14 February 2014. The challenge that embracing shame poses to the longstanding perversion of honour, is the struggle for women’s human rights – the realisation of which will result in the entire community’s advancement and healing.
The social construct and custom of honour maintains order for many societies in the middle east and Africa, south and central Asia, and the worldwide diaspora of these diverse communities. A woman, the physical manifestation of honour, embodies this involuntary burden through her every day actions and decisions – or lack thereof – from the moment she takes her first breath until the day she dies. (more…)
16.2.2014. A British reporter calls up clinics in Singapore asking if she can have her daughter mutilated there. Yes, she can, for 35$. Another reason why our struggle in Asia is so important: Parents may perceive the “service” in Singapore as clean and professional and not understand that this is ruining their daughters life just as well.
February 10, 2014
SULÊMANÎ, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— For many years, people have believed that practicing of female genital mutilation (FGM) is required by Islamic religion, and that is why the majority of people, especially in towns and villages in KRG provinces, adhere to the practice.
However, a well-known Kurdish Islamic scholar recently issued a Fatwa “a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority” against the practice. Mustafa Zalmi says that not only does FGM have nothing to do with Islam, but, “Practicing FGM is taboo.” According to a report by the Gatestone Institute, Zalmi, “ He argued that as FGM is absent from Mecca and Medina, where the Islamic revelation was received and the early Muslim community was organized, there is no justification for its existence either there or in remote places such as Iraqi Kurdistan.”
10.2.2014. Minivan News recently reported that Mohamed Iyaz Abdul Latheef, Vice President of the Maldives Fiqh Academy, believes female circumcision is obligatory in Islam. “The Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘Five things are part of the fitrah [nature] – circumcision, shaving the pubes, trimming the moustache, cutting the nails and plucking the armpit hairs.’ The circumcision in this hadith applies to both men and women,” Iyaz said. Read full article
11.2.2014. By Stop FGM Middle East
This year’s statements on Febuary 6th, the Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM, differed positivly from previous years. Several organizations and state agencies acknowledged that female genital mutilation exists in Asia. USAID mentioned in their statement besides Indonesia, Malaysia, Iraq also the new evidence found in the Gulf States. (So we happily assume that they read our website!). Very encouraging is also that the German section of terre des femmes started a call to end FGM in Indonesia. It is also of great value that the regional offices for the Arab region for UNFPA and UN Women issued a joint statement. We are hopefull that we will achieve our goal with joint forces: To elminate FGM in the Middle East and Asia.
7.2.2014. by Stop FGM Middle East
On February 6th, the eleventh international Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, a number of media outlets have picked up on the topic of Female Genital Mutilation in Asia. Many non-governmental und international organizations tackling FGM, including the World Health Organization, still don’t mention the existence of FGM in many Asian countries. Breaking the silence is a first step to saving millions of girls in these countries from being mutilated. WADI and Hivos stressed this in their press declaration on this year’s February 6th. Therefore, we are happy that many journalists have now brought out this message. In several cases Stop FGM Middle East and WADI were able to provide information.
Al Jazeera Turkey came to Wadi’s office in Suleymania in North Iraq and spoke with victims of FGM. The film also describes the situation in Iraqi Kurdistan and the successful campaign against FGM.
De Vokskrant, the largest newspaper of the Netherlands also reported on the work of Wadi in Iraqi Kurdistan on February sixth. On February 7th, they ran a long story on FGM in Indonesia, underlining the importance to stop ignoring the brutal tradition in Asia. (more…)
CNN, 6.2.2014. Many Indonesian Muslims carry out the procedure of FGM as part of their religion without questioning. Yet, there are some Muslims who take a stand against FGM in Indonesia. CNN made a short documentary about FGM in Indonesia. Watch here
Y-Magazin, Oman, 5.2.2014. It’s a practice that is banned in Oman’s hospitals, yet female circumcision is being carried out on babies and young girls across the Sultanate. Y investigates. Report by Kate Ginn
The painful memories are buried deep but not forgotten. Muna remembers the voice of her mother calling her.
“She was saying ‘I’ll buy you an ice cream and a yoghurt-filled chocolate’. I joyfully ran behind her in my green trousers and dress,” she recalls. “We walked into dark roads further than the shop. God, I will never forget how sickening and awful that place was.”
Muna was not going to the store for sweets. Her mother was taking her to be circumcised, as she herself had been at the same age.
4.2.2014. Sheikh Mohamad Alarefe recently tweeted his sentiments favoring mutilating women to close to 8 million of his followers on Twitter.
Sheikh Mohamad Alarefe is a popular Saudi Arabian Islamic theologian and a professor at the King Saud University. A recent “tweet” to his almost 8 million followers on his Twitter account stated: “Circumcision [FGM] is a noble act to do to women. There’s nothing wrong with doing it. Some religious scholars have issued fatwas that it’s not allowed because many that perform the circumcision cut too much and they cause damage to the woman.” Read full article
By HIVOS and WADI; The Hague, Suleimania, 5 February, 2014.
On the fourth official International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female genital mutilation (FGM), the practice is far from being eradicated. While the numbers of mutilated girls are decreasing in Africa after decades of concerted efforts, large regions where FGM is practiced are entirely neglected in this worldwide battle. This is particularly true for Asia. The practice is widespread in Indonesia and Malaysia, it exists in Iran, Iraq, and Jordan. In several countries of the Arabian peninsula FGM is practiced by relevant parts of the population.
These countries need to make an effort to fight FGM among their population. We also call upon Indonesia and Malaysia, where the practice is legally carried out in hospitals, to ban FGM and initiate a strong campaign against it. In some Arab countries and Iran the practice is not legal in hospitals, yet governments shy away from tackling the issue. As a first step reliable studies must be conducted and a campaign initiated. In some countries authorities must stop censuring voices that talk about FGM. (more…)