Quilliam states female genital mutilation has “no Islamic sanction”

A press statement by the Quilliam Foundation has contested the comments made by Dr Mohamed Iyaz Abdul Latheef that endorsed female genital mutilation (FGM), arguing that it has “no Islamic sanction.”

The statement – released on March 14 – asserted that FGM is symbolic of the “archaic forms of religious conservatism” that threatens to undermine “fundamental human rights.”

According to their website, Quilliam is “the world’s first counter-extremism think tank set up to address the unique challenges of citizenship, identity, and belonging in a globalised world.”

The statement comes after the Vice President of the Figh Academy, Dr Mohamed Iyaz Abdul Latheef has endorsed female genital mutilation in response to a question posed by a reader on mvislamqa.com. Latheef argued that several credible hadiths from the Prophet Mohamed demonstrated female circumcision is obligatory in Islam, and stated that circumcision “applies to both men and women.”

Quilliam’s Senior Researcher in Islamic Studies, Dr Usama Hasan, said: “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”.

There have been recent uncorroborated reports of the rise of FGM in the Maldives, however, Minivan News has been unable to verify the extent to which the practise has grown in recent years.

Thilmeeza Hussain from the local NGO Voice of Women commented that they were “extremely concerned” by the comments made by Iyaz, but they did not have any data on the extent to which FGM is practised in the Maldives.