Eight Somalian imams are meeting in Trondheim in order to make a declaration against female circumcision. The goal is that the declaration would serve as a basis for a fatwa.
Trondheim's imam Sheikh Abdinur Mahamoud met together with seven other imam yesterday in a conference on "how to stop female circumcision?" Imam Abdinur says they will make a declaration together against female circumcision. The conference will be used to inform on Islam's position on the custom and kill the myths that the practice is religious.
The imams come from Nairobi, Stocholm, Bergen, Finnsnes, Tromsø and Vestby.
Three weeks ago imam Abdinur said to Adresseavisen that female circumcision is a crime against Islam and that he will take an active part in the fight against the practice. Yesterday and today the imams are working on what they hope will end in a fatwa. A fatwa is a judicial declaration from an Islamic scholar on what should be done according to Islamic practice.
Abdinur says that first they will prepare the declaration, then they will speak with more imams to see if they can make a fatwa together.
The imams think there is a need for a fatwa even though Norwegian, Kenyan and Swedish law forbids female circumcision.
Abdinur says that everybody must obey Norwegian law and that they only inform on the religion. But they hope would have a moral effect and that the religion won't be used as an excuse for the practice. He says that Islam in itself is proof that female circumcision isn't accepted, but thinks a fatwa can contribute to sweep away all doubt.
The koran doesn't say anything about either male or female circumcision. Imam Abdinur explains why he thinks Islam doesn't justify the practice, even though it is accepted by sevearal hadiths. Abdinur says that imams who have studied this carefully show that these are weak hadiths that aren't valid. They don't have support from the prophet and are therefore not good enough evidence that this is accpeted as a custom in Islam. Yet some use them.
According to the imams they want to direct the fatwa at groups who come to Norway to practice the custom. Bashe Musse, head of the Somali network in Oslo, who put an the agenda this summer a local fatwa against female circumicison. Following up on that, the Islamic Council of Norway had then turned to the European Council for Fatwa to put out a fatwa.
Musse, one of the initiators of the Trondheim conference, says that this didn't happen. Regardless, a fatwa that doesn't come from a Somali imam will have little impact among Somalians. Therefore, he says, they want to make their own fatwa, so that they reach the actual community.
Somali imam Sheikh Hussein Ibrahim Burale had come from Nairobi to take part in the conference. He has dealt with opposition among imams in Kenya, due ot his position. He says that there are imams that support the custom. They have met with resistance, but he sees that more are being convinced. it's a process and he says that western countries can contribute by demanding from authorities who get support that this can not continue.
Source: Adressa (Norwegian)
See also: Norway: Responses to female circumcision, Norway: Somalis support female circumcision, Norway: Islamic council comes out against genital mutilation