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Women's Circumcision: Culture and Religion in Malaysia Departed by Millions of Girls – World News



Updated

November 13, 2018, 8:08:10

Fa Abdul was nine years old when she learned that she was circumcised when she was just a child.

Key points

  • A 2012 study found that 93 percent of Muslim women in Malaysia were circumcised
  • Female apostles are not listed in the Quran or the Hadiths, women's attorneys say
  • One mother says Malaysian culture and society "was expecting that we would do it"

She was one of the millions of girls across Malaysia, whose families believed that circumcision of women protected young girls from sin.

"Many Malaysian Muslims will tell you that circumcising will protect girls from growing and becoming wild," says Abdullah.

Mrs Abdula spoke with ABC about her experiences with a new documentary called The Hidden Cut – was released last week.

Chen Yih Wen, a senior producer from the group behind the documentary, R.AGE, said the team started a documentary after Malaysia was criticized at the United Nations Forum in February.

Switzerland hosted the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which allowed the practice of female circumcision or female genital mutilation to continue.

Documentary work revealed that procedures are widely implemented in private clinics and are not regulated.

"The government announced that it will draw up guidelines in 2012, but none of our doctors told you they had received it," said Vena.

Mrs Abdullah, a journalist and online journalist Malaysiakini, gave birth to her first child, a girl at the age of 20.

"You just follow and stop asking questions"

Due to religious and family pressure, her daughter was subject to female circumcision.

"The doctor pulled out a sliver and used something that looked like a needle to block the clitoral cover," she said.

"A [flow] came out of the blood, and then my daughter began to weep. "

Ten years later, Mrs Abdul's wife for circumcision changed dramatically, after she learned that there was no medical benefit, and that it was simply a religious order.

"We were born in culture and society hoped we would do it," she said.

"By doing this automatically, you simply follow and stop asking questions.

"I was young and naive, and I did not really know what I was doing – the question I asked myself:" If that's useless, why do we do that? " "

"We mix it with Islam"

A women's rights group based in Kuala Lumpur, known as Islamic sister, said ABC that female circumcision in Malaysia is widespread due to an increase in conservative movement.

In countries where Islam is the largest religion, according to Islamic sisters, the trend is "Islamis all".

"People are afraid to question the practice as if they are questioning God," said Syarifatul Adibah, Senior Program Officer from Islamic Sisters.

"[Female circumcision] there is no Quran or Hadita [a collection of Prophet Muhammad’s sayings], "Added Adiba.

"But if they consider something as a religious order or a fat, then it's difficult for people to really challenge and discuss this issue."

In 2009, the Islamic Council for Religious Affairs (JAKIM) in Malaysia decided that female circumcision became obligatory when moving from the recommended one, but if harm should be avoided.

Three years later, a study by Dr. Maznah Dahl, of the Malala Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, found that 93 percent of the Muslim women surveyed were circumcised.

More than 80 percent of respondents said that religious duties were behind the cause, while 16 percent talked about the control of sexual disks.

Ms. Abdul said that there are often many things in society that copy the behavior of Africans and Arabs and defend them as a religious background.

"We mix it with Islam and we think that everything that they have is Islam," she said.

She also said that regardless of religion or cultural tradition, parents are not entitled to do everything they want to do to their children.

"Not only women, but every person has the right to their own body," she said.

ABC contacted the Malaysian Ministry of Health, the Malaysian Islamic Medical Association, and Penang Medical College, but they did not respond to comments.

Themes:

women

the position of women

human rights

sexual health

justice – crime and justice

sexuality

Malaysia

Indonesia

Asia

First inserted

November 13, 2018 06:12:15


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