Landmark court decision in The Netherlands on recommending Female Genital Mutilation by islamic preacher

In 2018 Femmes for Freedom organised a campaign to file a criminal report against the preacher of the As- Soennah Mosque because this mosque advocated female genital mutilation; this was brought to light by the investigative journalists Milena Holdert who works for Nieuwsuur [current-affairs programme on Dutch television] and Andreas Kouwenhoven who works for NRC [leading Dutch broadsheet newspaper]. Over 133 people filed a criminal report together with Femmes for Freedom concerning this severe abuse. Femmes for Freedom was assisted by the lawyer Carene van Vliet and Janina Hamann from the law firm Delissen Martens.

Today the judge ruled in this case: ‘The Court are of the opinion that in this case the right to freedom of (religion and) speech cannot outweigh the right of women to protection against violence and discrimination’.

The accused has been convicted to 80 hours community service. Femmes for Freedom is highly pleased with this conviction. The conviction has made it clear that it is not allowed to advocate violence against girls and women on the basis of religious sources. This is an important step for the fundamental human rights of girls and women. We have realised this splendid result with your support this change was realised with your help. Thanks to you we can now say that advocating violence against girls and women is not acceptable. We thank you very much for your support and we look forward to continue the fight for the rights of women and girls.