Target - Guinea Bissau


Photography Ruediger Nehberg


Photography Ruediger Nehberg


Target Mister Nehberg has been fighting in this area for decades and has had a lot of success in Guinea Bissau! Through information and a campaign with the local imams the population finds out that these practices are not legal and that they are also forbidden in Islam. Since islam is the country's most important religion, this has a huge positive impact on the female population!
This is how the NGO Target describes its so necessary work on its homepage:

"How does TARGET work?

Since the justification for Female Genital Mutilation is given, incorrectly, by reference to holy texts and religious duty and the majority of victims are Muslim girls and women, we believe our best chance to end this bloody custom can be found in the strength of Islam itself.

TARGET’s “Pro-Islamic Alliance against Female Genital Mutilation” aims to set out clearly that the custom, wherever practised, is incompatible with the Qur’an and with the ethics of Islam, discriminates against Islam, amounts to presumption in God’s name and is a sin. Leading Islamic authorities have endorsed the alliance.

TARGET’s vision is to bring the Azhar decision to all mosques throughout the world and eventually to have a ban on Female Genital Mutilation proclaimed in Mecca. For the wellbeing of women; in honour of Islam; in praise of Allah; and, last but not least, as thanks from Rüdiger Nehberg for the highly cultivated Islamic hospitality he has received and that has twice saved his and his friends’ lives. He now has a binding obligation."

Information on the Golden book, which is the main written document that Target is distrbuting and working with:

"The GOLDEN BOOK is a precious object that TARGET hopes to distribute exclusively and free of charge to the prayer leaders in the mosques throughout the 35 countries where female genital mutilation is still common. It forms the basis for TARGET of a huge awareness campaign (see “The Campaign”). The GOLDEN BOOK is based on the “International Conference of Islamic Scholars” held at Al-Azhar in Cairo (Egypt) at TARGET’s instigation. The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Prof Dr Ali Gom’a, was its patron. Al-Azhar is a mosque and a university as well as being the spiritual home of Sunni Islam. In the course of the conference, eminent Muslim theologians proscribed female genital mutilation as a “criminal offence” that is not in keeping with their religion. This was set in stone in the “Cairo fatwa”. A fatwa is a binding religious ruling. Fatwas from Al-Azhar are highly considered and very influential throughout the Muslim world. The GOLDEN BOOK can even be considered a piece of Islamic history. TARGET conceived the idea in collaboration with Al-Azhar. The introduction is by the Grand Mufti, Prof Dr Ali Gom’a.


Why do Muslims trust TARGET?

  • Because TARGET from the start and contrary to the zeitgeist has always believed that the best chance to put an end to the custom can be found in the strength of Islam itself.

  • Because TARGET has co-operated from the beginning with the highest Islamic authorities.

  • Because we come in friendship, respectfully and free from any missionary or “western” ulterior motives.