A mullah in Iraqi-Kurdistan talked in a Friday sermon about the new bill against domestic violence that passed the parliament of Iraqi Kurdistan in June. This law also forbids the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Various clerics and members of Islamic groups started a campaign against this law and demand from the president of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Mr. Massud Barzani not to sign the bill.
The mullah is one of the outspoken opponents of this bill. In his sermon he defends FGM as a Islamic practice of the Shafi'i law school. Additionally he defends the right of men to beat their women and children.
Here is a translation of some excerpts from his sermon:
A woman has the right to protest if her husband looks at her in a grim way. Allah says if a woman disobeys her husband he has the right to beat her, but the lashes should be according to the Sharia. It has conditions. (With the bill against domestic violence) the Kurdish Parliament has rejected Quranic law. (...) The parliament has also decreed that children should never be beaten for any reason. Even if the father comes home and the girl has a mobile phone in her hand that is not an excuse for beating her.
Of course she is a girl and will be encouraged in this bad world of today, she will have her mobile in front of her father flirting with boys and exchanging love phrases.. The father must sit cross handed in front of her, he must either kill himself if he has the least bit of honour left -- saying that if he doesn't do that he will lose his afterlife (...)- or he must assault his daughter who already has the numbers of the police stored on her mobile, calls this organization or that and complains that her father abuses her. The man will be put in jail for 6 months, and if the girl is not satisfied she can let him stay for 3 years and rot in jail. They will fine him 5 million ID. Is this the struggle for Kurdistan we are doing here? Is this the religion we have left? The situation is very dangerous but no one will follow you to the battlefield. The people don't have guts. If the people do have courage I will be the first to block Barzani's path. (....)
Three hundred members of my tribe were killed in the village of Susse. Is this what we got killed for? So that you sign these papers that deprive our families and women of honour inside our houses? If you don't agree and say that you can't stop the legal process, then let us confront and lead us to oppose (the parliament). We will go to the parliament and confront its president. You are the KRG, you should tell the parliament not to do this. That this is unacceptable, this is the red line. How would I allow the honour of my people to be taken away? How should I allow that girls shouldn't be beaten at home? That a boy shouldn't be beaten? Is it not true that the prophet -- peace be upon -- him says "if a child doesn't pray when reaching 10 years, you should beat him/her." You have thus cancelled the sayings of the prophet! (...)
Then they come to the issue of circumcision. They have no problems left except the issue of female circumcision in Kurdistan. The mothers and sisters of more than half of your party members were circumcised. This means that you insult your own grandmother. You insult your own mother. You accuse them of ignorance. You dishonour your dead grandfather and burn his coffin for allowing the circumcision of your mother. Circumcision is a tenant of Islamic law (sharia). (...) (This bill is) to satisfy the Jews who in the conference of the Jews in Beijing discussed that female circumcision should be banned. You obey their orders and disregard the Sharia of Allah (...).
They say if a mullah, a religious man, a father, a mother, a doctor or anyone else even mentions circumcision could be a good thing for women or if a woman feels uncomfortable and says that her mood was disturbed by that statement, she can complain to one of these organizations and agencies and they will take the mullah (...) to jail. (...) They can jail you for saying that circumcision is a good thing. The Imam Shafi'i (most Iraqi-Kurds belong to the Shafi'i law school) said circumcision is good! Aren't you following his denomination? Didn't the KRG president say that he is a Shafi'i? Your denomination says FGM is good, and that is why I am saying it is good. If you are honest in your denomination then don't accept this discussion to be held in the parliament. Imam Shafi'i is one of those who say that FGM is an obligation, that girls and women should be circumcised (...)
If I get asked about the religious ruling on FGM I must keep my silence and not dare to open my mouth. I must request to avoid this subject. As soon as I utter that FGM is good then they can arrest me. (...) If you don't accept this Mr. President you are the one who receives the project. You might say that you don't approve of the MPs. The people will love you for doing that. (...)
No longer should they ridicule our religion and believes and honours. We have made you president, you have the parliament and the oil and the money and no one is bothering you, why don't you leave our religion and honour intact?
By Thomas v. der Osten-Sacken