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GUINEA BISSAU: Muslims in Bissau Opposed to Debate in Parlament on FGM

Bissau, Guinea Bissau - Muslims in Guinea Bissau on Friday said they were opposed to the upcoming debate in Parliament on female genital mutilation (FGM) when the House sits next week saying the practice was linked to Muslim culture a n d rituals.

"We wish to appeal strongly to the National Assembly's governing body to remove female genital mutilation (FGM) from the agenda of the 28 February session," the Chairman of the Islamic National Commission, Aladji Abdu Baio, told a press conf e rence.

"The National Assembly should rather focus on drug trafficking, organised crime and other subjects relating to the political and economic crises which have been rampant in the country for several years," he said.

"Do not bother about excision, which is linked to the Muslim community's culture and traditional rituals," Mr Baio said.

The statement by the Muslims triggered an immediate reaction from the President of the League of Human Rights of Guinea Bissau (LGBH), Luis Vaz Martins, who has written to the National Assembly to pass a law against FGM.

The letter asked Parliament to "maintain the current legislative procedure in or der to approve a legislation that will make the practice of female genital mutil a tion (FGM) an offence, as obtains in other countries in the sub-region, includin g Senegal, Gambia and Guinea-Conakry".

"The LGDH advises against religious extremism as a way to solve problems and cal ls for tolerance in order to let competent institutions exercise their duties," M artins stressed.

SOURCE: Afriquenligne

URL: Click here

DATE: 24/02/2008

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