LETTER TO BBC:
The presenter (Tulip M'zunda?) on the WorldService radio show about FGM claims that the cutting of young girls in Africa and the Middle East is purely cultural and that there is no religion that mandates it. Indeed Islam did not invent FGM, but it does enable and support it.
It's not in the Koran, as Tulip correctly states. But it's in the Classic Manual of Islamic Jurisprudence (Umdat al-Salik), the authorised manual of Sunni Islam's legal mandates.
Section 4.3 says:
Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (A: Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)