The women’s group fighting against female genital mutilation (FGM) welcomed on Sunday the decision of the rival camp for the Syedna title. In a press statement, Sahiyo and Speak out on FGM, the groups that have been fighting against the brutal practise, said they were “rejoiced” on the statement of Syedna Taher Fakhruddin, and called upon other factions to come out with similar statements.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Qutbuddin faction, as the rival group is informally called, had earlier been evasive when the question was put to them, soon after they challenged the title of Syedna. In a press conference, when this correspondent asked them about the issue, there was no response.Explaining the stand taken now, Dr Abdeali Qutbuddin, brother of Syedna Taher Fakhruddin, said, “This issue has been brought to Syedna Qutbuddin and now to Syedna Fakhruddin by many people. It is a very sensitive issue and required some study. People have been petitioning and bringing to his attention more and more. Having studied it, to maintain the sanctity of faith and protect the girl child from this trauma, Syedna has come out with the solution. It will be up to the girl to go in for Khafz.”On other issues of transparency and accountability in funds and issue of iddat that progressive Bohras have raised with the Syedna, Abdeali said, “Syenda is very open to looking into things. According to him, autonomy should be given to local jamaats to manage their own finances. Iddat is a complicated issue and Syedna said he will look into it.” Iddat is the period for which a widow is supposed to be confined to a dark corner of her room and cannot meet anyone for months.The groups said, “As we rejoice that the rival leader has spoken up, we are also aware that this might be looked upon as a conspiracy to malign the Syedna of the dominant Dawoodi Bohra sect. So we would like to reiterate that we are in no way against any community or religion or individual, but against a practise that hurts young girls.”The groups’ statement went on to add, “We understand that today the wider Bohra community has several sects, all of whom practice khatna on little girls. This includes Dawoodis, Qutbis, Alvis and reformists. But we are a group of women with representation from all these sects, and we are united in our belief that khatna on girls must end. With due respect for everyone’s varied sectarian beliefs, we appeal to the leaders and members of all these sects and groups to pay heed to the voices of so many women and let go of this tradition of khafz/khatna.”

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Women’s group welcomes rival’s similar views on genital mutilation