Translating Words, Interpreting Events

Female Advisor to Egyptian President: Girls Not Circumcised “Lacking in Faith”

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Earlier this week, Egypt’s Tahrir News conducted an interview with Dr. Amima Kamal, advisor to President Morsi on Women’s Affairs, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party, and a member of the Constituent Assembly.

Women’s Affairs Advisor to President Morsi: Uncircumcised woman “lacking in faith.”

The discussion about female circumcision, or female genital mutilation, is causing some controversy. When asked what advice she would give to President Morsi concerning this practice, she said she would tell him that it should only be performed when the girl reaches puberty, and that it is wrong to perform it, as sometimes happens, when the girl is only seven or eight years old.

Despite coming off somewhat neutral at times, saying for instance that the practice is not strictly Islamic, although it is permissible, at one point she asserted that those girls who do not have the operation performed are “lacking in faith [iman].”

Criticism naturally followed—including from Egypt’s National Council for Women, which condemned Kamal’s remarks as “against the dignity of Egyptian women”—and Kamal now denies making the comment.

In fact, Egyptian female politicians talking about how women are “lacking” is becoming commonplace. Earlier, for example, another female political candidate associated with the Salafi party said that women are lacking in “intelligence.”