Ali Selim regrets the controversy that followed his comments on female genital mutilation (FGM). But, he says, the furore was not all of his own creation.

The spokesman for the Islamic Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh, Dublin and its imam, Shaykh Hussein Halawa, came under fire after Dr Selim, on RTÉ's Prime Time, apparently made a distinction between FGM and female circumcision.

He said the latter should be allowed but only in instances where this was recommended and allowed by doctors, creating an assumption that he was arguing in favour of FGM, but by another route.

He says this was never the case: "I condemn FGM and I condemn circumcision that gives the same meaning as FGM. I totally apologise for the confusion."

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