Egyptian Dar Al-Iftaa Officially Declares Female Genital Mutilation "an Attack on Religion"
It's time to put a complete stop to this archaic practice.
The Egyptian Dar Al-Iftaa have come out and declared that female genital mutilation (FGM) is religiously forbidden, according to Egypt Today.
They are calling for the total ban of FGM, a practice that is not mentioned in Islamic law, but still exists due to it being a social norm in rural and poorer parts of Egypt. They add that “FGM is considered an attack on religion through damaging the most sensitive organ in the female body. In Islam, protecting the body from any harm is a must and mutilation violates this rule; therefore, if the parents of females who undergo FGM consent to the abhorrent surgery, they should be punished."
The Minister of Health and the Administrative Court of Justice are also of the same opinion, calling for the ban of this outdated and dangerous practice in public and private clinics, with the exception of if the female is suffering from a serious disease and is recommended to go ahead with the procedure by the head of the Gynecology department.
Unfortunately, FGM is still very much alive in Egypt. 91% of females between the age of 15-49 undergo FGM, and more than 80% of these are between 0-15 years old, according to a 2014 study by Unicef.
The United Nations is also on board, working hand in hand with the Egyptian government to put an end to FGM.
The Minister of Health and the Administrative Court of Justice decided that “FGM should be banned in hospitals and public/private clinics. And it should only be done if the female suffers from a serious disease, which is decided by the head of the department of Gynecology based on a doctor’s recommendation.”
The court of Justice approved that the surgery will not be against the law only if it is approved by the Minister of Health himself.
The Egyptian Minister of Health Ahmed Emad has laid out a 6 part plan to eradicate FGM by 2030:
- Criminalizing FGM in the penal code; it should be punishable by imprisonment.
- The Attorney General should record these crimes as a reference in the investigation of FGM incidents.
- Hospitals are required to inform the police when they receive female circumcision cases.
- Ministry of Health’s sectors are required to carry out training programs and educational programs on the law, covering the penalties and negative consequences of circumcision.
- Implementation of the Supreme Council of Universities’ approval in 2017 to add an educational material against the crime of FGM in the curriculum of obstetrics students in medical school programs.
- Commitment of all ministries and agencies to integrate the curriculum against FGM within
Let’s hope that harsher penalties are put in place, and, most importantly, that more Egyptians are educated on the dangers of female genital mutilation, a social practice that has nothing to do with Islam.