Source: The Washington Post
A Virginia mosque has publicly condemned the words of its leading imam, highlighting lingering divisions among Muslim leaders over the controversial and widely rejected practice of female genital mutilation.
The Board of Directors at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church said Monday that Imam Shaker Elsayed’s seeming endorsement of the outlawed practice as “the honorable thing to do if needed” ran afoul of both U.S. and Islamic law.
Elsayed’s comments during a lecture on child rearing and family life last month sparked a brief controversy last Friday after a right-wing watchdog group circulated a video clip of his speech online.
Female genital mutilation (FGM), branded a human rights violation by the World Health Organization and by most governments, is a common practice among certain Muslim and Christian populations in Africa and parts of Asia. The practice can range from a small incision or partial removal of the clitoris to a full removal of the clitoris and labia and the infibulation of the vaginal opening — procedures that the WHO says can lead to hemorrhaging, chronic infections, childbirth complications and even death.