Maldivian professor who supported female genital mutilation fired from job

A university in the Maldives has been fired a lecturer who has repeatedly and publicly supported female genital mutilation  (FGM) after his controversial tweets outraged many, including human rights activists and Islamic scholars

Jul 02, 2021
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Dr. Iyaz, an assistant professor in the Maldives National University (MNU)

A university in the Maldives has been fired a lecturer who has repeatedly and publicly supported female genital mutilation  (FGM) after his controversial tweets outraged many, including human rights activists and Islamic scholars.  

 Dr. Iyaz, an assistant professor in the Maldives National University (MNU), had earlier posted a tweet, detailing the benefits of the controversial FGM practice.  The university administration this week decided to fire him, reported Raajje TV. 

MNU revealed that he had been repeatedly warned and counseled due to his social media posts, prior to his dismissal. 

University officials say that Dr. Iyaz openly posts in ways that indicate his support for extremist ideologies and he was suspended in March 2021 for statements and utterances that could create unrest among the public.

However,  Home Minister Sheikh Abdullah Imran has criticized his dismissal from the job. He said that differences of opinion on religious matters must be resolved through peaceful dialogue and independent discussions at educational institutions.

FGM involves the partial or complete removal of the clitoris, manually or surgically, of a female. Over the years, many Muslim countries have banned the practice. 

Not only it curtails a woman’s right to sexual pleasure but also poses immediate and long-term health risks, including psychological issues. 

The World Health Organization calls FGM "a violation of the human rights of girls and women".  WHO is not only opposed to all forms of FGM but is opposed to health care providers performing FGM, the WHO website says. 

According to a February 2020 report by UNICEF, there are still over 200 million girls and women in the world who have had their genitals mutilated. In the Maldives, alone 13 percent of women aged between 13-49 went through the FGM. 

Over the years, the UNICEF data showed, the socially regressive practice is dying in the Maldives. Only one percent of girls aged between 15-19 years went through it. While among women aged between 45-19, the percentage is 38, according to the data available on the UNICEF website. 

In the southern Maldives, which is considered more conservative in comparison to the north, the practice is a bit more prevalent. As the threat of religious extremism is growing in the Maldives, right activists feel there are chances that hardliners would try to reverse the years of social progress on the issue. 

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