Sheikh Mohamad Alarefe is a popular Saudi Arabian Islamic theologian and a professor at the King Saud University. A recent “tweet” to his almost 8 million followers on his Twitter account stated: “Circumcision [FGM] is a noble act to do to women. There’s nothing wrong with doing it. Some religious scholars have issued fatwas that it’s not allowed because many that perform the circumcision cut too much and they cause damage to the woman.”
According to data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 120 to 140 million women have been subjected to this horrific and harmful practice. FGM is internationally recognized as a violation of human rights.
FGM is a brutal procedure involves the cutting out of all or part of the external female genitalia, oftentimes used as a rite of passage or a precursor to marriage. The practice is normally carried out on young girls just before or after the onset of puberty, but is also performed on newborn babies and older girls. Most cutting is done by a village lay person with improvised equipment and unsterile conditions.
The procedure serves no medical purpose and is known to cause complications such as severe bleeding, problems urinating, cysts, infections (including HIV/AIDS), pain and difficulty during sexual relations, infertility as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
The UN passed a resolution calling for the elimination of FGM in December 2012 and the practice is outlawed in many countries.