Special Rapporteur Yakin Ertürk mentions the exemplary character of the ban on FGM reached at TARGET’s conference in Kairo in her UN-Report to the HRC of 17 January 2007 (A/HCR/4/34; pp. 20-21, paragraph 55):
“55. Cultural discourses can also complement and reinforce the human rights discourse. On 25 November 2006 , for instance, a group of distinguished Islamic scholars assembled at Al-Azhar University in Cairo issued a set of recommendations recognizing that female genital mutilation “is a deplorable, inherited custom, which is practiced in some societies and is copied by some Muslims in several countries”.(38) They concluded that “there are no written grounds for this custom in the Qu’ran with regard to an authentic tradition of the Prophet” and acknowledged that “female genital circumcision practiced today harms women psychologically and physically” and should be “seen as a punishable aggression against humankind”. They demanded that “the practice must be stopped in support of one of the highest values in Islam, namely to do no harm to another”, and called for its criminalization. Recommendations such as these are exemplary and praiseworthy provided that they are embedded in an earnest and ongoing process to examine and, if necessary, reinterpret the entire spectrum of cultural norms that discriminate against women and they are not only tactical concessions to reaffirm dominant discriminatory paradigms and the authority of those who represent them.”
(38) Available at:
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