By Alagie Manneh
Former APP leader now stalwart of PDOIS, Dr Ebrahim Jagne, has adapted a neutral stance on the highly charged debate surrounding FGM.
“I am remaining neutral because it’s more of a cultural thing,” the former head of Lamin Health Centre said when asked about his views on the matter. “It is more of a culture, and cultures and traditions I believe should be respected, but really, I wish to stay neutral on this issue.”
When pressed for a professional scientific point of view, Jagne said he is aware of the health reasons why FGM should not be practiced. “Of course I know, but am sorry, I want to stay neutral”.
However, Dr Jagne went on to state that even though he is not an Islamic scholar, there is no scholarly evidence from the scriptures and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad that teaches that FGM is in fact Islamic. “Nowhere has it been said in the Qur’an, nor the hadiths that FGM should be practiced. Medically, FGM should not be allowed.”
Dr Jagne suggested that as far as matters stand now, education and sensitisation are the most likely options to finding a solution to the matter. “Let us push the health issues in the debate. No one has talked about the circumcision of men, but we know also men who are not circumcised have health issues.
Asked how the opposing sides – pro and anti-FGM campaigners can reconcile their differences, Dr Jagne replied: “I don’t know. I think it’s going to be a long debate. I don’t know. I’m sorry.”