The Ulema Council, Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI), says female circumcision is necessary for Muslims.
H. Amidhan of the MUI, speaking in Banjarmasin, said that his august organisation had no problems with female circumcision, because it was a duty for Muslims, was safe and did not cause any health problems for those who underwent it.
Circumcision is especially meant to be done for a Muslim, because circumcision not only cleans the filth from the genitals but is a requirement for every Muslim, and it also helps to contribute to a child's growth.
From the time of Abraham until that of Muhammad circumcision had been done, for both boys and girls, and it had become a part of the culture of the Muslim world, a part that could not be left behind. Those who said that circumcision caused harm had to prove their case, he said. Logic was then applied to justifying the practice, known often as female genital mutilation (FGM) or female genital cutting (FGC).
If there are those who say that circumcision causes damage or hampers reproduction then I think they have made it up. The proof is that there has been significant growth in the population of Indonesia and most Indonesians are Muslims who have been circumcised.
Not done he went on to say that circumcision was beneficial to Muslims, both men and women, because it removed the filth from the genital area. Islam approved of circumcision, for men and women again, provided it was done in the right way.
Because a Muslim must not pray unless he is clean and one way of being clean is to be circumcised.
Amidhan was not the only one of this opinion. Syamsuddin Hasan, from the Majelis Wilayah Korps Alumni Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam (KAHMI) in South Kalimantan agreed that female circumcision must not be forbidden by the authorities.
I fear that the attempt to ban it [female circumcision] is part of the mission of a certain group who deliberately use the health excuse, to the point where Muslim women will not be clean because they haven't been circumcised, so they can't pray in the correct way.
He advised Muslims who work in the health field to be on their guard and not co-operate in the effort to stamp out female circumcision.
September 28th. A study in six cities, Padang (West Sumatra), Serang (Banten), Bandung (West Java), Sumenep (Madura, East Java), Makassar (South Sulawesi), and Kutai Kartanegara (East Kalimantan), has shown that 90% of Indonesian women are circumcized.
Doctor Rachmat Sentika of a hospital Child Protection Unit and Dr Zaitunah Subhan of the religious section of the ministry for womens' empowerment said that they had met with the MUI last week and been informed that the Department of Health must not try to forbid the practice. Sentika said that the MUI did object to the removal of the clitoris but that the "opening" of the clitoris was acceptable and that health professionals should be taught how to do it properly.
January 20th 2008. New York Times article saying 96% of Indonesian girls have undergone some type of circumcision. Here.