The problem with the Islamic debate about FGM

by - 19th March 2014

USAMA HASAN, Senior Researcher at the Quilliam Foundation, has taken up the baton re FGM's return to the Maldives - which Lapido was the first outside those islands to report - in his latest blog here.

Unfortunately, he bases his argument on the interpretative method of ‘strong and weak hadith’. 

This does not work since the strongest hadith – the collection known as Sahih Bukhari – themselves lack a certain, um, credibility.  Bukhari for instance tells how Muhammed met and married his six-year old wife, and consummated it when she was nine in Volume 5, book 58, No. 236  

I know of at least one Nigerian senator who followed Muhammed’s example, justifying thereby his ‘purchase‘ of a 13-year old girl from Egypt.  Unicef took up the case, and we reported on it in 2012.

This Muslim website explains the honoured place Bukhari has in the tradition, and why – here.

'Bukhari worked such that only after being completely satisfied with the hadith in question did he give it a place in his book. Due to this great care which was taken, the people were heard to say that the ahadith which Bukhari has narrated have been so carefully phrased and with such precision that it is felt that Bukhari had heard the ahadith directly through the Prophet(SAW).

Allaamah Nawawi relates that all scholars in Islam have agreed that Sahih Bukhari has earnestly gained the reward of being the most authentic after the Holy Qura'an.'

To justify anything by the hadith is to deal in deception.  Muslims I respect reject them wholesale. 

I’ve followed the Islamic debate for thirty years, and when Muslims first started engaging with British critics, usually through the journal QNews, they would simply deny those bits of Islam that the West did not like – and no one was in a position to argue with them. 

Leading Muslims are still in denial, only with less facility due to the existence of the web.  Since that time, we have seen a massive growth on these islands of child sex grooming, FGM with impunity, child marriages contracted abroad and so on.

This is the sexuality Lapido abhors.