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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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SIC renews fatwa legalizing female circumcision

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The Gambia Supreme Islamic Council has yesterday issued a statement renewing its fatwa on the legality of female circumcision.

The statement read: “The Gambia Supreme Islamic Council (GSIC) is pleased to issue a fatwa to all Muslims in The Gambia regarding the legality of female circumcision. In this regard, the GSIC would like to clarify that female circumcision is not a merely inherited custom as falsely claimed by those who are clueless about Islamic law. Rather, it is one of the virtues of Islam and among the Sunnah practices dictated by the Messenger of Allah, Peace be Upon Him, who said: ‘Five practices are characteristics of the Fitra,’ of which he mentioned circumcision. The legitimacy of female circumcision has been proven in several established hadiths on the authority of the Prophet; peace be upon him. Therefore, Muslim jurists agreed on its legality. Some jurists have even argued that female circumcision is obligatory, whereas others have considered it a recommended act of Sunnah. It was not reported by any of the reliable Muslim scholars denying the legality of female circumcision in the manner prescribed by the Messenger of Allah; peace be upon him. That is because the noble Sharia never recognizes anything that causes harm to people, be it health or physical.

The GSIC wishes to point out that the legal form of female circumcision involves cutting off only a tiny upper part of the clitoris without removing it or touching any part of the labia, which runs contrary to what is known as (Female Genital Mutilation) and does not entail the removal of the genital organ, or what is known as Pharaonic circumcision. Muslim Jurists have agreed that this type is illegal because of the harm it inflicts on women. In this context, the GSIC calls on the government of The Gambia to reconsider the law criminalizing female circumcision and to hold anyone who practices such accountable because, as Muslims, religion is the most precious thing we have in this life.

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The GSIC would also like to clarify that Allah has decreed female circumcision, and it, therefore, condemns quarters and individuals who denounce the practice and calls on the authorities to hold them accountable.”

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