Mosque: girls must be circumcised
8 April 2004
AMSTERDAM — For the first time in the Netherlands, a mosque has come out
in support of female circumcision, according to a newspaper report
The highly controversial statement on circumcision comes from a pamphlet "Fatwas
of Muslim Women" provided by the El Towhee mosque in Amsterdam for its
open day. A fatwa is an official statement or order from an Islamic
The pamphlet says that women who lie deserve 100 blows and the husband's
duty of care for his wife is negated if she refuses him sex or leaves the
home without his permission, newspaper Trouw reported.
There have been many claims in the media in recent years about "imported
brides" who are forced by their husbands to stay in the family home —
unless accompanied outside by a male relative. Some of these women, it is
claimed, live in total isolation from Dutch society.
The call for girls to be circumcised — removing part of the female
genitalia — is likely to cause the biggest outcry so far. If done right,
the mosque's pamphlet claims, circumcision is healthy for both boys and
But unlike male circumcision — in which the mosque claims that for reasons
of hygiene, the male's foreskin can be circumcised — there are absolutely
no medical grounds for female circumcision.
Nevertheless, it urges that the foreskin of a girl's clitoris should be
removed, but not the clitoris itself — as is often wrongly assumed to be
the case. Removing the foreskin would help the woman keep her feelings of
lust under control, the pamphlet says.
In recent weeks, politicians have called for the Dutch government to do
more to stop the practice among immigrant communities. To date, the Health
Ministry has ruled out compulsory checks on girls to make sure they have
not been circumcised.
The Pharos health centre for refugees said never before has a mosque in
the Netherlands come out publicly in support of female circumcision.
Ironically, El Tawheed Mosque organised the open day to counteract
negative publicity caused by previous controversial statements made by one
of its imams which were condemned as fostering anti-western and anti-woman
On one highly-publicised occasion, an imam referred to non-Muslims as
"firewood for hell" and he forbade Islamic women to leave the family home
without the permission of their husbands.
"Fatwas of Muslim Women" continues on this theme and states that science
has proved men and women differ in "biological nature, physical
capabilities and mental capacity". It says it is unjust to give women the
same "responsibilities, rights and duties as men".
The pamphlet, written by a "prominent imam" and published in Egypt in
2000, was one of the many booklets available at the open day.
Trouw noted "Fatwas of Muslim Women" lacks any biographical information
about the author, Mufti Ibn Taymyah (or Taymiyya).
He lived in the 14 century and has been described by Arabism scholar Hans
Jansen as an "influential ideologue for militant Islamists". Jansen has
drawn comparisons between Taymyah and Osama bin Laden.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]