most moderate opinion and the most likely one to be correct is in favor of practicing circumcision in the moderate Islamic way indicated in some of the Prophet's hadiths – even though such hadiths are not confirmed to be authentic. It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to a midwife: "Reduce the size of the clitoris but do not exceed the limit, for that is better for her health and is preferred by husbands". The hadith indicates that circumcision is better for a woman's health and it enhances her conjugal relation with her husband. It’s noteworthy that the Prophet's saying "do not exceed the limit" means do not totally remove the clitoris. Actually, Muslim countries differ over the issue of female circumcision; some countries sanction it whereas others do not. Anyhow, it is not obligatory, whoever finds it serving the interest of his daughters should do it, and I personally support this under the current circumstances in the modern world. But whoever chooses not to do it is not considered to have committed a sin for it is mainly meant to dignify women as held by scholars.

Genital Mutilation 'On the Increase in Europe'


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