Muslim Council of Britain says female genital mutilation is ‘un-Islamic’

June 23, 2014 

The Muslim Council of Britain, the country’s largest Muslim organisation, has condemned the practice of female genital mutilation as “un-Islamic” and told its members that FGM risks bringing their religion into disrepute. The influential MCB has for the first time issued explicit guidance, which criticises the practice and says it is “no longer linked to the teaching of Islam”. It added that one of the “basic principles” of Islam was that believers should not harm themselves or others.

The organisation will send flyers to each of the 500 mosques that form its membership, which will also be distributed in community centres in a drive to eradicate a practice that affects 125 million women and girls worldwide and can lead to psychological torment, complications during childbirth, problems with fertility, and death.

The MCB has collaborated with the African women’s support and campaigning organisation Forward and the Muslim Spiritual Care Provision in the NHS (MSCP) to raise awareness of the dangers of FGM and warn practitioners that they face up to 14 years in prison if they subject girls to the practice, which involves the removal of the clitoris, or in more extreme cases the removal of the outer labia and the sewing up of the vagina, with a small hole left for menstruation and to pass urine.

The leaflet states: “FGM is not an Islamic requirement. There is no reference to it in the holy Qur’an that states girls must be circumcised. Nor is there any authentic reference to this in the Sunnah, the sayings or traditions of our prophet. FGM is bringing the religion of Islam into disrepute.”

The Home Office has held a summit at which other religious organisations, including the Shia al-Khoei Foundation and the Muslim Women’s Network UK, announced their support for a government declaration against FGM to be published.

Muslims living in Leicester are joining blood donation campaign

28 November 2012

The Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign which aims to increase the number of regular blood donors from Muslim communities by holding donor drives in 10 cities across the UK.

The annual campaign, named after the grand son of the Prophet, is organized by the Islamic Unity Society (IUS), a charity set up to promote the integration of Muslim communities within wider British society.

Theo Clarke, of NHS Blood and Transplant, Leicester, said: “It’s great to have such an opportunity to work with the Muslim community in promoting blood donation. Often, rare blood groups are more common within certain ethnic groups, so encouraging people with rarer blood types to donate is a challenge.”

British citizens are joining a so-called Jihad in Syria

There have been reports about the involvement of British citizens in the conflict in Syria. Due to the captivity of British photojournalist Mr Cantlie and Dutch photojournalist Mr Oerlemans, the British public has become concerned about young ‘jihadist’ Britons fighting in Syria. In this regard, MP Khalid Mahmood has warned the government about young British Muslims being radicalized by the conflict in Syria.

Mr Cantlie had previously informed the media that some of his captors were of British origin. He further revealed that while they were captives they also met a British doctor who was fighting against the Syrian government. The British doctor was working in an NHS hospital in London but when the uprising broke out he took a sabbatical and joined the fighters in Syria. They interviewed the doctor while he treated the photojournalists for their wounds sustained during their failed attempt to escape from captivity.

Further, BBC4’s Radio Today program has revealed the growing number of Britons fighting in Syria. Security Correspondent Frank Gardner travelled to Birmingham to investigate the news. He found that many young Britons are travelling to Turkey and easily crossing the border in order to participate in the conflict.

Glasgow Airport bomb attack: doctor jailed

The brother of a terrorist who died in an airport suicide attack has been jailed for 18 months for withholding information about the plot. Sabeel Ahmed, an NHS doctor, was sent a chilling email about the mission two days before his older brother Kafeel rammed a jeep into the air terminal in Glasgow. In it he wrote: “This is the project that I was working on for some time now. Everything else was a lie. It’s about time that we give up our lives and our families for the sake of Islam to please Allah.” Sabeel pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to withholding information about terrorism, which carries a maximum sentence of five years. But the tariff was reduced because he did not read the email until the evening after the attack had taken place. Because he has already served half his sentence on remand and has agreed to leave the country, the 26-year-old has been released into the custody of the immigration service to be deported back to India. Mr Justice Calvert-Smith said it was clear from the email his brother sent that he expected to die in the attack, and that his body would be left unrecognisable. He told Sabeel: “I accept that so far as you personally were concerned there is no sign of your being an extremist or party to extremist views.”

Holy water, ablution cans and infection hazard

According to Gillian Hodgson, an infection control nurse at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Holy water can be dangerous. She told nurses at a Royal College of Nursing Congress fringe meeting about a child in a paediatric oncology unit who developed the bacterial infection pseudomonas after his lips were wiped with holy water. Nursing Standard (April 25) reports that holy water sprinkled on or near intravenous catheter sites can also be dangerous, particularly for patients who are immuno-compromised . Holy water has also been causing problems for patients in Bradford. Gwen Horn, a ward manager at the city’s Cygnet Hospital, told nurses about a mental health inpatient whose behaviour was worse after his family brought in sealed bottles of blessed water for him to drink. The water was analysed and found to be spiked with drugs, she told the delegates. After a risk assessment and consultation with a local imam the nurses were told that the water was not necessary for the patient’s wellbeing and the bottles were confiscated, the magazine reports. Concern was also raised by a number of nurses at the meeting that the sharing of ablution cans, for washing, or wudhu, by Muslim patients could also pose an infection hazard. Moulana Ilyas Dalal, a Muslim chaplain at Dewsbury and District Hospital, advises nurses that when they are faced with problems concerning religious practice they should contact the hospital chaplain or local religious leaders.