MEMRI has a video clip of a debate between two Egyptian Islamic scholars that was broadcast on Al-Arabiya TV on February 12, 2007. One of them, Sheikh Mahmoud Ashur, who is a member of Al-Azhar’s Islamic ResearchAcademy (or Islamic Research Council), specifically states (emphasis added),
Female circumcision is not part of Islam. Rather, it is a traditional custom. Under no circumstances should we follow this custom, because it leaves a deep wound in the souls of these girls, which has a psychological, emotional, and social impact on their lives. Female circumcision does a lot of damage. This damage is harmful, and it shatters the girl’s soul. Therefore, it is absolutely forbidden to perform this custom. No person should do this, because it is harmful and causes damage.
Read the transcript here.
(h/t Sigmund, Carl and Alfred)