WASHINGTON, DC – An imam at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, has reportedly stated in a video posted to the mosque’s YouTube account that he believes Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) prevents “hyper-sexuality” in women and endorsed the cutting of a woman’s clitoris in order to prevent her from experiencing the urge to engage and act upon her sexual desires.
The video has since “been removed,” according to YouTube.
In the YouTube lecture, Shaked Elsayed spoke about FGM as the cutting of “the tip of the sexually sensitive part of the girl so that she is not hyper-sexually active.”
According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, which was able to view the video clip prior to its removal, Elsayed “warned about the dangers of more serious forms of the procedure, but advised congregants to seek the advice of a Muslim gynecologist to see whether minimal action was necessary.” He reportedly also warned that, “in societies where circumcision of girls is completely prohibited, hyper-sexuality takes over the entire society and a woman is not satisfied with one person or two or three.”
One longtime Dar al-Hijrah member told the Washington Post that the controversy over Elsayed’s remarks reflected the ongoing tension between the more conservative and moderate ranks of the mosque’s leadership. “He’s a very old-school guy,” the member reportedly said. “He has old-school views.”
On Monday, Dar al-Hijrah’s Board of Directors reportedly said it rejected Elsayed’s opinion and stated, according to the Washington Post, that the practice is “prohibited in Islam as well as the laws of the land.”
The mosque reportedly issued a statement that included Elsayed saying, “I admit that I should have avoided it. I hereby take it back. And I do apologize to all those who are offended by it.”
However, the Washington Post noted that the mosque’s second imam and outreach coordinator, Johari Abdul-Malik, threatened to quit if the board did not fire Elsayed.
The mosque has fallen into the position of defending its image once again after it tried to recover from the discovery that two of the 9/11 hijackers and Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Hassan, had all worshiped there at some point. American al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki was also an imam at Dar al-Hijrah. The mosque was founded with a $5 million dollar grant from Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in the United States.
Some Muslims, like sharia advocate and leftist terrorist supporter Linda Sarsour, were among several people to condemn the action, call for Elsayed’s resignation, and argue that FGM has nothing to do with Islam. The practice is common among Muslim and Christian populations in Africa and parts of the Middle East and Asia.
“FGM has no place in Detroit or anywhere else in the world. FGM is barbaric & not an Islamic practice,” Sarsour wrote in a tweet in April.
However, Sarsour also seemed to wish the same or similar barbaric practice on Islam critics Brigitte Gabriel and Ayaan Hirsi Ali when she tweeted that she wanted to “take their vaginas away.” Ali, an ex-Muslim and former member of Dutch parliament, had undergone FGM as a five-year-old in Somalia.
Twitter is forever: Women's March leader Linda Sarsour wants to grab Ayaan Hirsi Ali by the p*ssy. pic.twitter.com/XNZIwTwoE5
— SHIREEN QUDOSI (@ShireenQudosi) January 26, 2017
FGM is recognized as a human rights violation by the World Health Organization (WHO). It involves the partial or complete removal of a woman or girl’s external genitalia (the clitoris and labia), often with a blade or knife, in order to deny her of any arousal or enjoyment of intercourse. The procedure is non-medical and is seen as a tool to oppress women.
However, Elsayed is not the sole voice in the U.S. Muslim community who endorses FGM. According to the Investigative Project, the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA) endorses the practice in two fatwas posted on its website in 2012. One of the fatwas reportedly says, “it is considered an honorable thing for females.”