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Of the four Sunni schools of sharia, it is the Shafi’is who have said that circumcision of girls is compulsory. TheReliance of the Traveller, a respected manual of Shafi’i jurisprudence, states “Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the clitoris” (section e4.3). [The English translation by Nuh Ha Mim Keller (certified by Al-Azhar University) disguises the true meaning of the Arabic text by offering the following bogus English ‘translation’: “For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. Bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert).” ]
For those that deny FGM has anything to do with Islam:
In 2009, the Fatwa Committee of Malaysia's National Council of Islamic Religious Affairs ruled that "female circumcision", as it has become known, was obligatory for Muslims but if harmful must be avoided.
Non-Muslim women in Indonesia and Philippines being subjected to FGM when marrying a Muslim man which entails converting to Islam.
In the UK and very commendably, "[the] Muslim Council of Britain says female genital mutilation is 'un-Islamic'" however it is unclear on what authority their claim that FGM "no longer linked to the teaching of Islam" is based.
The position of the four main schools of Sunni sharia is:
- The Shafi'i school considers female circumcision to be wajib (obligatory).
- The Hanbali school considers female circumcision to be makrumah (honorable) and strongly encouraged, to obligatory.
- The Maliki school considers female circumcision to be sunnah (optional) and preferred.
- The Hanafi school considers female circumcision to be sunnah (preferred).
The differences in jurist opinions focuses around several hadith from the Sunni collections:
A summary by country (of variable data quality) can be found here: