An influential Muslim cleric in Virginia made a video presentation endorsing female genital mutilation.
FGM is a good way to prevent “hypersexuality” and is “the honorable thing to do – if needed – for girls,” Imam Shaker Elsayed stated in the video.
Elsayed heads the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in the Washington, DC, suburb of Falls Church, Virginia.
The imam made the video presentation on May 19, amid the controversy over the prosecution in Detroit of individuals who performed FGM on two seven year-old girls.
“The imam advised parents to consult a ‘Muslim gynecologist,’ endorsing only the form of genital cutting known as ‘Type 1’ or ‘clitoridectomy,’ which involves causing clitoral damage,” Heat Street reports. “Anything more than that, Elsayed said, ’causes serious harm in the sexual life of the child when she grows up.'”
Elsayed’s pro-FGM lecture appeared on YouTube as an official Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center production. After the Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI) publicized the comments, the mosque pulled down the video, Heat Street says, “but it can be viewed here.”
Publicity of the video has caused chaos in the mosque. The Virginian-Pilot reports that the mosque’s board slammed Elsayed’s pro-FGM lecture as being against US and Islamic law.
“We at Dar al-Hijrah, DO NOT condone, promote, or support any practice of FGM,” the Dar al-Hijra board stated to the Virginian-Pilot. “The reference to ‘Hyper-sexuality’ is offensive and it is unequivocally rejected. The Board of Directors is particularly disturbed by such comments.”
But Elsayed remains on the job.