INTERNATIONAL

Somali Issues ‘Fatwa’ Banning Female Genital Mutilation

The Somali’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, on Tuesday, issued a “fatwa”, or religious edict, banning Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), in the country.

The edict said those who perform FGM would face punishment, and victims would be eligible for compensation.

“The reason that this harmful practice has existed for so long is that people believe it is because our religion or culture dictates that we should do it,” said Ayan Mahamoud, Somali land’s representative in Britain.

“The fatwa is basically a message from the government to everyone in Somali land that there is no religious or cultural basis for FGM,” Mahamoud added.

Mahamoud said the religious ban, which coincided with the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, was timely as it comes weeks before a bill outlawing the practice is expected to before parliament.

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