Readers of this blog will remember that one of the vocal supporters of FGM is Yusuf al-Qaradawi – the supposedly ‘moderate’ Islamic Scholar championed by Ken Livingstone. Qaradawi, while noting it is not obligatory, had said:
“Whoever finds it serving the interest of his daughters should do it, and I personally support this under the current circumstances in the modern world.”
And, true to their chief ideologue, the Muslim Brotherhood members, along with independent MPs, opposed the amendments. They regarded them as a “foreign tool” that would prevent parents from properly raising their children.
FGM is nothing like male circumcision. The World Health Organisation is clear that it has no health benefits and is usually debilitating. Debilitation is in fact the chief reason it is carried out. The removal of the clitoris – whole or in part – reduces sexual feeling and is thus thought to protect the “honour” of women.