Analysis, Europe

Female Circumcision yet Another Attempt to Criminalize Muslims

The Public Prosecutor’s office is prosecuting a Muslim preacher for “sedition and inciting violence towards women”, because he pointed out in one of his online classes at As-Sunnah mosque in The Hague that female circumcision is recommended in Islam.

As a result, he faces 120 hours of community service or a 60-day prison sentence with an additional month of conditional prison. He can also say goodbye to his ambitions as imam or Islam teacher because of he has been demonized in such a way that he will not be a hired anywhere.

While he only proposed works of Islamic jurisprudence that have been taught for centuries. As his attorney summarized: “Just image. One moment you are reading out of a book and in the next moment you are standing trial in court”.

Female circumcision is illegal in the Netherlands; that is, the person who undergoes it as well as the person that performs it are punishable by law. But if it were up to the Public Prosecutor’s office, even expressing an opinion that contradicts a law, is considered a criminal act because it is considered equal to “sedition and inciting violence towards women.” What is really being said here is that even just studying a religion that does not confirm to the ruling laws is illegal. Put differently, religion can only be taught when it conforms to the framework of the secular thought. Does not enforcing limitations in ones thinking act as a thought police? Where is the so-called religious and academic freedom that they uphold so highly?

If they truly fear that circumcision is a form of mutilation and calling towards it equal to inciting violence, why then do they make an exception for men? The principle is the same. Is the circumcision of men not mutilation and incitement towards violence but female circumcision is? Where then is the so-called principle of equality between male and female.

If they, based on the above mentioned reasons, decide to ban male circumcisions, and are the proponents of circumcision then they are no longer allowed to call towards their religious rituals and traditions? Are we then also punishable by law if we teach them? Is this what is meant by “freedom of religion”?

And if mild procedures on private parts are viewed as mutilation, why then is it allowed to proactively support children with hormonal treatments and gender transition whereby a far more dramatic change to the body is made?

The inconsistencies speak for themselves. Moreover, it lacks nuance regarding the many forms of female circumcision, ranging from very minor procedures like applying an incision to far-reaching procedures like mutilating, completely removing of sewing together the female private parts. This is also prohibited in Islam.

Female circumcision is one of those many subjects that are extensively discussed by scholars within the long tradition of Islamic jurisprudence. We, as a political party, do not take a certain stance within this matter. The position we do take however is against the policy that structurally applies double standards when it comes to Islam and the Muslims. The matter reaches farther than just female circumcision.

Yesterday, it was the niqab, de “sharia marriages”, halal slaughter and the question whether one is loyal to the Netherlands or not. Today it is female circumcision and funding mosques. Tomorrow, undoubtedly, it will be something else from the deen of Islam which will be targeted.

Regardless of whether we are proponent or opponent of this matter, if we as a Muslim community stand by idly how parts of our Islamic jurisprudence are being systematically considered unwanted, attacked, and even criminalized, then the end is near.

Then which Islam are we “allowed” to proclaim? One which pleases the people that attack Islam? A “Dutch Islam” stripped off from her political, societal, and economic aspects? Or an Islam that pleases the Creator? The choice is yours.


Okay Pala

Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in The Netherlands

Sunday, 16th Shawwal 1441 AH

07/06/2020 CE

No.: 1441 / 09