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fraurosena

Female circumcision 'should be allowed by law'

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fraurosena

An appalling, abominable and abhorrent asshole in Ireland attempted to justify female genital mutilation.

Female circumcision 'should be allowed by law' - member of Ireland's Islamic Cultural Centre

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Female circumcision "has been described in a horrible way" and should be considered in certain circumstances, a member of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland has said. Dr Ali Selim called female circumcision "an inherited practice" and said parents should be allowed to have it carried out on their daughter if a doctor says it's necessary.

He also said that you "cannot control people" and people will travel overseas for the procedure.

Female circumcision, also known as female genital mutilation (FGM), is defined as the partial of total destruction of female genitalia for non-medical reasons and was made illegal here in 2012. FGM has been carried out on an estimated 200 million girls around the world, including nearly 6,000 in Ireland.

Despite the World Health Organisation stating that "the procedure has no health benefits for girls and women", Dr Selim claims it should be allowed in some instances.

Speaking on Prime Time on RTE One last night, he explained: "I am not an advocate of female genital mutilation, but of female circumcision.

"If we see female circumcision in the same way as male circumcision, it might be needed for one person and not another, it has to be determined by a doctor and practiced in a safe, medical environment. It's the same medical reasons that justify male circumcision, it's not an obligation but it should be allowed by law if needed and a medical doctor should be able to decide if it's needed."

Dr Selim, who is an Arabic lecturer at Trinity College, said he feels that female circumcision has been harshly portayed.

"It has been described in a horrible way, it's always described as 'barbaric' and we always hear the term mutilation, it is portrayed as a dark skin practice, or something that belongs in the Dark Ages. In Europe people want to be cool so you have to show a revolutionary attitude, it's an inherited practice. If it's inherited it doesn't have to be rejected, it has to be considered and not rejected just because it's inherited," he said.

Dr Selim also claimed there is little that can be done to stop people accessing female circumcision abroad. "You can't control people, it's against the law to practise abortion but people just cross the border and come back. I would say to anyone who wants to bring their daughter overseas for circumcision to ask their doctor, a medical doctor has to say that they need it," he said.

He was speaking after a worldwide social media campaign against FGM was launched in Dublin on Tuesday. Activists are calling for zero tolerance towards FGM and are asking people to use show their support on social media using the hashtag #MeTooFGM

GFM survivor Ifrah Ahmed, an Irish citizen who was born in Somalia, helped to organise the launch and said that she will fight to have it banned worldwide. She said: "Today 200 million women worldwide are living with the consequences of female genital mutilation and 100 million are at risk of being circumcised. It is amazing really."

I think in his case male castration should be equated with male circumcision.

Of course he's now desperately trying to walk back his statements because of all the blowback. 

Trinity distances itself from Muslim lecturer in FGM row

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Trinity College Dublin (TCD)has distanced itself from one of its Muslim lecturers who has advocated female genital mutilation (FGM).

Last week, Dr Ali Selim said in an RTÉ interview that he supported the practice in certain circumstances. But TCD said it "utterly condemns" the practice, with Trinity's Professor of Obstetrics Prof Deirdre Murphy adding that anyone who believed it was medically valid was "deluding themselves".

The university also described Dr Selim as a "part-time language teacher ... employed on an hourly basis to teach Arabic".

Irish Muslim centres also backed calls for Dr Selim's resignation over the controversy. Dr Selim said: "I am not an advocate of FGM, but I am an advocate of female circumcision. We see female circumcision in the same way that we see male circumcision. It might be needed for one person and not another - and it has to be done by a doctor and practised in a safe environment."

However, two other Muslim leaders, Shayk Dr Umar al-Qadri and Ifrah Ahmed, warned that the position of anyone who failed to condemn the UN-outlawed practice was untenable.

Dr al-Qadri called for the resignation of Dr Selim from the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, Clonskeagh Mosque and TCD.

"The issue of FGM is one of the welfare and safety of young women here at home and abroad," he said. "The practice is associated with numerous serious medical complications and represents a highly toxic attitude towards women in general. This makes Dr Selim's comments from his privileged position even more damaging and dangerous. We support calls for his resignation. Those who hold such damaging and harmful views that affect the lives of millions in a very tangible way should not be normalised or offered shelter by their presence in our public institutions and bodies."

Dr al-Qadri, who is chairman of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council (IMPIC), said it was clear Dr Selim's position was untenable.

"FGM is recognised by the UN as a violation of human rights. Performing or procuring the practice is a criminal offence. There are no medical, religious or cultural justifications for FGM. Muslim leaders and scholars categorically reject that the practice offers any benefits and considers it in direct contradiction to the basic tenets of Islam. The IMPIC and the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre Ireland call on all Irish Muslims to respect the law in relation to FGM in Ireland and support the global campaign to end FGM."

Meanwhile, former Master of the Coombe University Hospital Prof Chris Fitzpatrick said Dr Selim's views on female circumcision were "medically incorrect and highly dangerous".

Muslim spokesperson apologises for saying it's acceptable for girls to undergo FGM

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DR ALI SELIM, a leading figure in the Irish Muslim community, has apologised for his comments last week in which he claimed female genital mutilation is acceptable in some cases.

Last week, Selim told Prime Time that if a parent wants their daughter to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), then they should seek the advice of their doctors as it can be necessary for medical reasons. “We see female circumcision in the same way we see male circumcision. It might be needed for one person and not another, and it has to be done by a doctor and practised in a safe environment,” Selim said last Thursday.

Since then, Selim’s comments have come under sharp criticism from various quarters, with healthcare professionals, family organisations, and activists campaigning against the FGM culture refuting his claims.

Last night, Selim spoke on TV3′s Pat Kenny Show to clarify his comments.

“I condemn FGM in the strongest terms. I admit that I caused confusion based on my misunderstanding of the term [circumcision] and I do apologise for this,” Selim said. “I’m not a medical doctor. I’m not a native speaker of English either. My English is really good but definitely sometimes it lets me down,” he said.

He told Kenny that he was out of his comfort zone and “misunderstood the terms as medical experts would use them”.

FGM has no religious foundation. It is a cultural practice practiced by Muslims and non-Muslims in the past and until today’s time. I definitely support the ban of that.

The Irish College of General Practitioners and other medical organisations have clarified that there is no medical reason for FGM and it should never be done. The World Health Organisation has also condemned the “medicalisation” of FGM.

Backlash

Selim is an Arabic lecturer at Trinity College Dublin. Since his remarks last week, there has been a significant amount of backlash from the student population and the university said it would provide students with an alternative lecturer than Selim if they wished.

Reacting to this, Selim said: “I think Trinity College is run by very wise people and I think they will take the right decisions in the best interests of our students and anything in the best interests of our students I support.”

Selim also confirmed that he would not be resigning as spokesperson for the Islamic Cultural Centre.

Earlier this week, the Islamic Centre of Ireland (ICI) issued a fatwa to unequivocally condemn female genital mutilation. The fatwa – which is a ruling on a given topic based on interpretation of the sources of Islamic law – was signed by the head imam of the ICI Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri. He said that FGM in all its forms is “religiously impermissible and sinful”.

Speaking to Kenny, [Selim] said: “My understanding of fatwa is an Islamic rule issued by an Islamic scholar and Muslim scholars if they issue a fatwa we have to ask questions about that. Are they qualified to issue a fatwa and their qualification means they have to be qualified, ie. have a degree in Islam.” When asked if he would issue a fatwa against FGM as Dr Al-Qadri has done, Selim said: “I see it as an un-Islamic practice and I condemn it.”

On the public reaction to his comments, Selim said: “I do not release the Irish media to contributing to a large extent of this misunderstanding… Thousands of articles [sic] have been written so far but I was only contacted by three journalists, three people only spoke to me and asked for clarification.”

Yeah, that apology is so very sincere. NOT.

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Marly

What a lousy excuse. He misunderstood the term circumcision? Then what did he mean when he said that it is sometimes medically necessary for girls to be circumcized? I think he "misunderstood" medical necessity, bodily integrity, and human rights. I also think he has no clue of basic female anatomy. Or, more likely, seeing what he's advocating for, he just doesn't care one bit.
Additionally, surgery on the labia or vagina is already legal if it's medically necessary (when it's causing someone a lot of pain, for instance), and is then always done with the health (both physically and mentally) of the woman in mind. The removal of the clitoris, on the other hand, is never medically necessary, and is never done with the health of the woman in mind. Neither is the complete removal of the inner and outer labia and the subsequent stitching together of the remains. FGM is purely done to exercise control over women, and is never justified.

I really, really hope this man doesn’t have daughters, and if he has, that he’ll be placed under strict control to prevent him from sneaking his daughters out of the country to have them mutilated.

 

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Queen

He claims no one can prevent parents from taking their daughters overseas to mutilate them. But couldn't there be a punishment (a fine or jail) for parents who do this, even though it happens outside the borders of Ireland? 

Edited by Queen
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Marly
23 minutes ago, Queen said:

He claims no one can prevent parents from taking their daughters overseas to mutilate them. But couldn't there be a punishment (a fine or jail) for parents who do this, even though it happens outside the borders of Ireland? 

In the Netherlands this is indeed punishable, since 2013. If the FGM happens in a foreign country, but the victim has the Dutch nationality or lives in the Netherlands, the parents will be prosecuted for the crime in accordance with Dutch law. 
(For the Dutchies here who want to read it: http://www.pharos.nl/nl/kenniscentrum/meisjesbesnijdenis/nederlandse-ketenaanpak/wetgeving

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elliha
29 minutes ago, Marly said:

In the Netherlands this is indeed punishable, since 2013. If the FGM happens in a foreign country, but the victim has the Dutch nationality or lives in the Netherlands, the parents will be prosecuted for the crime in accordance with Dutch law. 
(For the Dutchies here who want to read it: http://www.pharos.nl/nl/kenniscentrum/meisjesbesnijdenis/nederlandse-ketenaanpak/wetgeving

Same in Sweden but I am not sure if anyone has yet been convicted of it.

I did read a very promising scientific report which stated that Somali individuals who live in Sweden rapidly change views about FGM and many people after just a couple of years have changed their views from thinking it is completely acceptable or somewhat acceptable to believing it is not acceptable and those who still believe it is acceptable tend to have excluded the most extensive surgeries as acceptable. The latter is of course still not OK but it is likely that these individuals may change more after a couple more years. The report actually changed a planned project to try to discourage FGM to instead focusing on the fact that the "milder" forms of FGM are also harmful. 

 

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acheronbeach

Why is this POS still lecturing when he's so publicly declared his misogyny... not to mention fundamental misunderstanding of "medical necessity"?

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Demonfan

The really insidious thing he did was to give advice to parents who want to mutilate their daughters. He says that he would advise parents to get a note from a doctor stating the procedure was medically necessary. What an ass! Just because a practice has a history doesn't mean it should continue ffs! 

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acheronbeach
3 minutes ago, Demonfan said:

The really insidious thing he did was to give advice to parents who want to mutilate their daughters. He says that he would advise parents to get a note from a doctor stating the procedure was medically necessary. What an ass! Just because a practice has a history doesn't mean it should continue ffs! 

 

Way beyond being an ass.  He abused his medical license and training in order to assist parents in  mutilating their child's body - and admittedly helped commit a crime.  It's nauseating.  It's nauseating that Trinity thinks this is a person who should train Ireland's next generation of doctors. 

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laPapessaGiovanna
Just now, acheronbeach said:

 

Way beyond being an ass.  He abused his medical license and training in order to assist parents in  mutilating their child's body - and admittedly helped commit a crime.  It's nauseating.  It's nauseating that Trinity thinks this is a person who should train Ireland's next generation of doctors. 

I haven't read anywhere that he is a physician. He teaches Arabic at TCD.

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fraurosena
25 minutes ago, Demonfan said:

Just because a practice has a history doesn't mean it should continue ffs! 

It used to be practice to hang, draw and quarter people. If we follow his logic, there’s nothing wrong with doing that now. Thankfully for him, society has grown beyond such atrocities. Otherwise... Well, I’ll leave that to the imagination.

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acheronbeach
14 minutes ago, laPapessaGiovanna said:

I haven't read anywhere that he is a physician. He teaches Arabic at TCD.

Ugh thank God... I misread that.  I'll blame it on my hangover and not my poor reading comprehension :P

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Demonfan

I believe that he is not faculty as such, rather he is employed on a per diem basis.  Even more reason for Trinity to sever all ties with his hate and misogyny.

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JillyO

What a sick fuck. I hope Trinity College fires his ass and that all the Islamic organizations where he is apparently a high-ranking member sever ties with him.

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Jellybean

I understand the desire for him to be fired and disgraced, but I suspect that would give him a bigger platform (martyr for traditional beliefs) and would cause people to rally round and listen to him. Better, IMO, for him to remain just as he is, with people prepared to make statements to the effect that Selim does not speak for [organisation], but is expressing his personal views, which are contrary to those held by this organisation. We agree with the WHO that there is no medical justification for FGM

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Duggarite
8 hours ago, Marly said:

What a lousy excuse. He misunderstood the term circumcision? Then what did he mean when he said that it is sometimes medically necessary for girls to be circumcized? I think he "misunderstood" medical necessity, bodily integrity, and human rights. I also think he has no clue of basic female anatomy. Or, more likely, seeing what he's advocating for, he just doesn't care one bit.
Additionally, surgery on the labia or vagina is already legal if it's medically necessary (when it's causing someone a lot of pain, for instance), and is then always done with the health (both physically and mentally) of the woman in mind. The removal of the clitoris, on the other hand, is never medically necessary, and is never done with the health of the woman in mind. Neither is the complete removal of the inner and outer labia and the subsequent stitching together of the remains. FGM is purely done to exercise control over women, and is never justified.

I really, really hope this man doesn’t have daughters, and if he has, that he’ll be placed under strict control to prevent him from sneaking his daughters out of the country to have them mutilated.

 

Actually some vulvar cancers do affect the clitoris as well as labia and it might be a reason to perform removal surgery. I would say that is the only reason when surgery is medically justified. Thankfully vulvar carcinoma is a rare disease and any surgeon would try to save as much healthy tissue as possible. In any case I doubt that he is taking such a limited approach for “medically necessary”. Probably he thinks that the mere existence of sexual desire is a medical reason to perform such surgery. 

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Briefly
5 hours ago, Duggarite said:

Actually some vulvar cancers do affect the clitoris as well as labia and it might be a reason to perform removal surgery. I would say that is the only reason when surgery is medically justified. Thankfully vulvar carcinoma is a rare disease and any surgeon would try to save as much healthy tissue as possible. In any case I doubt that he is taking such a limited approach for “medically necessary”. Probably he thinks that the mere existence of sexual desire is a medical reason to perform such surgery. 

Yes, that is medical necessity but it is still not FGM.  Which is never, ever, ever acceptable. But I can see how he is using that to justify his horrid, reprehensible opinion.

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mstee

I’ve ever only heard of horrible complications from FGM. Menstrual blood getting trapped, having to be cut open to have sex or give birth, then sewn back up (with the most extreme FGM), painful intercourse, infection etc. The list is negative and long. For this man to act like he knows what is best for women and to promote something so barbaric is disgusting. 

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ViolaSebastian
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He also said that you "cannot control people"

Except women and girls, apparently. Then it's totally permissible.

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artdecades

he is a university lecturer with extensive education but doesn't understand what is meant by "female circumcision"? 

 

sure jan

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Granwych

I just can't fathom any reasoning for FGM at all.  Wychling did a paper on it for high school and was thoroughly disgusted.

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Petronella

This awful and stupid guy reminds me of this other awful and stupid guy, in their absurd lack of understanding of female anatomy and yet their political certainty about women's bodies:

https://babe.net/2016/10/20/spoke-anti-tampon-tax-guy-told-women-just-hold-bladder-908

Background: this was all over the UK media in late 2016, an idiot 19-year-old guy rambling on about how protesting the tampon tax is stupid because women should just "hold their bladders." Also, he thinks protesting the tampon tax means that women are demanding that tampons be free (which would be awesome, but isn't what protesting the tampon tax is about). (Eventually he claimed that it was all a "stunt" arranged by his "publicist"(??) and he of course knows all about how menstruation works. It sounds like bizarre ass-covering to me, but even if that's true his ass-covering makes him continue to look like an utter idiot.)

(Out of the many options, I linked to a "babe.net" piece above because I wanted to avoid linking to the Mirror or Daily Mail. Also, the interview in that link is **hilarious**.)

Edited by Petronella
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Duggarite
22 hours ago, Briefly said:

Yes, that is medical necessity but it is still not FGM.  Which is never, ever, ever acceptable. But I can see how he is using that to justify his horrid, reprehensible opinion.

Of course! And, as I said, when someone has vulvar cancer the goal is to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible, and clitoris preservation is a goal. You can have the cancer origin/spread too close to it to be safely preserved, but any surgeon would consider a goal to preserve the clitoris. And yes, you are right, it is not considered FGM, it is called vulvectomy and surgeons try to preserve as much anal, bladder and sexual function as possible, not impairing those functions as much as possible, as it happens with the various types of FGM.  

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adidas

This is not aimed at anyone here, it is me speaking in frustration at what the dr said (but I will be honest - I skimmed because I was so horrified so perhaps I got it wrong). And I’m going against my rule of sharing personal stuff on the internet big time.

I have a higher risk of developing vulvar cancer than the general population and have to have frequent checks to make sure everything is okay. I know exactly what the surgery will entail if it ever comes to that, and along with my doctor we have set out an action plan for if things begin to go bad. It involves stepping in earlier rather than later (my previous cancer treatment was more difficult than it needed to be because it was delayed and we want to avoid that happening again). Of course I hope and pray I never go through it - I am incredibly scared and if I let my thoughts get away, I get worried. If you pray, I would love it if you would please say a prayer for me.

But. 

In no way, shape or form is my anxiety on par with a little girl who knows she will be subjected to circumcision. If I have to have it, my doctor will aim to preserve as much tissue as possible in order for me to have a healthy sex life afterwards. Not so the little girl undergoing circumcision. If  have to have it, i will receive full anaesthetic for the operation. Not so the little girl undergoing circumcision. If I have to have it, my procedure will be performed in a sterile operating theatre and sharp blades will be used. Not so the little girl undergoing circumcision - she might be cut with a rusty knife in the bushes near her home, laying in the dirt. If  have to have it, I will have strong painkillers, physical therapy and a psychologist to help me recover. Not so the little girl who undergoes circumcision. If I have to have it, there’s no way what I go through could be considered FGM, no matter how awful and frightening it it. They are not on par at all. 

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fraurosena

What an incredibly scary prospect for you, @adidas. Sometimes life sucks, big time. I can't imagine how you must feel with that hanging over you. I don't pray (at least not in the conventional way), but I am sending the best possible thoughts your way and hope things go as well as possible for you, and wish you all the strength you need to cope if and when the time comes.

You are quite right in your comparison of your situation to FGM. Your condition might entail a medically necessitated procedure. What those poor young girls experiencing FGM are forced to undergo is nothing short of torture. 

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samurai_sarah

@adidas I'm sorry to hear that! Sending you good thoughts and wishes that it doesn't come to cancer. But I'm glad to hear that you and your doctor are prepared for all eventualities, and you will receive the best possible care.

Thank you also for adding your perspective and making great points about the difference between the surgery you might have to face, and FGM!

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