It is deplorable that Islam is stigmatized on the basis of lack of knowledge about Islam among various Muslims, says the new leader of the Islamic Council (Islamsk Råd), Senaid Kobilica.
At a Children and and Equality Affairs department seminar about genital mutilation, Senaid Kobilica strongly disagrees with circumcision of girls and women and various Muslims' interpretation of the Koran on the subject.
"Islamsk Råd strongly disagrees with every female form of circumcision," said Kobilica and showed that the council had disagreed with genital mutilation in TV campaigns in 2005.
Kobilica, who is also an imam, said that the Koran doesn't say anything about genital mutilation.
"Female circumcision isn't mentioned at in the Koran and has no support in other Muslim source. It is a basic principle in Islamic guidance that you shall do nothing which harms health." he says.
Kobilica thinks that genital mutilation is a cultural phenomenon and shows that women from different religions are circumcised. "women circumcision takes place in the 'Nomad belt'. There Jewish, Muslim and Christian girls are circumcised."
He also calls on Muslims in Norway to follow Norwegian laws. "The Muslims in Norway live in freedom to practice Islam. We therefore don't live in the house of war and must therefore obey Norwegian laws."
Karita Bekkemellem, Minister of Children and Equality Affairs is satisfied that the new leader of the Islamic council disagrees with genital mutilation. She will not say that she supports gynecological examination to uncover genital mutilation.
"This isn't a so called religious issue. But there is very clear significance that religious leaders stand forward clearly. It is clear that people with much authority have influence on this issue and I am incredibly glad for what Kobilica is saying," Bekkemellem said to Nettavisen.
The government has an action plan already against genital mutilation but now Bekkemellem will prepare a new plan."
[This last part appeared in the original article but was since removed]
Hege Storhaug thinks that the new leaders of the Islamic council are not citing the Koran correctly.
"We require many departments at work and many players likes schools and health services. Genital mutilation is the worst terror attack against small girls. We must stop minimizing what it is," she says.
Hege Storhaugh, of Human Rights Service, is not as satisfied with the new leader of the Islamic Council as Bekkemellem. She accuses him quite simply of lies. "I am astonished that he promotes lies. In Sunni Islam there are four schools of law. Three of them commend genital mutilation, while the fourth requires it," says Storhaug.
But Kobilica is quite clear. "That which can cause illness and injure health is entirely forbidden in Islam," he says to Nettavisen.
Source: Nettavisen (Norwegian)