Parliament opens for opinion on Female Genital Mutilation

Islamic scholar Dr. Mohamed Iyaz | Photo: Avas

Malé, Maldives – The Parliament on Tuesday, decided to get the opinion of the Islamic and other authorities following Dr. Iyaz’s support for female genital mutilation (FGM) amid public calls to criminalize the human rights violation.

A bill was submitted to the Parliament’s Human Rights and Gender Committee today against a lecturer at Maldives National University (MNU), Dr. Mohamed Iyaz for encouraging “Female Genital Mutilation” (FGM).

The case was submitted by Parliament Member for Galolhu Dhekunu Constituency, Meekail Ahmed Naseem to the Parliament’s Human Rights and Gender Committee, regarding a tweet by Dr. Mohamed Iyaz featuring an article on “Medical benefits of female circumcision” and encouraging the Female Genital Mutilation” (FGM).

MP Meekail stated that Dr. Mohamed Iyaz being an Assistant Professor of MNU and encouraging harmful practices for women is a danger for the women of Maldives, and it is an obstruction to the safety of women’s rights.

However, Dr. Mohamed Iyaz tweeted in response to MP Meekail’s action and stated that calling out to fire a person from his job or take actions against him “just because he expressed his thoughts on an Islamic research” is an uneducated act.Dr. Mohamed Iyaz asked for valid proof against him and stated to stop trying to criticize the things that were already decided by Allah.

During the Human Rights Committee meeting on Tuesday, MP Rozaina Adam said that it would be better to get the opinion of the Islamic Ministry on female genital mutilation so that they can come to a decision on the debate. Other members of the committee added go MP Rozaina’s request.

The public has also been outraged by the tweets of Dr. Iyaz as he has been recently continuously posting tweets advocating for FGM although it is a harmful practice for women’s health and an internationally recognized human rights violation against women. While Dr. Iyaz is also an Assistant Professor of the Maldives National University (MNU), the university has also initiated a review against Dr. Iyaz for advocating FGM.

However, former President, Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom stated that the circumcision of women is not required in Islam. Former Islamic Minister, Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed also stated the same as former President Maumoon, noting that the circumcision of small girls is not encouraged in Islam.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. This practice has no health benefits for girls and women. It is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women and the World Health Organization (WHO) is strongly urges health care providers to not perform FGM.