Female Genital Mutilation Is Opposite Of Circumcision

Female Genital Mutilation Is Opposite Of Circumcision

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An Egyptian man who allegedly had female genital mutilation (FGM) carried out on his three daughters after tricking them by saying they would receive a coronavirus “vaccination”, has been arrested along with the doctor who performed the procedure. The girls, all aged under 18, were drugged and then the doctor cut their genitals.
Performing FGM was made a criminal act in Egypt in 2016, and doctors can be jailed for up to seven years if found guilty of carrying out the procedure. Anyone who requests it can face up to three years in prison. But so far no-one in Egypt has been successfully prosecuted under the law.
According to the UN children’s agency, Unicef, 87% of girls and women aged 15 to 49 years in Egypt have undergone FGM, with 50% of Egyptians believing it “is a religious requirement” but this is not correct.
Female genital mutilation, although wide spread in limited geographic areas, is opposed by the overwhelming majority of Muslim scholars (ulema). Of the four schools of Sha’aria, only the Shafii school of law declares FGM wajib, or obligatory.
In contrast, the other three Sunni schools, together with the Shia schools, consider FGM sunnah- recommended but not required.
Female genital mutilation is not circumcision: it is female genital mutilation and calling it circumcision is a slander of both Islam and Judaism. A government may legitimately forbid female genital mutilation.
Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all teach that circumcision was already practiced by Prophet Abraham, who is revered by Christians, Jews, and Muslims to this day.
Christians do not believe circumcision is still a required observance. But, even during Medieval times, Christian governments never prohibited ritual circumcision for Jews and Muslims living under their rule.
Equally, Jews and Muslims never tried to force Christians to circumcise their children.
Only pagan governments like the Greeks and the Romans, or anti-religious secular governments like Communist Russia, have forbidden ritual circumcision.
These governments are led by people who believe that their own humanistic, rational philosophy is on a much higher level than what has been taught by traditional religions, which they do not believe in.
It is totally false to compare the custom of female genital mutilation to the religious practice of male circumcision.
First, while there are great medical benefits from the removal of the foreskin of a male, especially in reducing the spread of HIV; there is no medical benefit to a female from the removal of her clitoris and labia.
In Africa, Jewish and Muslim men have much lower rates of AIDS than uncircumcised Christian men.
Second, there is no evidence that female genital mutilation promotes chastity and preserves a woman’s virtue. Having a considerate, loving, and faithful husband does much more to promote a woman’s virtue than female genital mutilation.
Third, male circumcision is a religious requirement; female genital mutilation is only a tribal custom, originating in sub-Sahara Africa; which is now being spread by Muslim religious extremists to Asia and the West as part of a reaction against the rising rate of girls going to high school and woman going to work outside the home.
Evidence that female genital mutilation is only a custom comes from the fact that in rural Egypt Coptic Christians mutilate their daughters’ genitals. Also, female genital mutilation had been denounced by most of the major Islamic scholars in the Muslim world.
Finally, male circumcision is derived from the God-inspired practice of Abraham and Muhammad.
God said to Abraham (Genesis 17:7): “I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you…
(8-12) “And I will give to you, and to your offspring after you, the land where you are now an alien, all the land of Canaan, for a perpetual holding; and I will be their God. And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.
“You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. Throughout your generations, every male among you shall be circumcised when he is eight days old,”
And Allah ordered Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to follow the religion of Ibrahim (peace be upon him). When Allah said (Qur’an 16:123),  “Then We inspired you: ‘Follow the religion of Ibrahim, the upright in Faith’.” And part of the religion of Ibrahim is, as is evident from the verses cited above, to practice circumcision.
Abraham was an old man when he circumcised himself, thus becoming a good example that one is never too old to do God’s will. As a Hadith says: Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: ” Prophet Ibrahim circumcised himself when he was eighty years old and he circumcised himself with an ax.” (Related by Bukhari, Muslim & Ahmad.)
Abraham’s firstborn son Ishmael, was a young boy when he was circumcised, so Muslims do not have to circumcise their sons on an exact date. A Hadith states: When Ibn Abbas was asked: “How old were you when the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) died?” He replied, “At that time I had been circumcised. At that time people did not circumcise boys till they attained the age of puberty (Baligh).” (Bukhari)
Prophet Muhammad himself selected the 7th day after birth to circumcise his own grandsons: Abdullah Ibn Jabir and Aisha both said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) performed the Aqiqah of al-Hasan and al-Hussein (the prophets grandsons) circumcising them on the 7th. Day.” (Related in al-Bayhaq & Tabarani)
Thus, for Jews circumcision is a sign of the covenant that God made with Abraham and his sons Ishmael and Isaac and their descendants for future generations.
For Muslims, it is a sign of their close connection to Abraham which is also celebrated each year at the annual Hajj ceremonies.
For both Muslims and Jews circumcision is a sign that one who submits to God’s commandments and covenant cannot expect a life without some pain and suffering. But when endured for the right reasons pain and suffering always lead eventually to great spiritual benefits.
Female genital mutilation is the exact opposite of circumcision both medically and religiously.
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Rabbi Allen Maller
Rabbi Allen S. Maller was the rabbi at Temple Akiba in Culver City, CA for 39 years before retiring in 2006. Rabbi Maller is a graduate of UCLA and the Hebrew Union College. He has taught at Gratz College in Philadelphia, the Hebrew Union College and the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, and at the UCLA Extension. His website is: www.rabbimaller.com