CAIRO: A court case filed by Sheikh Youssef Al-Badry against a ministerial decree banning female genital mutilation (FGM) will be heard at the Cairo Constitutional Court, an adminstrative court decided Wednesday.
The Cairo Administrative Court transferred the case that was filed against Minister of Health Hatem Al-Gabaly to the Cairo Constitutional Court because it dealt with articles in the constitution.
Al-Badry claimed that the ban violates the constitution, arguing that circumcision complies with Sharia, which the constitution states is the principal source of legislation.
In the summer of 2007, Al-Gabaly declared that female circumcision is illegal, vowing to penalize any physician performing the surgery.
Shortly after, Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa issued a fatwa also prohibiting circumcision.
Both decrees came in the aftermath of the tragic death of 12-year-old Bodour Shaker while undergoing a circumcision procedure in Minya.
Bodour’s death attracted wide media coverage, and further prompted Egypt’s First Lady Suzanne Mubarak to launch a national campaign aimed at drawing more attention to FGM and accelerating efforts to end the practice.
Al-Badry filed the lawsuit immediately after the incident in August 2007, and the court postponed the case three times before it transferred it to another court.