Participants of the 2nd Conference against FGM in the Middle East and Asia say: Stop FGM!
Participants of the 2nd Conference against FGM in the Middle East and Asia say: Stop FGM!
On May 7th to 10th the Second Middle East & Asia Conference on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) was held in Istanbul where more than thirty activists and researchers from Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia and India met as well as representatives from UNICEF Iraq, Orchid Project (England) and Terre des Femmes (Germany). It was the second such conference organized by the German-Iraqi NGOs WADI and the Dutch NGO Hivos.
For the longest time FGM was regarded as an African problem, based on the African continent with some prevalence in neighboring countries like Yemen. This mantra was overcome only recently when WADI strated raising conscious, that FGM is also widespread in a Middle Eastern country like Iraq. In January 2012, the first conference on FGM in the Middle East was held in Beirut. In the last two years the STOP FGM Middle East Project by WADI and Hivos collected further evidence, that countries like Oman, Malaysia and Indonesia have a significant high prevalence rate of FGM. Therefore, this second conference widened the scope from the Middle East to South East Asia.
Irfan Al-Allawi writes for Gatestone Institute about the efforts to fight FGM in Islamic Countries with examples from Iraq, Oman and Iran quoting activists who were also present on the Second Middle East Conference on Female Genital Mutilation WADI and Hivos jointly have organized in Istanbul:
Although FGM is associated often with Islam, it is found commonly in non-Muslim areas of Africa and among immigrants to the West from that region. Muslims should take the initiative in opposing FGM; campaigns against this violation of women’s rights are underway already in several Muslim lands.
The best known such effort has taken place in Iraqi Kurdistan. In a recent interview, Thomas von der Osten-Sacken, who is affiliated with WADI, an Iraqi-German organization supporting human rights and civil society in the Middle East, described the beginning of the Kurdistan campaign. Von der Osten-Sacken recounted, “Following the toppling of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, mobile teams we organized [went to] various Kurdish villages and towns to offer medical services. One year later, women started approaching the team members about having been cut… It was a taboo to discuss but… we started helping women in 35 villages.” The Kurdistan anti-FGM movement gained attention in media.
In 2011, the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq made FGM a crime, and interviewer Heidi Basch-Harod states that FGM “in Iraqi Kurdistan has significantly decreased, from 90 percent to zero percent in some areas. Nevertheless, the practice has not disappeared.”
The conference will tackle two myths about Female Genital Mutilation. It is commonly believed that FGM is mainly practiced in Africa and that it has no religious grounds. Both claims are not true.
FGM is practiced widely in Asia: In Middle Eastern countries such as Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Iran, but also in Southeast Asia: in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, India and the Maledives.
New study from South Iraq
We have invited the most prominent Anti-FGM activists from Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Malaysia and Indonesia to present new studies about the prevalence of FGM in their countries and talk about their struggle against the cruel practice which much more than 140 million girls and women have fallen victim to worldwide. Highlights will be three new studies, which have not been presented before: from Southern Iraq, from Iran and from Oman. For South Iraq it is the first study ever on FGM.
Dass FGM mit Islam nicht zu tun habe, hört und liest man ständig. Nur leider stimmen viele muslimische Kleriker dieser Einschätzung so gar nicht zu. Auch nicht dieser Herr von den Malediven:
A fatwa has been issued by an influential Islamic scholar here, citing specific hadith or sayings of the Prophet Mohammed.
FGM is one of the five things that are part of fitrah, or nature, says the fatwa by Dr. Mohamed Iyaz Abdul Latheef, Vice President of the Fiqh Academy of the Maldives, posted on www.mvislamqa.com, a website which seeks to ‘convey the true message of Islam.’
The other four things are: ‘shaving the pubes, trimming the moustache, cutting the nails and plucking the armpit hairs,’ writes Latheef, who is also a candidate of the Adhaalath Party, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, for the upcoming parliamentary elections in the South Asian archipelago.
Latheef quotes a hadith of the collection by Prophet Mohammed’s wife, Aisha, as saying, ‘A bath becomes obligatory if one sleeps with your wife and the circumcised parts touch each other.’
The cleric concludes: ‘The word circumcision has been applied to both men and women here. The hadith demonstrates that women must be circumcised as well.’
At least three students were wounded Friday in a clash at a university in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, following a dispute over Valentine’s Day celebrations in the deeply Muslim country, police said.
Students from the left-leaning Pakhtun Students Federation were marking the international day of romance with red balloons and cake when they were attacked by students from the rival Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT) group.
The IJT, the student wing of Pakistan’s hardline Jamaat-e-Islami party, had been celebrating “Haya (“Modesty”) Day” in response to Valentine’s Day which they oppose as un-Islamic. (…)
Valentine’s Day is increasingly popular among younger Pakistanis, many of whom have taken up the custom of giving cards, chocolates and gifts to their sweethearts to celebrate the occasion.
Yet FGM still remains a thriving practice. While the more severe Type 3 FGM has been receiving the most focus in terms of elimination efforts, the relatively less hazardous Type 1 and Type 2 continue to be practiced widely in parts of the world, including Malaysia, where Type 1 FGMs are typically conducted on infant Malay females. Resistance towards this practice is thin because, as mentioned earlier, a Type 1 FGM only involves a clitoridectomy, a partial removal of the clitoris or the clitoral hood. The fact that it is relatively harmless and is grounded in the notion of preserving one’s daughter’s purity means that the practice has not yet met any significant resistance.
While I don’t openly call for resistance against the practice of female circumcision in Malaysia, I do believe that the Malaysian people have the right to know that such practices are losing popular support in other parts of the world and that from a religious point of view, it is wholly unnecessary.
I have made my small contribution towards stemming the prevalence of female circumcision in Malaysia. When the medical attendant asked me if I wanted to circumcise my daughter, my answer was clear: No.
In Malaysia up to 90% of women and girls are victim of Female Genital Mutilation. It seems now the Government ist trying to legalize this practice, because it is seen as a Islamic religious obligation. (Just for the record: Any UN agency would have told you just a couple of years ago that FGM is an African phenomen and not related to religion at all):
According to the results of a university survey the practice is widespread, with more than 90 per cent of Malay Muslim female respondents reporting they have been circumcised.
Azrul Mohamad Khalib told Radio Australia’s Connect Asia: “It certainly is a surprising figure, really. The study involves more than 1,000 female respondents and when we look at it, around 90 per cent or so are Malay Muslims.” (…)
He said that to have anecdotal evidence “captured” in the study is really “both surprising and a little bit disappointing”.
What about the suggestion that the health ministry may be about to register the practice?
Many politicians, female social activists and journalists gathered at the provincial assembly on Saturday to express solidarity with a teenage activist for whom the UN had declared November 10 as “Malala Day”.
Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban on October 9 for advocating girls’ right to education in Swat valley and is currently recovering at a UK hospital.
Speaking at the ceremony, provincial assembly speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said Yousafzai played a significant role in the promotion of girls’ education. “Malala’s outlook will help bring about an educational improvement in the country.”
Zehntausende Menschen sind in Pakistans größter Stadt Karatschi auf die Straßen gegangen, um ihre Solidarität für die 14 Jahre alte Malala Yousufzai auszudrücken. Die junge Aktivistin hatte Bildungsmöglichkeiten von Mädchen gefordert und militante Gruppen kritisiert.
Am Dienstag hatten Taliban-Kämpfer dem Mädchen gezielt in den Kopf geschossen. (Quelle)
Und auch in Quetta kam es zu Protesten
Four women and two men have been sentenced to death in northern Pakistan for singing and dancing at a wedding, police say.
Clerics issued a decree after a mobile phone video emerged of the six enjoying themselves in a remote village in the mountainous district of Kohistan, 176km north of the capital Islamabad.
Pakistani authorities in the area said local clerics had ordered the punishment over allegations that the men and women danced and sang together in Gada village, in defiance of strict tribal customs that separate men and women at weddings.
Eine Gruppe von Musikfans, die in Aceh, der nördlichsten Provinz Indonesiens, ein Benefizkonzert organisierten, fiel im vergangenen Dezember den dort geltenden diskriminierenden Scharia-Verordnungen zum Opfer. Die Jugendlichen, von denen einige sogar aus Jakarta und West-Java angereist waren, wurden am Abend des 10. Dezember 2011 verhaftet. Ihr Verbrechen bestand darin, dass sie ein Punk-Wohltätigkeitskonzert organisiert hatten, mit dem sie im Bürgerzentrum der Provinzhauptstadt Banda Aceh unter dem Slogan “Aceh for the Punk” Geld für Waisen sammeln wollten.
Reguläre Polizeikräfte und Scharia-Polizisten stürmten den Veranstaltungsort und griffen jeden auf, der eine Irokesen-Frisur oder Tätowierungen, enge Jeans oder Ketten trug. Nachdem sie drei Nächte lang von der örtlichen Polizei festgehalten worden waren – in denen sie keinen Kontakt zu einem Rechtsbeistand oder ihren Familien aufnehmen durften – wurden sie zur “Umerziehung” in die Polizeischule von Aceh gebracht.
Was ist nun eigentlich pornografisch und was nicht? Indonesische Parlamentarier ringen mit dieser Frage, seit sie 2008 ein weit reichendes “Por-No”-Gesetz verabschiedet haben. Der Bali-Gouverneur brachte es schon vor 2 Jahren auf den Punkt:
If the law was effective, there would be no more television or Internet content that is close to the definition of pornography in the law. But we still can see it.
Effektiv ist es zum Glück nicht. Und dennoch bringt es immer wieder unschuldige Frauen ins Gefängnis – vor allem Tänzerinnen und Sängerinnen.
Nun meint der Minister für religiöse Angelegenheiten, das definitive Kriterium für Pornografie gefunden zu haben – Röcke, die weniger als knielang sind. Das kann man messen, das kann man nachprüfen. Wunderbar!
Die Rede ist hier von England … Europa im 21. Jahrhundert also:
Some three per cent even think murder, or so-called “honour killings”, can be justified in some circumstances. And two thirds of young British Asians, including young women, say families should live according to the concept of “honour”, according to the poll for BBC Panorama. The findings come despite attempts by politicians, the police and prosecutors to send out a strong message that honour-based violence is unacceptable.
Nazir Afzal, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “I thought this was a generational thing, it was something that would die out with my generation. “Unfortunately, I’ve come across many young people who think the same way.”
Homosexuals and homosexuality are natural and created by God, thus permissible within Islam, a discussion concluded here Thursday.
Moderate Muslim scholars said there were no reasons to reject homosexuals under Islam, and that the condemnation of homosexuals and homosexuality by mainstream ulema and many other Muslims was based on narrow-minded interpretations of Islamic teachings.
Siti Musdah Mulia of the Indonesia Conference of Religions and Peace cited the Koran’s al-Hujurat (49:3) that one of the blessings for human beings was that all men and women are equal, regardless of ethnicity, wealth, social positions or even sexual orientation.
Liebe ist shirk, Götzenanbetung – Liebe gebührt nur Gott, das ist die Kernidee. Die dann zur Überzeugung führt, am Valentinstag werde der Triumph des Christentums über den Islam gefeiert. Letztes Jahr wurden Dutzende verhaftet, weil sie den Valentinstag gefeiert hatten.
A group of Muslim scholars and activists just got a step closer to the codification of Muslim Personal Law in India on Saturday. The national consultation on the codification has prepared a revolutionary draft which, among other things, bans triple talaq and restricts polygamy. After codification of the personal law, it will be sent to Parliament for amendments into the law and the Muslim masses will be made aware of what Islam gives and what some Mullahs have denied to them over the centuries.
“Codification of the personal law is the need of the hour. We are not bringing any new law but only reiterating the provisions which the Quran makes for Muslim men and women,” said reformist scholar Asghar Ali Engineer, whose Centre for Study of Society and Secularism along with Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan and Institute of Islamic Studies organized the meet in Delhi.
Die Malediven haben Vieles zu bieten, vor allem für den Fetischtourismus. Da ist für jeden etwas dabei: Sexuelle Gewalt, Genitalverstümmelung, öffentliche Massenauspeitschungen. In Sachen Frauenrechte konkurriert man mittlerweile mit Ländern wie Sudan und Saudi Arabien um die hinteren Spitzenplätze.
Der Westen ist komisch. Gegen Burma wird ständig gewettert, aber wenn in Bangkok Demonstranten erschossen oder in Malaysia Oppositionelle weggesperrt werden, sagt niemand etwas. Der Westen hat sich ein paar Sündenböcke herausgepickt und profiliert sich an denen als Hüter der Demokratie, für alle anderen gelten solche Maßstäbe nicht.