Written by Gulf News
June 09, 2008
By Ramadan Al Sherbini, Correspondent
Egypt's child law is greeted with stiff opposition
Cairo: Mustafa, a father of three girls, is proud of having his children circumcised, and vows to do the same if he gets a new baby girl. Under a new law passed by the Egyptian Parliament this week, female circumcision, also known as female genital mutilation (FGM) is criminalised.
"This is nonsense," said Mustafa, a native of the south Egyptian city of Sohag who has been living in Cairo for around 20 years. "Circumcision for girls is a must as it protects their chastity," added the 48-year-old Muslim father. "Islam also encourages circumcision for girls as well."
The new child law, which was greeted with heavy criticism from Islamist MPs, makes female circumcision a crime unless specialists rule it is a medical necessity.
The practice is believed to be widely spread in Egypt's countryside in particular. "The amendments to the old child laws reflect strange values and foreign cultures," said Mohammad Mokhtar Al Mahdi, a member of the Islamic Research Centre, an influential arm of Al Azhar, considered the Sunni Muslim world's leading institution. (Continue to full article)
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