Trinity College Dublin has come under fire after one of the colleges' lecturers spoke in support of 'female circumcision', widely known as female genital mutilation, on RTÉ's Primetime.
TCDSU President Kevin Keane wrote a letter to the President of Trinity, Patrick Prendergast, to ask for the 'immediate dismissal' of Dr. Ali Selim who spoke on Thursday night's Primetime about his belief that 'female circumcision' can be reasonably practiced. Posting the letter on Facebook, TCDSU believe that by failing to condemn FGM Selim disgraced the university by supporting a practice that has no practice in "Trinity's community of learning":
The Primetime episode had Selim, a part-time lecturer of Near And Middle Eastern Studies in Trinty, on to discuss female mutilation after last Tuesdays International Day Of Zero Tolerance For Female Genital Mutilation.
When pressed about whether or not the act should be allowed under religious reasons Selim replied: "if a Doctor advises that it is needed then it needs to be allowed" but commented towards the end of the interview that if a Doctor did not recommend the female circumcision he would not agree. Selim linked people traveling for female circumcision as the same as traveling for an abortion as they're both illegal in Ireland.
Although I'm not an advocate of female mutilation I am an advocate of female circumcision... It is not an obligation but it should be allowed by law if needed and a medical doctor can decide if it's needed or not needed. People by nature are different. Peoples organs are different to what one person needs is not necessarily needed by another person and it should be determined by a doctor... but it has been portrayed, in fact, in a horrible image always described as barbaric, always we hear the term mutilation, so it is portayed as a dark skin practice or a practice that belongs to the dark ages...
The World Health Organisation has proven that there are no health benefits to female circumcision and it only results in a number of problems caused by the mutilation of the labia and clitoris. FGM can cause complications during childbirth, the formation of cysts, damage to the urethra, painful sexual intercourse and increase the risk of HIV transmission.
An estimated 200 million women have been subjected to genital mutilation including 6,000 women in Ireland. The practice is justified on religious or cultural grounds in some countries but will only be performed in Ireland under rare medical grounds. Some cultures remove the clitoris and the labia for hygienic reasons, suggesting that women's female genital organs are “unclean.” The most common reason is the view that the mutilation 'maintains' a woman's virginity until she is married with the belief that it increases men’s sexual pleasure.
Ali Al Saleh, Imam of the Islamic Centre in Milltown, has condemned Dr. Salem with his confusing comments and his words cause 'misery for the Muslim Irish community. The President of Trinity has yet to reply.