Calls for the introduction of FGM in the Maldives should worry all of us

It is vitally important the UK uses its influence and clout to lead a global campaign that seeks to rid the world of FGM.

Ghaffar Hussain is head of research at counter-extremism think tank Quilliam

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a gross human rights violation that should not be tolerated anywhere in the world.

Despite FGM being illegal in the UK since 1985, there have been no prosecutions to date and a culture of secrecy within communities in which it occurs, combined with misplaced cultural sensitivities, has allowed this practice to thrive.

However, increased awareness and campaigning around the issue has meant there is now more will to enforce existing laws in much more rigorous way.

In spite of the tide swinging in the right way in the UK, the picture is not so good in other countries. Of particular concern is the Maldives. Dr. Mohamed Iyaz Abdul Latheef, vice president of the influential Fiqh Academy of the Maldives, who is also a candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood-inspired Adhaalath Party, has issued a fatwa for FGM stating that it is justified on theological grounds.

Due to Dr. Latheef prominent position in Fiqh Academy, which was established by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, there is concern about the influence these calls could have on Maldivian society.

The call for FGM in the Maldives is based on highly literalist and austere interpretations of Islam that have been imported into the country in recent years. These calls are part of a wider lurch towards an archaic form of religious conservatism that is currently taking place and backed by social conservatives in other parts of the world.

My colleague Dr Usama Hasan has challenged the religious justification for FGM, stating:

“FGM has no Islamic sanction – there are just two traditions on the subject, both of which are strongly disputed, with many jurists throughout history discounting them as having nothing to do with the Prophet of Islam, but, like the blasphemy and apostasy laws of medieval Islam, FGM became a theoretical juristic position even though it was rarely practiced. Contemporary Muslim scholars are increasingly opposed to and dismissive of FGM.”

We at Quilliam have welcomed the recent shift towards a tougher approach to the enforcement of existing anti-FGM laws in the UK, and commend the campaign of the young British Somali woman from Bristol, Leyla Hussein, in this regard.

Last Saturday, on International Women’s Day, development minister Lynne Featherstone stated that it was the aim of her department to reduce FGM in Africa by 30 per cent within the next five years. Others, such as Michael Gove, have also made a commitment to stamping out this evil practise.

With this much-welcomed cultural transformation taking place in the UK, it is vitally important that we now use our global influence and clout to lead a global campaign that seeks to rid the world of FGM.

57 Responses to “Calls for the introduction of FGM in the Maldives should worry all of us”

  1. Ortega

    Stop playing dumb. You clearly scrabbled around for the Wiki entry so should have read it there.

    The WHO claim that it’s rare is in reference to a study in the Sudan, which you could have checked on wiki. It’s not in reference to any other regions.

    Are you sitting down? There are international flights to and from the Maldives, and exchanges of ideas. Especially with Ikwanists.

    I’m sure you can probably fly to the Maldives from many places. What does that specifically have to do with Egypt?

    Then your sneering condescension of “wow” was pointless/


    Don’t see the connection.

  2. pkoduah

    Campaigning against the mutilation of children is “authoritarian”?

  3. Ortega

    It’s authoritarian for muslims to tell other muslims that they’re “unislamic” for practicing a norm that’s been with them since the beginning of their culture being muslim.

  4. Alec

    The WHO claim that it’s rare is in reference to a study in the Sudan, which you could have checked on wiki. It’s not in reference to any other regions.

    Your ability to blather is incredible. You had not mentioned the gradations here or in the other threads you’ve befouled, only seizing upon a casual references as is the wont of straw-men arguers and dissemblers.

    Your obscene line has been throughout seeing FGM as an intellectually interesting argument which you’re aloof from just as butterfly collectors are when discussing alternative means of preservation of specimens.

    I’m sure you can probably fly to the Maldives from many places. What does that specifically have to do with Egypt?

    Read the piece and tell me where the Muslim Brotherhood comes from.

    Don’t see the connection.

    Yes you do. Stop playing dumb.

    The longer you refuse to give us your twat to lacerate the more you look like a squalid race-baiter who sees exotic foreign women as displays in an anthropology exhibition but not actual living human beings who’d have their sexual responses – and other gyno/urinary functions – suppressed, and who once were held down as they were mutiliated.

    It stunk enough before when it was a Euro commentator like Mary Honeyball, but it’s positively putrid now as you pat Mohammed on his cute Somali head and tell him he’s wrong, or superciliously dismiss Usama Hasan and Ghaffar Hussein as the wrong type of Muslim who cannot comprehend the issue in the way you do… Somalis, Pakistanis, Malaysians, Indonesians, none of them are capable of understanding their own societies in the way you do.

    ~alec

  5. Ortega

    Read the piece and tell me where the Muslim
    Brotherhood comes from.

    The MB was founded in Egypt. What does that have to do with FGM in the Maldives?

    it’s positively putrid now as you pat Mohammed on
    his cute Somali head and tell him he’s wrong

    I didn’t tell him he was wrong. I said that the forms of FGM practiced in the Horn as more extreme than those practiced in other muslim areas. Facts. Please provide counterfacts if you disagree.

    superciliously dismiss Usama Hasan and Ghaffar
    Hussein as the wrong type of Muslim who cannot comprehend the issue in the way
    you do

    Usama Hasan was quoted as making statements that are just
    factually inaccurate. For example;

    FGM became a theoretical juristic position even
    though it was rarely practiced

    That is statistically false. Indonesia has 20% of the worlds muslims and it is an accepted norm there, and Indonesia is one of the most educated muslim nations. Either Hasan is lieing, or he’s assuming that it must be a fringe practice overall because it’s not the norm in the culture his ancestors come from.

  6. Shazza

    The Left have a lot to answer for in this country. Whenever any sane person tried to highlight the joys of cultural enrichment in this country whether it was grooming gangs, honour killings, FGM, child marriage etc. they were shouted down by the Left with hysterical cries of ‘Racist’!. The Left decided that telling the truth should be classified as ‘hate speech’ and nothing should harm their precious multi culti dream where all cultures are equal. Do the Left still agree that these barbaric 7th century practices belong in 21st secular Britain and deserve equal status regarding civilisation?
    Where were Harriet Harman, Diane Abbott and all the other shrill feminists while this was taking place under their watch? They and all those on the Left who turned a blind eye to the abovementioned horrors while they were happening under Labour, hang your heads in shame.
    And yes, it is still going on and the present Coalition also have a lot to answer for – but at least now, it is receiving the oxygen of publicity.

  7. Alec

    The MB was founded in Egypt. What does that have to do with FGM in the Maldives?

    Read. The. Piece.

    I didn’t tell him he was wrong.

    Of course you did! D’you believe your own lies, or are you consciously bullshitting?

    I said that the forms of FGM practiced in the Horn as more extreme than those practiced in other muslim areas. Facts.

    Give us your twat then. Let us slice off a little bit. We’ll let you have a local anaesthetic ‘cos we realize you’re more refined and less able to cope of pain than these exotic foreign women who make do with sweetened tea..

    Please provide counterfacts if you disagree.

    Please stop being a supercilious prig. Following your childish literalism, no-one here has disputed that there are differences in gradation.

    Usama Hasan was quoted as making statements that are just factually inaccurate.

    And, as a racist snob, you are here to tell unedukated foreigners what their culture really is like. You’re also arguably wrong to describe Hasan as a liberal.

    For example;

    FGM became a theoretical juristic position even
    though it was rarely practiced

    That is statistically false. Indonesia has 20% of the worlds muslims and it is an accepted norm there, and Indonesia is one of the most educated muslim nations. Either Hasan is lieing, or he’s assuming that it must be a fringe practice overall because it’s not the norm in the culture his ancestors come from.

    He used the past tense and appealed to Quranic precepts. In other words, he was talking about the historical situation and making the case that it wasn’t religiously mandated. Personally I think he’s missing the point, but it’s manifestly different from your willful misrepresentation of his comments arising from your moral, intellectual and racist snobbery.

    Honestly, all you have to say is “slicing-up lady-parts is barbaric and obscene, and must be stopped” and leave it at that but you can’t. My guess is that it’s because you’re a racist and sociopath.

    ~alec

Leave a Reply