President Maumoon speaks out against FGM

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom. (Sun File Photo/fayaz Moosa)

Religious scholar and former President of the Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has spoken out against female circumcision.

Maumoon tweeted yesterday that there was no religious principle for female circumcision after the Islamic Ministry requested for the viewpoint of the Fatwa Council regarding female circumcision.

The request which has now been terminated was made in a letter from the Islamic Minister Dr. Ahmed Zahir sent on January 5, to the president of the Fatwa Council Sheikh Mohamed Rasheed and requested to provide the religious standpoint on female circumcision as soon as possible.

Former President Maumoon stated that Islam called for the “protection of the physical, mental and spiritual well-being” of humans and that there was no basis for female genital mutilation in Islam.

Female circumcision was a common practice in the country before it was eradicated from the country in the 1970s.

Research has shown that it can have a negative and life-threatening effect on children. Efforts by the WHO against the practice has seen it eradicated from several countries. However, there are still some countries where the practice is conducted.