Muslim groups call for female circumcision to be medicalised
Posted on September 7th, 2018

Courtesy The Daily Mirror

A number of Sri Lankan Muslim groups have called on the government to medicalise female circumcision.

In representations made to the Parliamentary Committee on Women and Gender, members of the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama, All Ceylon YMMA Conference, Centre for Islamic Studies and United Religions Initiative urged the Health Ministry to withdraw a recent circular prohibiting medical professionals from carrying out female circumcision.

In their submission, the joint Muslim groups stated that the Muslim community is very concerned about moves to ban this obligatory Islamic duty on the grounds that it is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

We wish to categorically state that the practice of female circumcision is an obligatory Islamic duty, that it confers numerous benefits and is not Female Genital Mutilation. As such we condemn all moves to ban the practice of female circumcision by legislation and/ or by government bodies and urge that no moves be taken in this direction which we will regard as an unwarranted intrusion on and infringement of our religious duties guaranteed by the law and constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka”, the Muslim representatives said in their submission. We also request the Ministry of Health to withdraw a recent circular it issued prohibiting medical practitioners from performing the procedure and to issue a fresh circular excluding Islamic female circumcision a.k.a hoodectomy from the definition of FGM”

Joint Spokesperson Noor Hazeema Haris said that although Muslims wholeheartedly support the abolition of traditional practices harmful to women and children such as FGM, in case it is shown to exist in Sri Lanka, the Islamic practice of female circumcision is vastly different. She pointed out that this religious obligation practiced by the Muslims of the country for centuries in keeping with the requirements of the Islamic faith is not FGM. This was evident from the Joint Ministry of Health (MOH) and WHO report on Violence and Health in Sri Lanka in 2008, which states categorically that FGM does not exist in Sri Lanka.

She pointed out that while countless Sri Lankan Muslim Women have undergone childbirth deliveries in Governmental and Private Hospitals over the past decades, not a single case has arisen where Muslim women have been shown to have  undergone FGM. It is therefore very clear that Sri Lankan Muslim women have never experienced FGM.

She further pointed out that female circumcision practiced by Muslims is a very minor procedure similar to male circumcision where the prepuce of the clitoris is removed. This is the same as hoodectomy which is a legal cosmetic procedure chosen by women to improve genital hygiene and enhance their sex lives.

It is something that is arranged and done by women. Those who say this is male oppression against women are mistaken. It is we who do it just like our mothers and grandmothers and countless generations of our women have done. We continue to practice it because we know it benefits us. Even educated Muslim women support it wholeheartedly”, she added.

The submission concluded that female circumcision like male circumcision is a religious obligation for Muslims and that their religious rights as Sri Lankan citizens are safeguarded by the Constitution of Sri Lanka. Since this is a religious obligation, almost all Muslim Women and girls would have to undergo the procedure by hiring the services of traditional female circumcisors known as Ostha Mamis in case doctors refuse to perform this procedure citing the above mentioned circular. This could lead to serious medical complications which would amount to FGM.

If as medical complications have arisen among some women circumcised by Osthamaamis as alleged by Women’s Rights groups, it is all the more reason to medicalise the procedure instead of prohibiting it, which will only drive the procedure underground and put girls and women at unnecessary risk.

We therefore urge the Parliament of Sri Lanka to reject any legislation drafted with a view to prohibit the practice of female circumcision as it will be infringing on the rights of Muslims to the free practice of their faith.We also urge that the Ministry of Health immediately withdraw  the said circular and if needs be, issue a fresh circular prohibiting FGM, but exempting the Islamic procedure of female circumcision from the definition as done in other Muslim countries like Indonesia” concluded the submission.

The Muslim Representatives included M.N.M.Naphiel, President of the All Ceylon YMMA Conference, Asiff Hussein, Vice-President Outreach, Centre for Islamic Studies, Noor Hazeema Haris, Co-ordinator of United Religions Initiative, Sheikh M.F.M Farhan, Manager, All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama and Sheikh M.A. Haris, Co-Ordinator of the Fatwa Committee of All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama.

The committee agreed to give them a hearing and requested that medical evidence be submitted to prove that female circumcision of the type prescribed in Islam causes no harm and benefits women as stated by the joint representatives.

4 Responses to “Muslim groups call for female circumcision to be medicalised”

  1. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    The year is 2018! Not year 0000 or 600. Brain dead or brainwashed? These barbaric practices are banned in
    the developed (people with brains) world. This pre-historic religion aka fastest breeding religion followers still
    living in the dark ages. Why don’t you take these practices to where you came from without trying force it on
    a civilized country with a civilized society?

    Idea is to get the baby machines to produce enough babies (votes). Earlier the better so you can have more and
    more votes. What these brainwashed (brainless) mythical god followers don’t want to know is it is going to end up
    in bloodshed. That’s what happened in Myanmar. Bangladeshis crept over the border to fertile Myanmar over
    long periods and multiplied and multiplied thinking dirty, disgusting, subhuman trick will work in modern days.

    Old Buddhist iran, afganisthan, pakesthan, bangladesh, malvies, malaysia, indonesia were converted to mussies
    countries within a few hundred years mussies arriving in those countries with their baby machine wives and
    multiplied and multiplied and outnumbered the natives. The dirty, disgusting, sub human trick worked in the
    olden days since people didn’t know until the menace came to their doorstep. But today’s tv, internet, mobile
    phone connected world people going to know and going to fight back to save their livelihoods. So uncontrolled
    mussie multiplying going to end up in a bloodbath. That’s certain. Will mussies ever understand or admit. Of
    course not, The brainwashed mussies think we start killing unbelievers and the natives will hand it over a plate.
    Will they?

    Year 0000 or year 600 no cars, no planes, no tv, no phones etc etc. and people believed in anything. So is there
    any wonder people believed in mythical gods. Today, we know how all the creatures on the planet came to
    being thanks to Charles Dawin who showed it is no god’s work. Then his book, The Tree of Life, explained how
    all the creatures came to being. All the life started with just one cell and multiplied and multiplied randomly to
    produce different species. Today all the honest people on the planet accept the Theory of Evolution to be true.

    Then NASA’s missions showed the world the earth’s size is a grain of sand in the vast vast vast universe where
    to this day no scientists knows the edges are. For a start, the Sun, which support all the life on the solar system
    is 93 MILLION MILES away from us.. To accept all this is god’s work is, difficult to understand in the year 2018.

    Buddhism disappeared from india quickly since it didn’t fit the indian society with caste system, inequality etc
    rampant society. Buddhism isn’t a religion of convenience. Buddhism is the only religion in the world, which
    passes the science test with flying colours. It shows humans to escape being reborn or get a better life in the
    next birth while all these other religions encourage to cheat yourself only to pay for your sins in the next life.

    Look at the night sky and the stars you see are billions of miles away from the ‘grain of sand’. They look so tiny
    due to their distance from us. Some of them could be even be suns in different solar systems. God’s work. The
    year is 2018. Not 0000 or 600!

  2. Randeniyage Says:

    Not only female , male genital Genital Mutilation shall be banned if the person undergoing is not an adult. All these abuse of children practiced by any religion shall be banned in Sri lanka. If they wish adults may get it done if the love their religion so much, no problem there.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Yes, INDEED …. All forms of MUTILATION of the human body for WHATEVER REASON should be banned in Sri Lanka, the land that holds the immortal word of the Lord Buddha sacred.

    Not only female circumcision, but also male circumcision should be SUMMARILY BANNED.

    These babaric God Worshippers who claim that man is made in God’s own image, want God’s own children to be mutilated. I humbly as, if we are made in God’s image, is GOD CIRCUMCISED and is it male or female circumcision?

    I hereby proclaim that I AM ALREADY PERFECT, ABSOLUTELY PERFECT, just as my father and mother created me in their infinite love and wisdom, and need no further corporeal modifications for as long as I live.

  4. Dilrook Says:

    All forms of torturous acts done in the name of religion must be banned. This includes causing pain and bleeding, carrying heavy stuff, walking on fiery surfaces, piercing body, animal cruelty for religious purposes, harmful punishment including kaning for religious offences, demeaning conduct including genital worship and other similar acts.

    Playing with words has no worth. Any act that causes bleeding is FGM. What they are born with is perfect and needs no intervention.

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