There is no room for misinformation on female genital mutilation (FGM) according to Fine Gael Senator James Reilly who banned FGM during his time as Minister for Health. Senator Reilly was responding to recent comments by Dr Ali Salim of the Islamic Cultural Centre in relation to the outlawed practise.
“As a doctor, I am appalled that anyone using the prefix doctor, medical or not, would choose to mislead the public in the manner that Dr Salim did.
“To say there is any comparison between female circumcision and male circumcision is utterly disingenuous and untrue. One is a medical procedure while the other is a cultural procedure.
“To be clear, the WHO have stated there is no medical benefit arising from FGM (female genital mutilation)- only problems.
“It is the most serious and grievous form of harm and sexual assault to a baby, girl or woman of any age.
“I was very proud as Minister for Health to outlaw this practice here and also make it a criminal act for anyone to take a child or woman from the country to have this procedure performed elsewhere.
“Sources indicate that up to 5,000 women in this country have been the victims of this heinous activity and I would take this opportunity to highlight the fact that the Irish Family Planning Association run a support service for such victims.
“In the week that we celebrated the 100th anniversary of women voting, and in which there was a major global campaign to end FGM, it is all the more appalling that such misinformation could be spread.”