The leading imam at a mosque just outside Washington, D.C., endorsed the radical and illegal practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) last month, during a lecture on child rearing and family life.
In his lecture Imam Shaker Elsayed of Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church, Va., refers to FGM as female “circumcision.”
He suggests that cutting “the tip of the sexually sensitive part of the girl” could be helpful “so that she is not hyper-sexually active.”
The Islamic cleric then goes on to warn about the dangers of a more serious form of FGM and advised his congregants to seek advice from Muslim gynecologists.
Elsayed warned that “in societies where circumcision of girls is completely prohibited, hyper-sexuality takes over the entire society and a woman is not satisfied with one person or two or three.”
“This, God forbid, is now happening even in Muslim societies where they prohibit circumcision,” Elsayed says in a transcript created by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque is now distancing itself from their imam, condemning his words for going against both U.S. and Islamic law.
“We at Dar Al-Hijrah, DO NOT condone, promote, or support any practice of FGM,” the Dar Al-Hijrah Board of Directors said in a statement. “The reference to ‘Hyper-sexuality’ is offensive and it is unequivocally rejected. The Board of Directors is particularly disturbed by such comments.”
Elsayed has since retracted his comments, saying he regretted speaking of “hyper-sexuality.”
“I admit that I should have avoided it. I hereby take it back. And I do apologize to all those who are offended by it,” he said.
Prominent Muslim leaders, intellectuals and activists are calling on the board to fire Elsayed.
“We cannot and will not stand for any Imam or Muslim leader who endorses human rights abuses antithetical to our beautiful faith,” they said in a statement.
Dar Al-Hijrah is one of the nation’s largest mosques. It’s been trying to clear its reputation after being heavily scrutinized by the FBI in investigations after 9/11. Two of the 9/11 hijackers along with the Ft. Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Hassan, all worshiped there at some point.
However the biggest blemish for the mosque was former imam Anwar al-Awlaqi. After he left the mosque he became known globally for his extremist ideology and was believed to have been centrally involved in planning many terrorist operations for al Qaeda.