North Caucasus – Grand Mufti Endorses Female Circumcision – FGM
Date: September 5, 2016
The Grand Mufti (Arabic: مفتي عام muftī ʿām , is the highest official of religious law for Sunni or Ibadi Muslims. The Grand Mufti issues legal opinions and edicts, fatāwā, on interpretations of Islamic jurisprudence for private clients or to assist judges in deciding cases. The collected opinions of the Grand Mufti serve as a valuable source of information on the practical application of Islamic law as opposed to its abstract formulation. The Grand Mufti’s fatāwā (plural of “fatwā“) are not binding precedents in areas of civil laws regulating marriage, divorce, and inheritance. In criminal courts, the Grand Mufti’s recommendations are generally not binding either. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Mufti
North Caucasus Grand Mufti Endorses Female Circumcision – FGM
TBILISI – The Grand Mufti of Russia’s North Caucasus republic Karachay-Cherkessia, Ismail Berdyev, has endorsed the practice of genital mutilation of young girls in nearby Dagestan, saying female circumcision “does not contradict the tenants of Islam and is necessary to quell unnecessary energy and guarantees the purity of future brides,” according to news portal kavkaz-uzel.
In an August 15 radio interview with Russia’s Govorit Moskva, Berdyev said that the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) is “a ritual particular to Dagestan”, but one that does not violate the region’s social or religious mores.
Berdyev’s comments came only days after Moscow-based human rights organization Pravovaya Initsiativa, or Legal Initiative, filed a report on FGM in Dagestan.
According to Pravovaya Initsiativa’s findings, female circumcision operations take place in makeshift, unsanitary conditions and are usually carried out on girls under the age of three.
Villagers and local religious clerics justify the practice as a way to reduce the sensitivity of young girls’ genital organs to avoid any future “immoral behavior” once they become adults, the human rights group’s report said.
The human rights organization accused Russian authorities of doing little to crack down on the practice, saying local law enforcement officials and the FSB security services turn a blind eye to the ritual.
Pravovaya Initsiativa’s report included a comment from Dagestan’s children’s ombudswoman, Intizar Mamutayeva, who condemned the ritual as “human rights violation against children.”
Mamutayeva was dismissed from her position on Monday and replaced by the republic’s former Deputy Justice Minister Rabiyat Zakavova, RFE/RL reported Tuesday.
UNICEF, the United Nations’ children’s organization, estimates that over 200 million women have undergone FGM in more than 30 countries around the world.
Dagestan, a Scotland-sized Muslim republic on Russia’s southern fringe, has suffered from a violent anti-Moscow insurgency since the late 1990s.
The isolated mountainous region, home to dozens of ethnic groups, has historically been a stronghold of religious and cultural practices that operate outside Moscow’s authority.
Also via Human Rights Without Frontiers
EU Reporter Correspondent | August 24, 2016
The Chairman of the Coordinating Center of Muslims of the North Caucasus Ismail Berdiyev supports women’s circumcision. “It is necessary to make circumcision to all women to reduce lechery, to reduce sexuality,” the mufti told an Interfax-Religion correspondent on Wednesday (24 August).
He pointed out that the circumcision is practiced in some towns and villages in Dagestan.
According to Berdiyev, Islam does not oblige circumcision for women.
“But it is necessary to reduce women’s sexuality. And if it is applied to all women, it will be very good. The Almighty created a woman to give birth to children, to bring them up. And it (circumcision – IF) has nothing to do with it. It does not prevent women from birth-giving. But it will reduce lechery,” the interviewee of the agency resumed.
However, a Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia official believes that female circumcision will not solve the problem of lechery, but accepts the problem of growing immorality in society.“On one hand, I understand it that a great number of temptations surrounds a believer. They are temptations for a believer, for a non-believer it is just reality,” Boruch Gorin told Interfax-Religion.
“It can compared to alpinism: people are climbing up to the top of the mountain. If the task is to reach the top, you can get there by a helicopter. But people do not want to go there by helicopters. It is not about the aim, it is about efforts. And these attempts legally or in some other way to eliminate temptations, seem to me as this helicopter platform on the top of the mountain. Many totalitarian theocracies try to achieve it, and we see that they do not succeed in it, at a certain stage people start rolling down and die,” Gorin said.
The circumcision of women, more commonly referred to as female genital mutilation (FGM), has been condemned and classified as a violation of human rights, as well as a grave health risk, by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) (1), along with countless other NGO’s and civil society organization working to end this barbaric phenomenon.In addition to the health risks, the rational put forward by Mufti Ismail Berdiyev, that women were put on earth for child-rearing and that they should be mutilated to curb their sexuality, plays into the antiquated and deluded trope of woman as mother/sexual temptress. This has the sole purpose of promulgating the repression women. Women are human beings with the full spectrum of rights that men have, and are not mere objects to be used solely for the procreation of the human race.
There is also no religious basis for FGM and any attempt to justify the act of mutilating a woman’s genitals in the name of religion (or any other reason) is unfounded.