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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Reject leaders who do not believe in women’s rights

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I think it is Mai Fatty who is coming up with gargantuan distortions and falsities driven by unfounded experiences while deliberately deciding to mislead and downplay facts for interests best known to him. Mai must be reminded that he is not the only typical Jahanka of the Great Manding Empire who knows the Manding culture more than anyone.

First, as someone who likes to tout himself as a Muslim scholar, Mai knows that female circumcision does not originate from nor a requirement of Islam. There is no qur’anic evidence that Allah ordered Muslim women to circumcise, regardless of whatever name or description he gives that procedure. What is evident is that Allah (swt) ordered Prophet Ibrahim to circumcise the women in his household but said nothing for the men.

Mai knows even with all the Hadith about female circumcision, the Holy Prophet (saw) never caused his daughters to be circumcised nor is there any account that His Wives were ever circumcised. Unless Mai is the spokesman of Allah, could he tell us what is his evidence in the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith to show that female circumcision is a requirement for women?

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Secondly, if he were truly rooted in the culture of the Manding culture as he claims, Mai should have known that the Manding people were practicing female circumcision well before they became Muslims. To attempt to explode the semantics between ‘circumcision’ and ‘mutilation’ only exposes the dishonesty of those who wish to confuse and divert attention from the real issue. After all, as a man, why is Mai Fatty insisting on this procedure which concerns women? If he were a Mandinka woman, he would have had the basic authority and legitimacy to talk about the difference. But as a man, what does Mai know about the practice that we do not know about?

We have multiple Mandinka women, well educated, religious and cultured who have spoken against female circumcision because of their experience. Who is Mai to dispute those Mandinka women? Those women are the authentic voices to listen to than to a man who is only a beneficiary of female circumcision as all Mandinka men are. Mandinka culture is patriarchal. Patriarchy is a social, cultural, economic, and political system in the perspective and for the benefit of men. Female circumcision is a fundamental tool in that system, and it only benefits men and not women who unfortunately undergo the procedure.

Thirdly, it is with deep concern that a person who seeks to lead this country would ridicule the National Human Rights Commission on a matter that is rooted in international law, not to mention domestic laws and policies. That female circumcision is harmful, and illegal is not the opinion of the NHRC. This is a well-established medical and legal fact at domestic, regional and international levels. To now have a political party leader derogate the NHRC on such an issue is most unfortunate.

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Fourthly, it is always an act of dishonesty and diversion when folks begin to reference the West and Europeans when the issue of human rights emerges. African people, the Mandinka people and the rest of Gambians are human beings. Human rights do not belong to Europe. When the Mandinka wrote the Kurukan Fuga Charter in 1235, there was no document in Europe that had even a near equal human rights content and quality like it. The Kurukan Fuga Charter or the Mande Charter had recognized the rights of women, children, and the right to life when such rights were not recognized in the English Magan Carta of 1215 nor in the French Declaration of the Rights of Man 1789. So, Gambians have no reason to learn anything from Europe when it comes to human rights.

But at one time didn’t Mai himself go to Europe and America to seek support for democracy in the Gambia yet today attacks those who also seek Western support against female circumcision? This is what is called double standards and hypocrisy! May Allah save us from such people becoming our leaders. Is it a harm for Gambians to seek support from London or Riyadh for things that matter to them?

Above all, can Mai tell us what the health benefits of female circumcision are? Why should it be practiced? What are the religious, moral, and social benefits of this practice? Can he share that?

Madi Jobarteh

Boraba Village

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