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Disgust as religious leaders endorse FGM in Russia

by Hannah Tooley

The Christian and Muslim leader suggested it could help reduced 'sexual promiscuity.'

Very Rev Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, a former spokesperson for the Russian Orthodox Church, made the remarks as he defended Ismail Berdiyev, a senior Muslim cleric.

The cleric had said "all women" should be subjected to the practice.

He was speaking after a report into FGM was published, it found that in some parts of Russia the cutting took place without anaesthetic and in unsanitary conditions.

He added: "If it was done to all women, it would be very good," according to The Telegraph.

FGM is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15 and is classed as child abuse by the United Nations (UN).

It involves the cutting of some or all of the female genitalia which is painful and can seriously harm the health of women and girls.

It can also cause long-term problems with mental health, sex and childbirth.

The Chaplin is one of the most influential priests who has been criticised in the past for sexist comments, previously saying "If she (a woman) is wearing a miniskirt, it is provocative."

Defending the Muslim cleric he wrote on Facebook: "Circumcising all women probably isn't necessary.

"Orthodox women don't need it because they are not promiscuous."

Muslim cleric, Ismail Berdiyev, said he had been misquoted.

The UN estimates 200 million women and girls are victims of female genital mutilation.

The practice is internationally recognised as a violation of human rights.

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