Stop FGM Middle East, 3.2.2014. By Hannah Wettig
Oman is not on the map of countries where female genital mutilation is practiced. Neither the United Nations nor international NGOs have taken notice of FGM in the Gulf region – except Yemen. Yet, there are quite a number of reports about its existence in Oman and in most other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, some old from the 1960s, others are medical studies about cysts and other complications.
Stop FGM Middle East picked Oman for a first field trip to the Gulf region because of its relatively liberal political climate and the government’s concern for women’s rights.
Several Omani bloggers and journalists have written about FGM. The Ministry of Health mentioned it as a matter of concern. It was certainly a good sign that the issue was discussed openly – even if seldom.
From the different reports it was hard to assess how widespread the phenomenon really was. Some articles estimated a prevalence of 20% to 30%. Several authors assumed that FGM was mainly practiced in the Southern governorate of Dhofar with some pockets in the mountainous area in the North where a “pricking”-type was practiced. We were skeptical: Other reports hinted that FGM might be much more widespread than these authors believed. (more…)
ninemsn, 28.1.2014. An Australian father charged with organising to have his baby daughter circumcised allegedly travelled to Indonesia for the procedure.
The man from New South Wales, who cannot be named, took his then nine-month-old girl overseas, where she was circumcised sometime between February and March of 2012, police allege.
But it wasn’t until the girl’s mother took her to a doctor six months later that authorities were alerted to what had allegedly happened. Following an investigation, the father was arrested on December 31 last year by officers attached to the Sex Crimes Squad. He was later charged with aiding, abetting or procuring female genital mutilation. Read more
By Stop FGM Middle East. 22.1.2014.
According to a new study from Oman, female genital mutilation constitutes a widespread phenomenon in Oman in all age groups, and among women from all regional and educational backgrounds. Out of 100 women questioned 78 stated to be “circumcised” (they were asekd if had undergone “khatana al banat”). The human rights activist and statistician Habiba Al Hinai conducted the study “Female Genital Mutilation in the Sultanate of Oman” in cooperation with Stop FGM Middle East for which she interviewed 100 female and 100 male participants in hospital waiting areas, shoppings malls and fast food restaurants in the capital Muscat.
64% of all female participants said FGM was still practiced in the family
The practice of female genital mutilation was long only considered prevalent in the Southern region of Dhofar with only small pockets in the North. Thus, it is most notable that the participants in this study originated from Northern regions with only two coming from Dhofar. The highest prevalence of FGM seems to exist in the regions Sharqiya North and South (18 out of 19), the Dakhiliya (11 out of 13) and the coastal Batina region (33 out of 38 questioned). Participants who originate from Muscat were less likely to be circumcised, but still more than half of the participants were affected. (more…)
By Stop FGM Middle East. 21.1.2014.
The Omani human rights activist Habiba Al Hinai send the Grand Mufti of Oman Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalili an inquiry about the stance of Islam towards FGM. The Mufti of Oman replied in a letter in early December 2013:
Circumcision is allowed in Sunnah, and none of the old Ulama (religious legal scholars) have said it was “hated”, but they have disagreed if its a “must” or a preferable sunnah to do, or allowed to do. The confusion was based on different hadiths by the prophet, and whether to consider these hadiths as true and correct. They (the hadith) never mount up that it is a must, and it was always mentioned in relation to male circumcisions.
Even though its not an operation you must perform on women, we can’t describe it as a crime against women or as a violation of women’s rights. What is referred to as FGM is not the practise that the Sunnah talked about. Circumcision is simple and clear to cut a piece of the clitoris without causing any damage, every thing that is not this shouldn’t be called circumcision.
Therefor what ever the WHO described as circumcision is not accurate as these are bad practises of those unable to perform proper circumcision.
Therefore, circumcision is not allowed by sharia if it causes damages, this is a rule: to damage and no damager, and if it was medically proven by well trusted doctors that circumcising women will cause damage, it should be banned based on the no harm rule of the sharia.