Religion & fgm

Is FGM a matter of Religion?

Religion is often the first answer given when people are asked why they practice Female Genital Mutilation – but is this link between FGM and religion founded? Why is FGM still practiced in the name of religions that do not impose it? How can we deconstruct the ideas around FGM and religion in our work towards the abandonment of FGM?

To support the debate, we drafted a thematic note containing information on the supposed link between religion and FGM, as well as resources and questions to inform the debate. We invite everyone interested in the subject to read this note.

Two experts contributed in the thematic discussion organized by the CoP FGM in May 2019:

  • the Imam Moussé Fall, coordinator of the Islam and Population Network from Senegal, an active network in the fight against FGM, especially through awareness-raising activities of religious leaders; 

  • scholar and activist Maryam Sheikh Abdi’s who has contributed to the Population Council report « Delinking Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting from Islam » and the study « A Religious Oriented Approach to Addressing FGM/C among the Somali Community of Wajir, Kenya», available in the thematic note.
  • Aldeeb Abu-Sahlieh S., Sami A, 2012, Centre de droit arabe et musulman. Circoncision masculine et féminine : débat religieux, médical, social et juridique., Access here
  • Aldeeb Abu-Sahlieh S., Sami A., 1994, To Mutilate in the Name of Jehovah or Allah: Legitimization of Male and Female Circumcision, Access here 
  • Bouhdiba A., 1975, La sexualité en Islam, Access here
  • Cohen, Shaye J. D., Oakland,University of California Press, 2005. Why Aren’t Jewish Women Circumcised? Gender and Covenant in Judaism here
  • Christianize: Exode 4:25, Josué 5: 7, Actes: 7: 8, Romains 2:28, Romains 4:11, 1 Corinthiens 6:18
  • Earp B.D., Hendry J., Thomson M., 2017, Reason and paradox in medical and family law: shaping children’s bodies, Access here
  • El-Damanhoury I., 2013,  The Jewish and Christian view on female genital mutilation, Access here 
    End Cutting Girls Nigeria, 2017,  Islam does not support FGMC, Access here (video)
  • Hayford S., Trinitapoli J., 2011, Religious differences in Female Genital Cutting : A Case Study from Burkina Faso, Access here
  • Human Rights Without Frontiers, 2018, Women’s Rights & Religion. A report on women’s rights and Christianity, Islam and Judaism.  here
  • Islam and Population Network, Nigeria, Position Paper
  • Lethome Asmani I. and Sheikh Abdi M., 2008,  Delinking Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting from Islam, Access here
  • Mahmoodi O., 2016, Survey on religious views on FGM,  Access here
  • Newell-Jones K., 2016, Baseline Research Report: Empowering communities to collectively abandon FGM/C in Somaliland, Access here
  • Offiong A. V., Daily Trust, 2018, Stories of Nigerian women mutilated in secret (Christian perspective), Access here
  •  Qur’an, Hadith and Scholars: Female Genital Mutilations, Access here
  •  Serour, G. and Abd El-Hameed Ragab, A.R., 2013, Excision (MGF): Entre utilisation incorrecte de la science et compréhension erronée de la doctrine, Access here
  • Shafi School Religious Thinking, Access here
  • Sheikh Abdi M., Population Council 2007, FRONTIERS Program: A Religious Oriented Approach to Addressing FGM/C among the Somali Community of Wajir, Kenya. Access here
  • Sheikh Abdi M., 2008, Survey on religious views on FGM, Access here
  • Stop FGM Middle East, 2005 (a), Religion or Culture, Access here
  • Stop FGM Middle East, 2005 (b), Fatwas against FGM, Access here
  • UNICEF, 2013, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting : a statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change, Access here
  • Women’s Rights & Religion. A report on women’s rights and Christianity, Islam and Judaism, Access here



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