International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation.Photo UNICEF / Olivier Asselin via wikimedia commons
CAIRO – 14 February 2019: Dar al-Ifta, Egypt's central authority for issuing religious rulings, confirmed that Islam did not order Muslims to circumcise their daughters, and that it was not proven that Prophet Muhammad circumcised his daughters.
In a Motion Graphics video, Dar al-Ifta explained that some people who are ineligible for issuing fatwas (Islamic rulings) claim that preventing female genital mutilation is prohibited in Islam.
The religious body said that devout doctors have affirmed that female genital mutilation causes harms that may lead to death. It stressed that Islam came to protect people's lives, adding that actions threatening people's lives are undoubtedly prohibited.
Female genital mutilation is not a religious issue; it was a common practice among the Nile basin countries in the past, Dar al-Ifta said, adding that ancient Egyptians circumcised females, and that such habit moved to some Arab regions.
On July 10, 2018, Vivian Fouad, the National Population Council (NPC)'s FGM program spokeswoman, told Egypt Today that awareness campaigns to combat female genital mutilation (FGM) in Egypt are paying off.
The presence of programs raised the citizens' awareness of the phenomenon through civil society organizations, she added, noting that the council cooperated with the Public Prosecution and the Ministry of Interior to enforce the law and punish violators.
According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Demographic and Health Survey in Egypt in 2000 showed that 97 percent of married women included in the survey had experienced female genital mutilation.
Additionally, a pilot study by the Health Insurance Organization showed that 41 percent of female students in primary, preparatory and secondary schools had undergone FGM.
Additional reporting by Walaa Ali