DUBLIN – The head imam of the Islamic Centre of Ireland, Shaykh Dr. Umar Al-Qadri, issued a fatwa on Tuesday against the practice of female genital mutilation.
“Islamic Center of Ireland launches Fatwa Against FGM to unequivocally condemn FGM, reject Ali Selim’s remarks and support Ifrah Foundation and others in their campaign against End FGM,” Al-Qadri tweeted, Dublin Live reported.
The fatwa came in response to a Muslim scholar, Dr. Ali Selim, who condoned female circumcision last week in an interview with Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTE).
The fatwa also read: “Whilst there is some historical precedent of Muslim scholars having accepted the permissibility of “female circumcision,” we now know of the many psychological and physical harms of female genital mutilation – including complications in day-to-day comfort and childbirth, sometimes proving fatal to both mother and child.”
“Thus, we state FGM in all its forms to be religiously impermissible (haram) and sinful. It is binding on all Muslims to speak against this practice, stop it if they’re aware of its occurrence, and report any knowledge of it to the authorities,” the ruling concluded.
FGM includes procedures that intentionally alter female genital organs for traditional socio-religious and other non-medical reasons.
The practice is mostly carried out by traditional circumcisers, who often play other central roles in communities, such as attending childbirths.
FGM is internationally recognized as a violation of the basic human rights of girls and women and is mainly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and the age of 15.
Many countries have put policies and legislations in place to ban the practice.
Although there is no reference to circumcision at all in the Qur’an, there is a well-established tradition of male circumcision in Islam as an act of “sunnah.”
There is no such mandate whatsoever for female circumcision, which the world health organization believes is an inappropriate term as it implies that the procedure is analogous to male circumcision.