FGM

Mar 3rd, 2008, in IM Posts, by

Foreign efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation.

United Nations

On February 27th ten United Nations agencies pledged to engage in a renewed effort to eliminate female genital mutilation (FGM), or female circumcision, within a generation.

UN Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro said:

If we can come together for a sustained push, female genital mutilation can vanish within a generation.

In Indonesia only the populist press seemed to take an interest in the story with a Surya headline screaming "The United Nations Bans Female Circumcision": [1]

MUI

Prof Dr Chuzaimah T Yanggo, the head of the Youth and Women's section of the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI), said of the United Nations:

What do they think they're doing, it's not their business. Religion cannot be interfered with by men.

He She said the Health Department had already agreed with the MUI that there was a right way, and several wrong ways, to carry out "khitan". The right way was to "open" the "upper part", the clitoris, a little, by making a small cut, while the wrong ways involved cutting off the whole organ or making substantial cuts, and these were forbidden.

Chuzaimah said the UN was confused about circumcision because it heard stories from Africa, where the practice was more extreme.

Java

Meanwhile the East Java secretary of the MUI, Prof Dr Hj Istibjaroh, said female circumcision was neither required nor forbidden but:

In general it is done.

The purpose was to reduce the sex drive of women, he said, while the purpose of male circumcision was to increase sex drive.

FGM
April 2006, Bandung. [2]

He said among the women's wing of the Nahdlatul Ulama, the Muslimat NU, female circumcision was something thought not worth debating.

Endang Sri of the Indonesian Midwives Association (Ikatan Bidan Indonesia (IBI)) in Surabaya, East Java, said however that the practice was not allowed.

When parents requested it the IBI simply performed a washing of the area. She said requests to have girls circumcised in Surabaya were rare these days, and came mainly from the northern part of the city, presumably from ethnic Madurese people. [3]


446 Comments on “FGM”

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  1. avatar Sylvester says:
    March 3rd, 2008 at 10:22 am

    The purpose was to reduce the sex drive of women, he said, while the purpose of male circumcision was to increase sex drive.

    Is it a form of discrimination against women in Islam? Is it the evidence that women status are lower than men in Islam? Is it an evidence that Moslem women are simply just tools that can be manipulated by Moslem men? So men are OK to be sex-animal? Is it why Arabs men are sex animals, having wives, and raping TKW? I have never seen this kind of thing in other major religions or even in the communist society. Everybody should respect other cultures/religions, but this thing is beyond tolerance.

  2. avatar Janma says:
    March 3rd, 2008 at 10:34 am

    that photo really got me worked up….. the poor little girl looks so terrified! I want to scream!

  3. avatar Amir says:
    March 3rd, 2008 at 11:10 am

    My only aim to still alive now is killing Prof. Dr. Chuzaimah T. Yanggo…
    I would like so much to see him face off…
    Kill this kind of people solves more than thousands of dollars in “Education”..

  4. avatar Odinius says:
    March 3rd, 2008 at 11:28 am

    What do they think they’re doing, it’s not their business. Religion cannot be interfered with by men.

    Wait…isn’t that a good description of what MUI does? Men interfering in religious practices?

    Agree with both Janma and Amir. What a d*ck.

    But I have to ask: how common is this in Indonesia?

  5. avatar ecky says:
    March 3rd, 2008 at 11:47 am

    What I know is that female circumcision usually done right after the baby was born, not when she’s already teen.

    That photo is really rare occasion.

  6. avatar sputjam says:
    March 3rd, 2008 at 11:50 am

    beleive me! the more religious the muslims are, the further away from will they deviate from the messages in the koran. Some ulamas even reject koran messages, hence the sufferings you witness in states with large concentration of people from the religion of islam.

  7. avatar Silverlines says:
    March 3rd, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    When I delivered my Baby several years ago in a quite famous hospital in Jakarta, they consciously, and very confidently, offered to have my daughter gets a “khitan”. I did not, take the offer, very consciously and also confidently, because I’d learned of the purpose. And to me it is non-sense to have different way of treatment between men and women.

    The point is, it was quite a surprise for me to have a non-religion-based hospital offered a female circumcision, and it only proved that it is such a long way to go for Indonesia to recognise the effort to eliminate the female genital mutilation, despite that it is already internationally recognized as a violation of human rights. I still think, regardless of how it is being done, the purpose is the same, and it is only shows that female does not have the same right with male, not particularly on this matter, but on some other matters as well.

    PS: Is it why that some female never knew how it feels to have orgasm?

  8. avatar tomaculum says:
    March 3rd, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I wonder if Chuzaimah T. Yanggo herself is circumcised and in which subject she did her postdoctoral qualification (Prof.?Maybe in “Ways to eliminate your lust”?), and as far as I know the male, whichever god or ghost he idolizes, are more active in sexual things. So why not cutting penis instead woman circumcision?
    Besides: sex is one of the natural drive like drinking and eating. I am astonished that Islam teach us to do something against the nature.

  9. avatar Enigmatic says:
    March 3rd, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Meanwhile the East Java secretary of the MUI, Prof Dr Hj Istibjaroh, said female circumcision was neither required nor forbidden but:

    In general it is done.

    The purpose was to reduce the sex drive of women, he said, while the purpose of male circumcision was to increase sex drive.

    HOHOHO doesnt it show that these sick dicks are treating women as umm sex objects?

    Just my thoughts.

  10. avatar Lairedion says:
    March 3rd, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Here is a link with some information of the practice of FGM in Indonesia. It is somewhat outdated:

    http://www.state.gov/g/wi/rls/rep/crfgm/10102.htm

    The sheer thought of new-born babies and women being tortured really drives me mad. My Sundanese wife had to endure type IV (pricking of clitoris) of FGM shortly after birth because it was common practice in certain areas in West Java (in this case Cianjur). In this case it was performed without consent and in absence of my parents-in-law! This was a very painful experience for them because they were non-Muslim Sundanese (a rarity) and my father-in-law up until today suspects the hospital staff have performed the FGM deliberately because of them being non-Muslim Sundanese.

    Thank “God” it didn’t result in permanent injuries and a lesser sexual drive ;-)

    I know circumcision is not a practice limited to Islam and predates Islam but since the MUI feels the need to open its filthy mouth again I would like to challenge any Muslims here to explain and justify why creations of Allah, who is considered perfect and beyond questioning or doubts, are not regarded that perfect after all and need a “little scraping and cutting” afterwards? It’s probably sunnah and hadith again but are there any Quranic verses endorsing this?

  11. avatar Brett says:
    March 3rd, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    What do they think they’re doing, it’s not their business. Religion cannot be interfered with by men.

    Just as a matter of interest, are there any Quranic verses endorsing this? I mean, come on! This is COMPLETELY different to male circumcision. It’s the same as chopping off the end of your dick. Sorry, that was crass, but it’s true.

  12. avatar Odinius says:
    March 3rd, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    I know circumcision is not a practice limited to Islam and predates Islam but since the MUI feels the need to open its filthy mouth again I would like to challenge any Muslims here to explain and justify why creations of Allah, who is considered perfect and beyond questioning or doubts, are not regarded that perfect after all and need a “little scraping and cutting” afterwards?

    I think you just hit on the answer maybe without knowing it…it’s not a religious practice at all and can’t be justified through scripture. It’s a cultural practice that people think equates with following their religion, but it in fact has nothing to do with it.

  13. avatar Lairedion says:
    March 4th, 2008 at 4:32 am

    Odinius,

    I do know I hit on the answer.

    According to this article

    In communities where FGM is a traditional practice, it is practiced by community members who are Muslims, Christians, animist and even non believers. However, Muslims who practise FGM rationalize it as a Muslim religious obligation in spite of the fact that FGM predates Islam and it is interesting to note that globally most Muslims do not practise FGM.

    FGM has no link with Islam and is a neither a requirement nor a Sunna in Islam. All FGM related Hadith that are allegedly attributed to Prophet Muhammad {Peace Be Upon Him} have been proved to be inauthentic.

    Words like “sunna” and “tahur” used for FGM by Muslims erroneously endorse the link of Islam to FGM and brings the great religion into disrepute. All religions say God created human beings in the best forms and wanted them to keep the nature in which they were created. It is forbidden to make changes in God’s creation unless there is a compelling reason i.e. for medical reasons.

    A number of Islamic scholars have issued various Islamic Fatwa on the issue of FGM most of which have disassociated FGM from Islam quoting both Quran as well as Hadith.

    Dr.Muhammad Lutfi al-Sabbagh, Professor of Islamic studies at King Saud University in Riyadh states:

    “Since all these risks are involved in female circumcision, it cannot be legitimate under Islamic law, particularly since nothing that recommends it is definitely established as said by the Prophet {Peace Be Upon Him}. It is, however, established that he has said: “Do not harm yourself or others”. This hadith is one of the basic principles of this True Religion.

    Female Genital Mutilation is therefore neither a religious requirement or obligation, nor a sunna. This is the view taken by a great number of scholars in the absence of any hadith that may be authentically attributed to the Prophet {Peace Be Upon Him}.”

    But why is it that the Shafi’i religious school of law, prevalent in Indonesia, rules that clitoridectomy is mandatory so MUI can justify it also and dictate fatwa’s to the ignorant populace?

  14. avatar Hugh says:
    March 4th, 2008 at 5:35 am

    Genital cutting on those who don’t give their informed consent (unless there is some pressing medical need) is wrong whatever “religion” says.

    (Some religions say one thing, some say another, but anyway, babies don’t have a religion.)

    It is wrong because it takes away that person’s choice about how to deal with their own body.

    And it is wrong whether the person is male or female.

  15. avatar Odinius says:
    March 4th, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    But why is it that the Shafi’i religious school of law, prevalent in Indonesia, rules that clitoridectomy is mandatory so MUI can justify it also and dictate fatwa’s to the ignorant populace?

    Does it though? You never know when these things are rational or just the result of path-dependent processes. Maybe they justify it because it’s “been done for so long.”

    In any event, it’s an extremely distasteful practice and, unlike male circumcision, carries grave health consequences.

  16. avatar Lairedion says:
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Does it though? You never know when these things are rational or just the result of path-dependent processes. Maybe they justify it because it’s “been done for so long.”

    In the case of Indonesia this is not likely. Islam became dominant in Java and Sumatra only at the end of the 16th century. I cannot find records FGM was practiced in pre-Islamic Indonesia.

    For the Shafi’i school information here’s the link.

    Circumcision: Juristic, Medical & Social Perspectives – IslamonLine.net – Ask The Scholar

  17. avatar Hugh says:
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Maybe they justify it because it’s “been done for so long.”

    In any event, it’s an extremely distasteful practice and, unlike male circumcision, carries grave health consequences.

    “Because it’s been done for so long” is one of the justifications for male circumcision, also an extremely distasteful practice, which may carry grave health consequences (up to and including death).

    The case against female genital cutting is strengthened, not weakened, when male genital cutting is not compared favourably with it. Both are evils, both should end.

    Odinius, thanks for the expression “path-dependent processes”, which led me to the expressions “bandwaggon effect” and “network effect” – both very useful in explaining the longevity of genital cutting.

  18. avatar Murphy says:
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:48 am

    The female “circumsision” in Indonesia is normally just a prick of needle, enough to produce a drop of blood and it was performed on babies; not on a child like the above picture. It is not clitoris mutilation like what they practised in Africa. Many younger parents now did not even bother to do this. There’s nothing in the Quran that ask muslims to “circumsize” women. I agree with Oidinius on this. It’s a cultural practice that takes religious mantle.

    On the other hand: have you ever met an Indonesian woman with a mutilated clitoris? I haven’t checked that many to make a statistical conclusion, but I am yet to find one example.

  19. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    It’s a cultural practice that takes religious mantle.

    Even so, does this make it more respectable? Are we really supposed to respect such a ‘religion’?

  20. avatar Murphy says:
    March 6th, 2008 at 8:14 am

    The African genital mutilation? No. If you want to send petition to those African governments, remind me to put my signature on it.

    But the Indonesian version of it? Who cares? It’s harmless, and it’s getting out of date very fast.

    While I completely disagree with Prof Dr Hj Istibjaroh on her sex drive theory (Indonesian women with reduced sex drive? Come on), I agree with her on her other statement. It’s just not worth debating.

  21. avatar Janma says:
    March 6th, 2008 at 8:52 am

    On the other hand: have you ever met an Indonesian woman with a mutilated clitoris?

    How would you know Murphy!? You said you haven’t checked any, most women wouldn’t volunteer the info, even if they knew if they had it or not….. it happens all the time. I’m a midwife and many many parents and hospitals still practice the procedure.

  22. avatar Murphy says:
    March 6th, 2008 at 10:04 am

    I said I haven’t checked THAT MANY. ma’am. I did check; but out of modesty I couldn’t tell you how many or how I did my inspection :-) and thus no generalisations can come out of this “research” other than I am yet to find example of women with mutilated clitoris.

    Yes, you are right. Many parents in Indonesia still practice the “circumcision”, but they never cut the clitoris. Most just do symbolic wash or prick with a needle to get a drop of blood. Worst case, they cut small part of the clitoris hood (equivalent of male’s foreskin). And that, as I said, is harmless.

  23. avatar Bas says:
    March 6th, 2008 at 11:15 am

    This is not the clitoris but vaginal lips surface that are cut off (a part of it). During 15 years I did checked too, let’s say a dozen times and more than half of them were mutilated. Most didn’t remember it, some were not aware of it. Sounds like they don’t want to remember it, kind of taboo thing or just something not be discussed of. They admit it but seem to not care about it at all (?). Well I guest some friends of mine with their hundreds and maybe thousands of Indonesian pussy inspections could tell more about it…

  24. avatar Cukurungan says:
    March 6th, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Bas said:

    Well I guest some friends of mine with their hundreds and maybe thousands of Indonesian pussy inspections could tell more about it…’

    me :

    Bas and Janma could work side by side to do random pussy inspection for both muslim pussy and non-muslim pussy let
    to be fair it should be conducted in the public area. Once you complete this inspection you might give your report finding in this forum.

    I guest the result of the pussy inspection would be like this:

    The muslim and the non-muslim pussy almost couldn’t be differentiate in its appearance but the smell of thr non-muslim pussy are much stronger than the muslim pussy because the muslim pussy always regularly get clean-up at least 5time a day whereas the non-muslim pussy don’t get wash even after she urinate.

  25. avatar Goobers says:
    March 6th, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Cuk,
    Sounds that you got so offended by some people comment and make your comment so irrational and “kampungan”. How sad!

  26. avatar Subrata says:
    March 7th, 2008 at 3:37 am

    Cukurungan does not have to be offended by anyone, he is just “kampungan dari sono nya”.

  27. avatar Hugh says:
    March 7th, 2008 at 3:59 am

    How does Murphy know that cutting the clitoral hood or the male foreskin is “harmless”? Boys die of circumcision (though it gets blamed on haemorrhage or infection or anaesthetic complications or anything but the circumcision itself) every so often, and lesser complications are much commoner than people imagine – not to mention the harm that happens in every case by the removal of sensitive tissue that has a number of valuable functions.

    We don’t know nearly so much about the role of the clitoral prepuce, but since it is there, it is almost certainly there for a purpose (if you’re religious) or with a function (if you’re not).

  28. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:
    March 7th, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Ass. Cuk

    The muslim and the non-muslim pussy almost couldn’t be differentiate in its appearance …..

    I don’t think pussies can be differentiate at all.

    ….. but the smell of thr non-muslim pussy are much stronger than the muslim pussy because the muslim pussy always regularly get clean-up at least 5time a day whereas the non-muslim pussy don’t get wash even after she urinate.

    Besides it is haram to pray in a masjid with smelly pussies.

  29. avatar Cukurungan says:
    March 7th, 2008 at 8:41 am

    I don’t think pussies can be differentiate at all.

    I mean it will be some difference between the intact pussy vs the mutilated pussy, so why I asked the rubbish teller to check and do inspection by themself get the fact and if neccesary with a picture to prove whether the genital mutilation does exist in Indonesia muslim society or not.

  30. avatar Murphy says:
    March 7th, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Hugh,

    Sure, while we’re at it let’s campaign against tattoo, earring, nose ring, and other causes for body mutilations. You see, “many so often” people die from ear piercing related infection…

    We don’t know nearly so much why earlobes or noses or nipples or bellybuttons do not come with built-in piercing, but since it is not there, it is almost certainly not there for a purpose (if you’re religious) or with a function (if you’re not).

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