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The fatwas against female genital mutilation TARGET's greatest success

TARGET's conference of scholars in Cairo in 2006 ended with groundbreaking results

At the “International Conference of Islamic Scholars against Female Genital Mutilation”, organized by TARGET, discussed on November 22nd and 23rd, 2006highest international scholars of Islam and medical scientists in the Azhar to Cairo on the sensitive issue of female genital mutilation and the position of Islam on this custom. Among the scholars were the Grand Sheikh of the Azhar - Prof. Dr. Tantawi, the Grand Mufti of Egypt - Prof. Dr. Ali Gom’a, the Egyptian Minister for Religious Affairs - Prof. Dr. Zakzouk and Sheikh Qaradawi from Qatar as well as Islamic scholars from Europe, Asia and Africa. Further participants were Ms. Moushira Chattab, the ambassador of the President's wife Ms. Mubarak and Rüdiger Nehberg and Annette Weber for TARGET as initiators of the conference. Grand Mufti Prof. Dr. Ali Gom’a, the highest authority on Islamic legal issues in Egypt, took over the patronage. The sensational result: "Female genital mutilation offends against the highest values ​​of Islam and is therefore a punishable crime." In other words:

Genital mutilation of girls and women is forbidden in Islam!

The Grand Mufti had suggested the location and participants. They couldn't have been better chosen. The Azhar is considered the "Mecca of the learned". It is also the oldest and largest university in the world. The Grand Mufti is the highest authority for the preparation of binding legal opinions. His decisions are considered to be trend-setting for Muslims around the world. The main aim of the two-day conference was to clarify the question: "Is there a binding request from the prophet in the Holy Scriptures to mutilate girls?" The scholars commented on this. There is one Hadith (Tradition of what the prophet said, did or tolerated - written down after his death), of which one has so far been one Sunnah (exemplary, prophet-oriented action). According to her, the "easy" circumcision of women was a desirable practice. The hadiths are divided into strong, that is, absolutely credible, less strong and weak (that is, not very reliably transmitted) scriptures.


It was discussed with surprising frankness. The theologians soon agreed that the related hadiths to be classified as "weak", that is, as not very credible is. The question that remained to be answered was whether the “slight” mutilation should actually be assessed as physical damage. It is generally played down and compared to male circumcision. “In case of doubt,” commands the Koran, “ask the scientists!”. That is why five doctors were invited, experts from Egypt, Ethiopia and Germany. From Berlin, Prof. Dr. Kentenich from the DRK hospital. The patron Prof. Dr. Ali Gom’a as well as Sheikh Qaradawi from Qatar placed increased value. For many Muslims, the man from the Gulf State is regarded as the “walking reference work of Islam”.


TARGET's breakthrough: Islam outlaws female genital mutilation!

Dr. Lukman, gynecologist and surgeon from Addis Ababa, compared the removal of the clitoris to the severing of the glans of the man, the Pharaonic mutilation even to the chopping off of the entire penis. Prof. Kentenich from Berlin listed the unspeakable side effects that mutilations lead to. There was talk of lifelong pain and trauma, death from bleeding to death and shock. The Egyptian doctors spoke of the robbery of the female emotional center, the soul and the dignity of women. TARGET showed a two-minute film that documents the horror of crime acoustically and visually without glossing over it. There has never been a comparable open discussion of this theological dimension.


Imam Tarafa Baghajati from Austria clearly stated the right of the Muslim woman to an unrestrictedly fulfilled sexuality. “Even more than the man, because it has to bear the consequences, namely pregnancy.” Moushira Khatab demanded “a clear statement from the Azhar “And spoke to us from the heart. After two days of discussion, the delegates withdrew to deliberate. For Rüdiger and Annette Nehberg from TARGET, it was an almost unbearable waiting time. On November 23 at 4:12 p.m. local time, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Shama, confidante of the Grand Mufti, approved the decision. It has the value of a fatwa, a binding legal opinion, and is tantamount to a theological sensation.



“The genital cutting of women is an inherited bad habit (...) without a basis in the Koran or an authentic tradition of the Prophet. (...) Therefore, the practices must be stopped based on one of the highest values ​​of Islam, namely not to be allowed to harm people for no reason. (...) Rather, this is viewed as a punishable aggression against the human race. (...) devastating consequences for society. (...) The legislative organs are called upon to declare this cruel bad habit as a crime. "


Prof. Dr. Ali Gom’a, Grand Mufti of Egypt

Mutilation is therefore outlawed in Islam! We can hardly grasp the dimensions of this conference result. Now is the time to take the decision to the people. Even more so than the Azhar conference, for which we introduced the 36-hour day, this will be our mission for the next few years and until the end of female genital mutilation. We are ready!


Delegate comments after the conference:

Sheikh Abkar from Chad:

“I'm not ashamed to admit that I knew nothing about the scope of the crime. I will oppose the custom with all my possibilities. TARGET has found its strongest ally in me. The conference was a 200% success. "


Imam Diallo from Mali reports that he was even removed from his post as Grand Mufti when he dared to oppose this tradition a few years ago. He was placed under police protection for two weeks. “Help me announce this resolution in my country. I invite the religious leaders from all twenty West African countries. "


Surgeon dr. Lukman from Ethiopia:

"The success of this conference has given my life the greatest fulfillment."


Prof. Dr. Kentenich from Berlin:

“How did you manage to get this conference off the ground? I am very impressed and happy to have been there. "