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Female genital mutilation is not ending in Sudan

Oped

Female genital mutilation is not ending in Sudan

Robert Spencer

Why is this unlikely to end the practice of female genital mutilation in Sudan? Because female genital mutilation has justification in Islamic law, and Islamic law is considered divine law, superseding all human law.

This story repeats the usual establishment media line: “People in countries where FGM is still common attempt to link it to religion, but the practice has nothing to do with any faith and predates both Christianity and Islam. It has also been denounced by religious leaders worldwide.”

That is only partially true, at best.

Yes, “people in countries where FGM is still common attempt to link it to religion”: “It is a religious thing. Do you want to change religion?” said one Egyptian in response to a campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation. “You only listen to what the West is saying.”

However, the establishment media ignores the fact that actually FGM is mandated in Islamic law: “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

That hadith is classified as weak, but this one is classified as sahih (reliable): “Aishah narrated: ‘When the circumcised meets the circumcised, then indeed Ghusl is required. Myself and Allah’s Messenger did that, so we performed Ghusl.’” — Jami` at-Tirmidhi 108

If Muhammad had the genitals of his favorite wife, Aisha, mutilated, that is a strong endorsement of the practice from the man who is an “excellent example” (Qur’an 33:21) for Muslims.

Why does it matter whether or not FGM is Islamic? Because the practice will never be eradicated if its root causes are not confronted. As long as those Muslims continue to believe that Allah and Muhammad want it done, for some that will override all other considerations, in Sudan and everywhere else.

“Sudan criminalises female genital mutilation (FGM),” BBC, May 1, 2020:

Sudan has criminalised carrying out female genital mutilation (FGM), making it punishable by three years in jail.

Some 87% of Sudanese women aged between 14 and 49 have undergone some form of FGM, according to the UN.

In Sudan it is common for women to get the inner and outer labia, and usually the clitoris, removed.

FGM can result in urinary tract infections, uterine infections, kidney infections, cysts, reproductive issues and pain during sex.

Girls get cut because of a widespread cultural belief that it is essential for girls’ reputations and future marriage prospects.

Why has the ban happened now?

There has been a global trend towards banning the practice.

However, according to a Unicef report carried out in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East, the practice is still being widely carried out, despite the fact that at least 24 of these countries have legislation or some form of decrees against FGM.

FGM was already illegal in some Sudanese states but these bans were widely ignored.

BBC Sudan analyst Mohaned Hashim notes that there have been previous attempts to ban FGM across the whole country but parliament under long-time leader Omar al-Bashir rejected the recommendations….

The FGM amendment to the criminal law was approved on 22 April, Reuters news agency reports.

Under the amendment, anyone who performs FGM either inside a medical establishment or elsewhere faces three years’ imprisonment and a fine.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ronald Goldman

    May 6, 2020 at 23:10

    Cutting male and female genitals are similar (not the same). 1) They are unnecessary, extremely painful, and traumatic. 2) They can have adverse sexual and psychological effects. 3) They are generally done by force on children. 4) They are generally supported by local medical doctors. 5) Pertinent biological facts are not generally known where procedures are practiced.* 6) They are defended with reasons such as tradition, religion, aesthetics, cleanliness, and health. These reasons are used to mask underlying reasons.7) Those who are cut have a compulsion to repeat their trauma on their children, a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder. 8) The choice may be motivated by underlying psychosexual reasons. 9) The rationale has currently orhistorically been connected to controlling sexual pleasure. 10) They are often believed to have no effect on normal sexual functioning. 11) They are generally accepted and supported by those who have been subjected to them. 12) Critical public discussion is generally taboo where the procedures are practiced. 13) They can result in serious complications that can lead to death. 14) The adverse effects are hidden by repression and denial. 15) Dozens of potentially harmful physiological, emotional, behavioral, sexual, and social effects on individuals and societies have never been studied. 16) The harm starts with the first cut, ANY cut. 17) The decision is generally controlled by men though women may be supportive. 18) They violate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 19) They often exist together. Cut men often have a compulsion to cut women.** 20) To stop one, we must stop both. Then we may better develop toward our individual and social potential. May courage overcome conformity.
    *For example, most US doctors do not know the functions of the foreskin.
    **For example, a form of American female genital cutting is episiotomy, an obstetrical ritual that may precede hospital childbirth. It is unnecessary like other unnecessary and harmful surgeries on women.

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