Okay, I am pushing it this time. This post, I am pretty sure, will incur the wrath of so many people. But, as a true Arian, I will do this post head on and wait for those words to come this way with an open umbrella 😉
Female circumcision is simply put by the quick-lookup Wikipedia as Female genital cutting (FGC), female genital mutilation (FGM), or female circumcision (FC), is the excision or tissue removal of any part of the female genitalia for cultural, religious or other non-medical reasons.
It has been said that this procedure should be done so as to reduce the “evilness” in a woman and to disallow herself to experience sexual pleasure or to reduce lust.
In my post today, I would like to address this issue from the Malay cultural and religious reasons in Malaysia (putting up my shield now) following a heated discussion with a friend, JS, recently.
Female circumcision in whatever forms it comes by, is by no means originated from Islamic tradition. The act itself had never been mentioned directly, indirecly or mandated in the Holy Quran or any Hadith. However, having established this fact, one Hadith did infact appears to accept it.
In Malaysia, it is a misnomer to label female circumcision as FGC or FGM in its truest context as there are no evidence of any injury of physical deformation on the organ itself. Unlike what has been practised in other countries such as Middle Eastern nations and in particular North East Africa, the act of female circumcision here are done based on ritual such as performing a “cutting ceremony” by nicking the tip of clitoris and drawing some blood to symbolise the actual “cutting” act itself. There was no history that I read so far that may described it being done otherwise. It is said the best time to perform this ritual is when the baby is between 44 days old and before she reaches puberty which is about 11 years old.
Cultural Point Of View
It is very important to reflect the FC prevailent in Malay society from its cultural point of view.
Many Malays have long viewed that the female circumcision as a desirable and an acceptable form of practice from cultural and as well as religious point of view (although now we know that it is not required in the religion). The cultural aspect comes in a form of “acceptance” as being part of being a Malay itself and is seen as a rite of passage.
This non-genital mutilation circumcision are usually observed by the Malays in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei. I have yet chanced any other reading materials from any other Asian countries such as from Philipines or even Thailand on this topic so if any of you readers have anywhere to point me to these sources, do let me know.