memri

August 15, 2004
Clip No.
217

Dubai Government Official: Female Genital Mutilation of Daughters is Optional from the Religious Point of View

The following are excerpts from statements on female genital mutilation by Dr. 'Omar Al-Khatib, a high-ranking government official in Dubai:

Interviewer: The next question comes to us from Sawsan in Cairo. Many people refrain from circumcising their daughters based upon the position of doctors these days. What is the religious position on this subject?

Dr. 'Omar Al-Khatib: This issue has recently been discussed extensively and was the subject of much debate. I would say, in brief, that there are clerics who believe that this is a noble sign that dignifies a woman and is not even required by the Suna. Others say it is required by the Suna, yet others say it obligatory.

So the clerics are in disagreement on this issue. Some belong to the Shafi'I clerics, the Hanifi, and the Maliki clerics ? they all have their opinion and their evidence.

I say that whoever performs this procedure of circumcising his daughters in a legitimate way and according to accepted religious principles ? there is nothing wrong with this. Also whoever does not perform this procedure - there is nothing wrong with this either. It is not such a big issue that should preoccupy public opinion. Whoever performs it according to the correct legitimate religious manner there is nothing wrong with this and whoever does not perform it, there is nothing wrong with this either. It would be better to leave the matter to tradition and custom.