Misinformation from U.S. Dept Of Health And Human Services About Islam And Female Genital Mutilation
by CHRISTOPHER HOLTON
April 16, 2012
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), sometimes referred to euphemistically as Female Genital Cutting (FGC) or Female Circumcision, is one of the most barbaric practices in the world today. It is prohibited by law in the USA and many Western countries. Moreover, several US states have outlawed FGM, while legislation is pending in some others.
Not enough is known about FGM in the USA and our federal government has clouded the issue by spreading false information about the practice.
A "Fact Sheet" produced by the US Department of Health and Human Services contains the following passages:
Although many people believe that FGC is associated with Islam, it is not. FGC is not supported by any religion and is condemned by many religious leaders.
No religious text requires or even supports cutting female genitals. In fact, Islamic Shari'a protects children and protects their rights.
This information is false and had it been produced in a privately produced document it would be considered outright fraud.
Despite what the HHS claims, FGM is in fact associated with Islam, is supported in contemporary interpretation of Islamic scripture and has been endorsed by Islamic religious leaders. Shariah law manuals require and support the practice.
Muslims in America still practice FGM. At least some Muslims justify it based on religious freedom and, in at least one state in which anti-FGM legislation is currently working its way through the legislative process, one legislator reports receiving a phone call from a Muslim constituent urging her to oppose the legislation as "a conspiracy against the Muslim community."
One of the most widely read Shariah law texts is Reliance of the Traveler: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law.
This book was translated into English in 1991. It has been endorsed by the President of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and the President of the Fiqh Council of North America, as well as Al Azhar Research Academy in Cairo, Egypt, the Sunni Islamic world's foremost educational institution.
On page 59 of Reliance one finds this passage:
e4.3 Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. Bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (A: Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)
As an explanation, there are several schools of Shariah jurisprudence, known as "fiqhs." As the passage above explains, for some female "circumcision" is "obligatory." For another it is considered "sunna." For those who are not familiar with the term, sunna in the context of Shariah means a custom or norm established by practice, example, decision or tradition of the prophet Mohammed. As a source of Islamic law, the sunna of the prophet Mohammed is second in importance only to the Quran itself.
And of course, under another Shariah school of jurisprudence, female "circumcision" is seen as a "courtesy to the husband," whatever that means...
So, despite what the US government's Department of Health and Human Services says, Shariah texts DO require and support FGM.
But FGM's grounding in Islam does not end there.
Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is the Sunni Islamic world's foremost Shariah scholar. He is the head of the International Association of Muslim Scholars and European Council for Fatwa and Research. He is also chairman of the board of trustees of Islamic American University. Qaradawi, who has been described as the Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual and ideological leader, issued a fatwa asserting that "circumcision is better for a woman's health and it enhances her conjugal relation with her husband" and that, "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."
The video below depicts in horrible detail this barbaric practice that Qaradawi endorses as "serving the interest of his daughters." Note that this video is about how the barbaric practice is carried out in GREAT BRITAIN...
WARNING: GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING
Sami A. Aldeeb Abu Sahlieh, a Palestinian-Swiss Shariah scholar reveals one of the origins in the practice of FGM in Islam from a Hadith (a saying, story or tradition of the life of Mohhamed):
The most often mentioned narration reports a debate between Muhammed and Um Habibah (or Um 'Atiyyah). This woman, known as an exciser of female slaves, was one of a group of women who had immigrated with Mohammed. Having seen her, Mohammed asked her if she kept practicing her profession. She answered affirmatively, adding: "unless it is forbidden, and you order me to stop doing it." Mohammed replied: "Yes, it is allowed. Come closer so I can teach you: if you cut, do not overdo it, because it brings more radiance to the face, and it is more pleasant for the husband."
Abu Sahlieh also quoted Muhammad as declaring, "Circumcision is a tradition for the men and honorable deed for the women."
To this day, FGM is practiced as a religious rite in Egypt, as explained in this video:
Not everyone in Egypt is happy with FGM, as you can imagine. It was the subject of heated debate on Egyptian television:
With all of this evidence clearly tying the practice of Female Genital Mutilation to Islam, why has the US Department of Health and Human Services used our tax dollars to spread disinformation on the subject?
If sunlight is indeed the best antiseptic, government efforts to conceal the truth only prolong the continued implementation of this barbaric practice.
Christopher Holton is a Vice President with the Center for Security Policy and the Director of its Divest Terror Initiative. Chris Holton is a past president and marketing director of Blanchard & Co. and editor-in-chief of the Blanchard Economic Research Unit from 1990 to 2003. As chief of the Blanchard Economic Research Unit in 2000, he conceived and commissioned the Center for Security Policy special report Clinton's Legacy: The Dangerous Decade. Holton is a member of the Board of Advisers of WorldTribune.com.