Discipline: Social Science
Female circumcision (FC) is a practice attributed to Muslims since it is usually practiced in societies where Muslims predominate. This study is intended to investigate the underlying beliefs and practices of FC among Meranaos in the Philippines, one of the major Muslim tribes in the country that still practice FC. The study also outlined the procedure being followed by the women. This study utilized a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods using a specially designed questionnaire, interviews and focused group discussions with the respondents. Overall, the results showed common viewpoints among female respondents and manunuris as they believed that this practice has religious basis in the Hadith, and is a symbol of fidelity to the institution of marriage and a commitment to Islam. Pricking and removing some tissues from the clitoris is the most common method utilized. The problems in the functionalities inherent in this practice mentioned by the female respondents were pain, bleeding, infection, anxiety, trauma and fear. The positive responses mentioned were increasing confidence, obedience, and improved social interaction. Male respondents have uncertainty concerning the basis of this practice. The religious leaders confirmed that the verse in the Hadith concerning circumcision is not clear and inconclusive and expressed their agreement in the eradication of this practice.