A Muslim website based in the Canadian city of Calgary has published an article defending the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) claiming that there are medical benefits if part of a woman’s genitals are removed, and saying it is justified by Islam.
The article, written by pro-FGM author and journalist Asiff Hussein, claims that “Misogynists and Feminists” are “denigrating” the practice which he claims has medical benefits for women.
The website’s contributor advocates for the removal of the prepuce, a layer of skin on a woman’s genitals, claiming that the operation is not FGM, but rather “female circumcision” as it does not remove the clitoris.
His definition runs counter to the World Health Organization (WHO) who define FGM as, “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”, and add that there are no known health benefits.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 5, 2016
Hussein recognises the WHO definition but blames the lack of pro-FGM research on “Islamophobic sentiments expressed by a largely Jewish controlled media”.
Many have also dismissed FGM as a local cultural practice with no links to the religion of Islam itself. Hussein disagreed saying that there is a reference to FGM in the sayings of the prophet Mohammed, also known as the Hadith.
Comments on the article show a resounding rejection of Hussein’s arguments with some saying that the practice is “barbaric” and others accused practitioners of child abuse. One user went questioned whether or not the article was satire.
FGM procedures on those under the age of 18 or without medical reasons, is currently illegal in Canada, according to the Canadian Criminal Code. Despite this, some claim that Canadian girls have been taken overseas to have the procedure performed and FGM practitioners have entered Canada to perform the operation within Canada as well.
"…there has not been a single conviction for FGM in Scotland…" https://t.co/EL5ZPNwfUB
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 17, 2017
In the UK, the number of FGM cases is estimated to be as high as 5,000 in the last year alone and so far no one has been prosecuted in connection with the practice. Earlier this year, the National Health Service (NHS) estimated that there were new cases of FGM being reported or treated in the UK every hour.
France has taken a much different approach to the UK and Canada and since banning FGM in 1983 has criminally prosecuted hundreds of practitioners.
In April, the United States saw its first charges for FGM when three individuals were charged in Michigan. A federal investigation into a wider conspiracy followed in July, including investigations in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.