April 29, 2012
'Cheat genital mutilation ban by going abroad': British Muslim leader caught on camera advocating female circumcisionBy Ian Garland
A British Muslim leader has been caught on camera advocating female genital mutilation.
Mohammed Abdul, the Imam of a Bristol mosque, was filmed urging a follower to take women and girls abroad so they can be circumcised legally.
The practise was banned by law in 2003, and it's illegal to help or encourage anyone to carry out the barbaric procedure overseas.
The footage was obtained by an undercover reporter working for the Sunday Times newspaper, who posed as a Muslim seeking advice.
During a meeting with Mohammed Abdul at the Masjid al-Huda mosque: 'In this country, it is not possible, we cannot do that. (For) any other Muslim who likes to practise the way of Prophet Muhammad, the best way is to go to other countries.
'Some families, they go to Africa or Arab countries.
Although female genital mutilation (FGM) has not been advocated by Muslim scripture, a number of clerics encourage it.
It's estimated 100,000 women in Britain have undergone the procedure and another 24,000 are thought to be at risk.
Since the law was passed in 2003, no-one has been prosecuted for carring out female genital mutilation.
Forward chief executive Naana Otoo-Oyortey said she hopes the new evidence will force the government to do more to combat the problem.
More recently FORWARD has been part of a successful lobby leading to a new UK anti-FGM law that came into force in 2004 - The Female Mutilation Act 2003. This more recent Act closed the loop hole that made it possible for residents in the UK to take their girls abroad for genital mutilation without prosecution. Since then, FORWARD has been working to increase awareness of the Act in the UK and in our work with FGM practicing communities has been using the law as a preventative tool.ReplyDelete
Looks like the loophole that Mohammed Abdul was talking about does not exist. Perhaps he will be the first prosecuted.
While Mohammed's religion is relevant in this issue, at some point the repetition of Islam in a variety of forms comes across as potentially racist.
When it comes to FGM, I am pleased to see that the newspaper at least acknowledges that not all Muslims practice it. Unfortunately, the paper has not talked about the prevalence of FGM.
FGM has been a social custom in Northern Africa for millennia. Many people associate FGM with the religion of Islam. Actually, it is a social custom that is practiced by Animists, Christians, and Muslims in those countries where FGM is common.
There are a number of religions and countries that do not believe in allowing children the right to control their own bodies. Those of the west who do MGM are not so pure as they wish to believe. That can be expanded to IGM (Intersex).