How can the Guardian realistically expect to end this practice if it is afraid to expose the Islamic justifications for it? No, Muslims did not invent female genital mutilation, and are not the only people who practice it. But they are the only group whose theological and legal traditions contain justification for it.
Until that changes, many more women will fall victim to this practice, no matter what the Guardian does.
Muhammad is said to have justified the cutting of women’s genitals: “A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.” (Sunan Abu Dawud 41.5251) The problem with this is that the distinction between cutting and cutting severely is subjective.
Some Islamic authorities say that this is a weak hadith. That’s wonderful. I hope they manage to convince every Muslim authority …