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Some Malay-Muslims take issue with BBC’s report on ‘female genital mutilation’ in Singapore

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The BBC yesterday (20 Nov) published a report on genital mutilation in Singapore and why it exists. The article titled ‘Why female genital mutilation still exists in modern Singapore‘ said:

“Most Singaporeans have little idea of the procedure’s existence in the city-state, but it is observed, typically among Malay Muslims, who make up some 13% of the total resident population.  

Sunat Perempuan, as it is known in Malay, is usually carried out on girls before the age of two, who normally have the tip of the clitoris cut, with a tiny piece of skin sometimes removed.”

BBC also published the article in its Facebook and it invited mixed responses from its readers. Some of its Malay readers took issue with the article’s claim that “many Malay Muslims, especially amongst the older generations, believe the procedure reduces a woman’s libido and decreases the risk of extramarital sexual affairs”.

Pha Bakar whose Facebook profile lists her as a Math tutor from Malacca called the article a ‘biased’ one. In describing the act as an ‘obligation’ prescribed by Quran, Bakar said that she is ‘sexually functioning’ despite snipping her genitalia.
1Muhd Uzair Bin Hassan, whose Facebook profile suggests that he lives in Singapore, supported genital mutilation saying that it is “mainly for cleanliness”.
1While Facebook user Faiezah S Farid whose profile suggests that she is from across the causeway said that the act performed here is different from the genital mutilation practiced in African countries.
1One reader, Atikah Zainuddin, who described herself as a “Malay-Muslim woman from Singapore” said that her mother now regrets subjecting Atikah to the practice when she was just a baby.
1The BBC article quoted Ibrahim Sawifi of MUIS as saying that Islam “does not condone any procedures which bring harm to the individual”, adding that the council has “always held the position that FGM should be avoided.”Follow us on Social Media

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