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Don’t leave girls under FGM threat by ISIS alone!

24.7.2014. By Stop FGM Middle East

The self-proclaimed Khalif Abubakr Baghdadi has ordered the genital mutilation of all women and girls in the area occupied by his Al Qaida-inspired organization “Islamic State in Iraq and Sham” (ISIS). The statement by ISIS says that “to protect the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, and in the fear that sin and vice propagate between men and women in our Islamic society, our lord and prince of the faithful Abu Bakr al Baghdadi has decided that in all regions of the Islamic State women must be sewn”.

According to the local UN representatitive, all girls and women between 11 are 46 in the area are now under threat of being forced to cut their clitoris facing severe health consequences and the loss of sexual happiness for life.

As ISIS currently controls large parts of Syria and Iraq reaching from Aleppo to Mosul several million women are affected. While female genital mutilation (FGM) is practiced by some groups in Iraq it is not known as a tradition in Syria. Al Baghdadi’s reasoning of FGM being Sunnah (the right path in Islam) unfortunately echoes other Muslim clerics, yet many others argue that it contradicts Islam. The mainstream opinion in the Muslim world is that the cutting is optional. It is unheard of that women and girls would be forced by a state-like authority to undergo this mutilation.

This fatwa (religious statement) by ISIS shows once again that Islamist extremists do not stop at committing any possible human rights violation. Millions of Syrians and Iraqis suffer from the terror inflicted on them by this formerly Al Qaida affiliated group as well as people in Libya where similar groups have erected small Khalifats.

While women in these countries are under immediate threat of loosing their bodily integrity and having to undergo a procedure which should be qualified as torture scarring them for life, the ISIS fatwa is also a declaration of war against all Muslim girls and women in the region. It spreads fear among girls in all neighboring countries especially in times when ISIS is gaining ground.

We must not leave these girls and women alone with their fear. The Stop FGM campaign of WADI and Hivos strongly condemns the announcement by ISIS to mutilate all women and girls in the region occupied by the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” and calls for action against ISIS.