November 17, 2014
Peddling pages of barbaric savagery: Islamic shops still selling female mutilation booksby
AN Australian Muslim convert who edited a book advocating female genital mutilation (FGM) has disowned the tome and urged people not to buy it.
Prohibitions That Are Taken Too Lightly was one of several books bought from Sydney bookshops by The Daily Telegraph that advocate FGM, sometimes known as female circumcision. It was edited in 2001 by Islamic convert Shifa Lynette Vivienne Mustapha who lives in Queensland — and who now says she would not “give it to anyone”.
The book was written by Saudi scholar Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid, 54, who believes Mickey Mouse should be killed as one of “Satan’s soldiers”. It provides edicts on many behaviours it says are forbidden in Islam.
“If anyone asked if they should read it, I would say ‘don’t bother’,” said Ms Mustapha, who added that she took on editing the book through “naivety or ignorance” and that the section on FGM was added after she finished working on it.
“I’ve done years of study since then and no longer have anything to do with (the book),” she said.
Ms Mustapha has also spoken out strongly against FGM and has received threats as a result.
Another book bought by The Daily Telegraph is called Important Lessons For Muslim Women, which says FGM is “obligatory” if an unmarried woman’s desire is “so great”. NSW minister for women Pru Goward has condemned the promotion of the “abhorrent” practice.
In May the NSW government tripled the sentence for performing FGM to 21 years’ jail and introduced a new offence of removing a woman or girl from NSW to have it performed.
But books promoting the barbaric practice remain on sale in the Bukhari House Islamic Bookstore in Auburn, and The Islamic Bookstore in Lakemba.
“I am a supporter of freedom of speech, but whether it is from behind a lectern or on a page, the promotion of this inhumane and illegal practice is unacceptable,” Ms Goward said. “I would be calling on booksellers themselves to pull any book encouraging female genital mutilation off the shelf.”
Eman Sharobeem, head of the Immigrant Women’s Health Service, said: “To hear that there are books promoting female circumcision is shocking.”
Another book bought by The Daily Telegraph, Instructions Of Shari’ah For Women, wants to ban Western education for women. Others say women should not drive, should not work with men and must have sex if their husbands demand it.
A worker behind the counter at The Islamic Bookstore in Lakemba said he did not agree with FGM but he “could not read all 10,000 books here”.
Sydney Muslim leader Jamal Rifi said FGM did not have a part in the Muslim religion, but added that discussing these issues was better than banning books. “A lot of bullshit is written in these books but it doesn’t mean we are so stupid to follow it,” he said.
FGM involves the removal of parts or all of the external female genitalia.
Originally published as Store’s female genital mutilation shame