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As somebody who originates from a preservationist Muslim family, perhaps the greatest battle has been attempting comprehend the connection between Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Islam. My dad is an Imam and growing up I constantly heard my family allude to FGM as sunna. Despite the fact that sunna isn’t a commitment, it is a favored activity in Islam.

How the Gambia restricted female ​genital ​mutilation

Maggie O’Kane

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A year ago I plunked down with Imam Fatty, the previous imam of the State House Mosque who has emphatically upheld FGM in the Gambia.

In spite of the fact that we didn’t concede to most of issues around FGM, it was a significant minute when the famous hardliner admitted to me that FGM is certainly not a strict commitment.

This was a colossal advance forward for the crusade. In the previous not many months we’ve seen already unbelievable changes in the way to deal with FGM in the Gambia. In November the nation’s President Jammeh consented to boycott the training and from that point forward we have been working off camera to ensure that this law is truly used to secure the rights and lives of young ladies from FGM.

My group and I in association with Think Young Women and Women’s Bureau with financing from The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund and The Girl Generation composed the main National Islamic gathering in The Gambia.

This occasion accumulated strict pioneers from all districts of the nation and furthermore with understood strict researchers from Senegal and Mauritania. Ahead of the pack up to the gathering we were looked with various obstacles that we needed to survive and in any event, getting a portion of the strict pioneers in the room demonstrated troublesome. 90% of the strict pioneers who went to were master FGM, and this was a lofty expectation to learn and adapt for us as we were tending to a group of people who we expected to persuade to come on side.

It was significant for us to give a space where we could urge them to take part in the issue and express their real thoughts so we could figure out how to push ahead together.

90% of the strict pioneers who ​came to the gathering were ace FGM

Before the finish of the gathering we could detect that something had changed. The general agreement was that FGM is a hurtful practice that isn’t Islamic, in spite of the fact that there are some who still should be persuaded.

A straightforward dominant part of 16 from the Supreme Islamic Council concurred that circumcision or mutilation, ought to be halted as ongoing times has demonstrated that the training causes more damage than anything else. These sixteen strict pioneers marked an affirmation to join different pioneers engaged with the battle to end FGM in The Gambia.

One explanation that truly stuck in my psyche was by a strict researcher from Farafeni. He is known as one of the most professional FGM strict pioneers. Toward the finish of the meeting he stood up and stated: “If this training is terrible for our little girls, lets please end it now”. He at that point approached me outside and expressed gratitude toward me.

In the event that this training is awful for our girls, lets please end it now

Strict researcher from Farafeni

Culture isn’t stale. At the point when you take a gander at where we began to where we are currently, you will see that change is going on.

This meeting was expected to make a comprehension than FGM isn’t only an Islamic issue however it additionally rehearsed in non-Islamic states and networks, for example, those in Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania. By tending to the misguided judgments around FGM and Islam with discourses including strict pioneers, The Gambia can fill in as a model for different nations in Africa.

There is promise for the a great many young ladies that are in danger and as youngsters, with the future in front of us, we realize that expectation is the main thing more grounded than dread.

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