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Of the four Sunni schools of sharia, it is the Shafi’is who have said that circumcision of girls is compulsory. TheReliance of the Traveller, a respected manual of Shafi’i jurisprudence, states  “Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the clitoris” (section e4.3).  [The English translation by Nuh Ha Mim Keller (certified by Al-Azhar University) disguises the true meaning of the Arabic text by offering the following bogus English ‘translation’: “For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. Bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert).” ]

For those that deny FGM has anything to do with religion:

In 2009, the Fatwa Committee of Malaysia's National Council of Islamic Religious Affairs ruled that "female circumcision", as it has become known, was obligatory for Muslims but if harmful must be avoided.

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) is bucking a United Nation’s campaign to ban female circumcision, demanding that the government keep the practice legal.

Indonesian Ulema in favour of female circumcision: a "human right"

Non-Muslim women in Indonesia and Philippines being subjected to FGM when marrying a Muslim man which entails converting to Islam.

Indian Muslim sect promoting FGM:

  • Muslim group called Dawoodi Bohra Women for Religious Freedom posted tweet
  • Video featured woman justifying 'khafz' - or female circumcision - on young girls
  • But group paid for 'promoted' tweet so it showed up for users who didn't follow it
  • Twitter said the promoted tweet had been 'removed for violation of our policies'

This opinion from the National Secular Society: Let’s face facts: FGM has something to do with religion

Also this fatwa: 

Circumcision is not an inherited custom as some people claim, rather it is prescribed in Islam and the scholars are unanimously agreed that it is prescribed. Not a single Muslim scholar – as far as we know – has said that circumcision is not prescribed. 

However, there is considerable debate within Islam regarding FGM:

FGM is practised predominantly within Muslim societies,[7] but it also exists within Christian and animist groups.[8]It is found only within and adjacent to Muslim communities,[8] but it is not required by Islam—indeed, Muslim scholars have declared it unIslamic[9]—and predates it by centuries.[b] There is mention of it on a Greek papyrusfrom 163 BCE and a possible indirect reference to it on a coffin from Egypt's Middle Kingdom (c. 1991–1786 BCE).[10] It has been found among Coptic Christians in Egypt, Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia, and Protestantsand Catholics in Sudan and Kenya.[11] The only Jewish group known to have practised it are the Beta Israel of Ethiopia.[c]

Many fatwas have been issued on FGM to both support and oppose the practice. This article helps summarise the position:

In the UK and very commendably, "[the] Muslim Council of Britain says female genital mutilation is 'un-Islamic'" however it is unclear on what authority their claim that FGM "no longer linked to the teaching of Islam" is based.

The position of the four main schools of Sunni sharia is:

  • The Shafi'i school considers female circumcision to be wajib (obligatory).[36]
  • The Hanbali school considers female circumcision to be makrumah (honorable) and strongly encouraged, to obligatory.[37]
  • The Maliki school considers female circumcision to be sunnah (optional) and preferred.[37]
  • The Hanafi school considers female circumcision to be sunnah (preferred).[37]

The differences in jurist opinions focuses around several hadith from the Sunni collections:

A summary by country (of variable data quality) can be found here:

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