South Woodford Imam commends police after FGM conference

Dr Mohammed Fahim, South Woodford Mosque in Mulberry Way

Dr Mohammed Fahim, South Woodford Mosque in Mulberry Way - Credit: Archant

A South Woodford imam has applauded the police for holding an “excellent” conference on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) last week in central London.

The six-hour conference detailed all aspects of the illegal practice from the law, health consequences, and victims’ accounts.

Dr Mohammed Fahim, of South Woodford Mosque, in Mulberry Way, speaking after the event, called it the “best conference in 45 years” he had attended on FGM.

He said: “It was an excellent conference. It was well attended by social workers, enforcement agencies and victims.

“We had women from Sierra Leone, Mali and Nigeria speak about their experience and the hardships they have faced.

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“It was the best one I have ever attended – the mix of people was unbelievable.”

Dr Fahim added he hoped the Metropolitan Police would write to every mosque after the event to seek their views on FGM, or just to inform that the practice was a crime.

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FGM is motivated by culture, rather than religion and therefore the event was attended by people with different faith backgrounds.

It is most commonly practised in 27 sub-Saharan and north-east African countries, as well as in Yemen and Iraqi Kurdistan.

According to the NHS website, 66,000 women live with the consequences of FGM in the UK.

DCI Jane Scotchbrook, who attended the conference, also felt the conference, held in Gloucester Road, was a great success.

She said: “It was very well attended and provided an excellent opportunity for members of those communities affected by FGM to receive relevant information from various perspectives.

“Feedback from those who attended the event has been extremely positive and we now need to build upon this in our continued efforts to stop this abhorrent form of child abuse.”

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