Archive for the ‘Female genital mutilation in U.S.’ category

FGM vs Political Correctness — Which Will Prevail?

June 7, 2017

FGM vs Political Correctness — Which Will Prevail? Clarion ProjectPaula Kweskin, June 7, 2017

This picture taken on February 10, 2013 shows a young Indonesian girl crying as doctors perform her circumcision in Bandung. Indonesia, home to the world’s biggest Muslim population, argues that this form of circumcision is largely symbolic, not harmful and should not be seen as mutilation. The United Nations thinks otherwise. In December it passed a resolution banning female genital mutilation (FGM), which extends to the circumcision practiced in Indonesia, home to the world’s biggest Muslim population. ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

In February, federal investigators uncovered a Michigan-based network of doctors and others who practice female genital mutilation (FGM) on girls as young as six at medical clinics in the state. FGM is the cutting of a girl’s genitalia with the aim to “purify” her and repress her sexuality. All defendants in the case are members of the Dawoodi Bohra, a religious Muslim group. One of the girls who underwent the procedure was reportedly told that she was going on a “special girls’ trip” to “get the germs out.”

While the victim in this case may find justice in the courtroom, their lives and bodies have been irrevocably changed. Survivors of FGM whom I spoke to for my documentary film Honor Diaries tell of the physical and emotional pain that remains long after the abuse. Sexual intercourse and childbirth become horribly painful and traumatic experiences. Women may have chronic urinary tract infections and are often plagued with depression and other invisible scars.

The World Health Organization estimates at least 200 million women today live with the consequences of FGM. In the United States, 507,000 women are at risk or have undergone the procedure. In the U.S., there is a federal statute against the practice and it is criminalized in several states.  However, these laws have not prevented families from mutilating their girls or traveling overseas to undergo the process. All that might change.

The arrest and prosecution of the Michigan perpetrators is a groundbreaking moment for women’s rights activists in the United States and globally. I applaud the federal investigators and prosecutors who took a stand against gender-based violence. It is the first national prosecution of an FGM case and many important questions will be raised during the course of the investigation and trial.

Already, defendants attempted (and failed) to receive bond by using their religious freedom as a defense. Defendants asserted the practice should not be classified as FGM, but rather as a religious practice. U.S. Magistrate Elizabeth Stafford denied bond stating that religion would not be used “as a shield” in the case. However, it is likely that as the case continues, religious freedom will be argued again.

I am concerned for the maelstrom which may ensue when the case goes to trial. At that moment, will women’s rights be asserted or will they be diluted in favor of political correctness? In the past, I’ve witnessed the disintegration of women’s rights in favor of political correctness: my film Honor Diaries was censored (in Michigan, actually) when certain groups deemed it “Islamophobic” for bringing up FGM, forced marriage and honor killings.  Instead of focusing on the inherent misogyny of these practices, my film was vilified for having difficult conversations about cultural and religious practices.

The first federal FGM case will raise challenging questions. There is a simple metric we can use to evaluate competing claims: culture is no excuse for abuse. No religion or culture should be the impetus for hurting, mutilating or abusing anyone, and our children should be protected. For too long, FGM has been practiced under the radar in the United States. The arrest and prosecution of these individuals is a step in the right direction, but the true test will come at trial: will we allow our political correctness to coax us into complacency? Or will we use this moment to assert our loftiest convictions: that all people are equal and should be treated as such, regardless of their religion and culture? My hope for all women and girls is that we will stand for equality.

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser sounds off on the female genital mutilation case

May 5, 2017

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser sounds off on the female genital mutilation case, News via YouTube, May 4, 2017


Muslim Michigan FGM Conspiracy Ran For 12 Years

April 28, 2017

Muslim Michigan FGM Conspiracy Ran For 12 Years, The Point (Front Page Magazine), Daniel Greenfield, April 28, 2017

(Don’t worry. “Feminists” will get around to considering the FGM problem as soon as gender-neutral pronouns replace old-fashioned male and female pronouns. Spanish speaking “feminists” have an even worse problem: all nouns reflect gender. Houses are female, water is male, etc ad infinitum. It may take them a bit longer to deal with female genital mutilation. — DM)

I wrote about this story earlier this month.

Operating out of a Livonia clinic, Jumana Fakhruddin Nagarwala abused unknown numbers of little girls. The end came when law enforcement traced calls to her from a Minnesota number.  Then they followed the trail to a hotel in Farmington Hills; a Michigan city at the center of an Islamic Center controversy.

It was Friday evening; the holy day of the Islamic week when Muslims are told to “leave off business” and “hasten to the remembrance of Allah.” That is what the two women leading two little girls to be mutilated thought that they were doing. Muslims believe that on Friday, angels stand outside the doors of mosques to record who shows up for prayer. But it was the hotel surveillance cameras that watched and recorded as the two little girls arrived, unaware of the horror that was about to happen to them.

The 7-year-old girl had been told that she was going to Detroit for a “special” girls’ trip. Instead her special trip turned into a nightmare. After the Muslim doctor allegedly mutilated her, she warned the child not to talk about what was done to her.

There have been two more arrests since.

Dr. Fakhruddin Attar is accused of letting Dr. Jumana Nagarwala perform mutilations at his Burhani Medical Clinic on Farmington Road. His wife, office manager Farida Attar, also was arrested and is accused of helping Nagarwala perform the mutilations, according to a 14-page complaint unsealed Friday in federal court

The complaint solves a mystery stemming from the case by pinpointing where Nagarwala allegedly mutilated two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota earlier this year. The complaint also describes a conspiracy involving at least Nagarwala, Attar and his wife — all three are members of the Dawoodi Bohra religious community based locally out of a Farmington Hills mosque.

We’re now getting hints of how persistent and enduring this abuse of little girls was.

Prosecutors say they believe there are many other victims. According to the seven-count indictment, the three defendants are part of a bigger conspiracy that ran from 2005 until this year, when a tip and a trail of electronic evidence led to their arrests.

We’re talking about a 12-year conspiracy and a potentially huge number of victims.

Dr. Jasser discusses the arrest of two doctors related to genital mutilations in the U.S. 04 24.2017

April 26, 2017

Dr. Jasser discusses the arrest of two doctors related to genital mutilations in the U.S. 04 24.2017, AIFD via YouTube, April 24, 2017


The blurb beneath the video states,

Dr. Jasser joins Fox Business’ Risk & Reward discussing the arrest of two doctors related to female genital mutilation in the U.S. and the New York Times failure to use the term claiming it “widens the cultural chasm between Western world and the people that follow this rite.” Dr. Jasser argues that this is a crime and this procedure indoctrinates the girls to the thought that their bodies are at the whims of the men in their family.

Another Doctor and Wife Arrested in Michigan For Female Genital Mutilation on Young Girls

April 21, 2017

Another Doctor and Wife Arrested in Michigan For Female Genital Mutilation on Young Girls, Town HallKatie Pavlich, April 21, 2017

(Please see also, Detroit doctor charged with female genital mutilation of seven-year-olds. The Trump administration is continuing to pursue this problem.– DM)

Doctor Fakhruddin Attar and wife Farida were arrested Friday near Detroit for conspiring to commit and aiding in female genital mutilation [FGM] of girls as young as six-years-old. The Attars allegedly allowed the procedure to be carried in their Livonia medical clinic. Mrs. Attar even held the hands of the girls screaming in pain. 

According to the criminal complaint from the Department of Justice, the couple conspired with Detroit emergency room doctor Jumana Nagarwala. Nagarwale was arrested last week for performing the procedure on a number of girls.

“This investigation has identified other children who may have been cut by Nagarwala at Attar’s clinic, MBC, between 2005 and 2017, including children in Michigan. On April 10, 2017, child forensic interviews employed by the FBI and HSI interviewed several minor girls in Michigan. In these interviews, multiple minor girls informed forensic interviewers that procedures had been performed on their genitals by Nagarwala. One minor girl said that Farida was present during the procedure performed by Nagarwala,” the complaint states.

Parents of the victims were also interviewed by the FBI and two admitted Nagarwala had performed the procedures on their daughters at the clinic. The others denied any knowledge of the practice, but according to wiretapped conversations between Nagarwala and Mrs. Attar, Nagarwala advised parents to deny knowing about FGM should they be asked by federal law enforcement authorities.

The victims were driven by their parents across state lines for the extreme procedure, many coming from Minnesota. They will likely face a number of charges. The minors were told they were being taken on a “girls trip.” Once they arrived at the hotel, they were told they needed to go Nagarwala for a “stomach ache” and FGM was performed to “get the germs out.”

During her court appearance earlier this week, Dr. Nagarwala’s attorneys denied FGM is mutilation and said the procedure is a basic religious practice.

This conspiracy is the first FGM case in the United States. You can read the entire criminal complaint below.

Attar Complaint 0 by Katie Pavlich on Scribd (available at the link — DM)

4/14/2017: Press Release – Muslim Doctor Welcomes Arrest, Demands Full Investigation of Physician Who Mutilated Girls in U.S.

April 14, 2017

4/14/2017: Press Release – Muslim Doctor Welcomes Arrest, Demands Full Investigation of Physician Who Mutilated Girls in U.S., AIFD, April 14, 2017

(Please see also, Detroit doctor charged with female genital mutilation of seven-year-olds. – DM)

Since girls were brought to Nagarwala from out of state, it appears that she may be just a piece of a network of individuals facilitating the mutilation of girls and women in the United States.


Today, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), a Muslim-led organization whose founding principles include gender equality, welcomes the news that Jumana Nagarwala, a Detroit-based physician, has been arrested for allegedly carrying out female genital mutilation (FGM) against girls here in the United States. Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, AIFD president and a physician who has long championed efforts against the barbaric practice, said:

“Healthcare professionals, especially physicians, should be the safest people our children encounter outside of their families. What we at the front lines of reform against radical Islamism know is that one of the ideology’s symptoms is the regular violation and abuse of women and girls, especially through efforts to control or destroy their bodies and sexuality. As a physician, Muslim, father, and husband – I am appalled – but not surprised – to learn of this doctor’s mutilation of girls. I urge authorities to conduct a full and vigorous investigation. Since girls were brought to Nagarwala from out of state, it appears that she may be just a piece of a network of individuals facilitating the mutilation of girls and women in the United States.

As a physician, Ms Nagarwala – I will not call her ‘doctor’ – knows full well the position of the American Medical Association on this issue. As an expert on medical ethics and a person of conscience, I must urge that her license(s) be revoked, that she remain jailed, and that all who acted with her be brought to justice. Further, any girls and women she harmed must receive intensive counseling, and their families investigated. I also encourage investigations of their schools, universities, and other places where they may have complained of physical pain, or been absent for periods of time during which the mutilation took place and immediately after.”

Detroit doctor charged with female genital mutilation of seven-year-olds

April 13, 2017

Detroit doctor charged with female genital mutilation of seven-year-olds, The Foreign Desk – Reuters, Joseph Ax, April 13, 2017


(Reuters) – U.S. authorities have charged a Detroit doctor with performing genital mutilation on 7-year-old girls in what is believed to be the first case brought under a law prohibiting the procedure.

Jumana Nagarwala, an emergency room physician at a Detroit hospital who performed the procedures at an unnamed medical clinic in the Detroit suburb of Livonia, was scheduled to appear in federal court on Thursday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Female genital mutilation constitutes a particularly brutal form of violence against women and girls,” acting U.S. Attorney in Detroit Daniel Lemisch said in a statement. “The practice has no place in modern society and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law.”

Female genital mutilation, or FGM, typically involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris and is barred by numerous international treaties. The practice is common in several African countries, including Somalia, Sudan and Egypt, where it is often a cultural or religious tradition.

The practice was outlawed in the United States in 1996, though the Justice Department said the Michigan case appeared to be the first criminal prosecution of its kind.

A lawyer for Nagarwala did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday afternoon.

Federal agents received a tip months ago that Nagarwala was performing FGM in Michigan, according to a criminal complaint unsealed on Thursday.

A review of her phone records led authorities to two 7-year-old girls who traveled with their parents to Michigan from Minnesota in February so they could undergo the procedure.

One of the children told investigators they were taken to Michigan for a “special” girls’ trip, the complaint said.

Medical exams of both girls showed their genitals had been altered, according to authorities.

Investigators tracked down several other child victims, the complaint said. Some parents acknowledged that Nagarwala had performed the procedures on their daughters, while others denied it.

A spokesman for Henry Ford Health System, which has employed Nagarwala as an emergency room physician, said she had been placed on administrative leave. Henry Ford Health System, which operates several Detroit-area hospitals, was not mentioned in the complaint.

“The alleged criminal activity did not occur at any Henry Ford facility,” David Olejarz said in an email. “We would never support or condone anything related to this practice.”

In addition to charges related to FGM, Nagarwala is charged with lying to federal agents after saying earlier this week that she did not engage in the practice.

The World Health Organization has estimated that more than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM, which can cause lasting health problems.

Exclusive AFDI video: Columbia students support female genital mutilation

January 3, 2017

Exclusive AFDI video: Columbia students support female genital mutilation, Jihad Watch

AFDI Unveils Alarming New Video Showing Acceptance of Female Genital Mutilation at Columbia University

NEW YORK, January 3: The human rights advocacy group the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) today unveiled an alarming new video, filmed at Columbia University, showing that at Columbia University, an Ivy League school and one of the nation’s foremost centers of higher learning, most students are willing to condone female genital mutilation.

AFDI President Pamela Geller noted: “Students were asked if Planned Parenthood should fund and support female genital mutilation (FGM). FGM involves partial or total removal of the clitoris causing injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It has no health benefits for girls and women, and removes all possibility of sexual pleasure. It is the worst kind of misogyny. Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.”

Geller explained: “We sent AFDI reporter Laura Loomer to Columbia and found the people there remarkably unconcerned about female genital mutilation. Probably because of fear of being called ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobic,’ they condoned the introduction into the U.S. of this human rights abuse.”

The video shows the need for honest and realistic education about the crime of female genital mutilation, and the failure of the American academic establishment to provide that education.

Girl Dies From FGM; Judge’s Sentence: Suspended Jail Terms

Huge Increase in Girls Victimized by Genital Mutilation in U.S.

August 1, 2016

Huge Increase in Girls Victimized by Genital Mutilation in U.S., Washington Free Beacon, , August 1, 2016

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 6, 2016 - Women protesting during the International Day against female genital mutilation . (Photo by Marcos del Mazo / Pacific Press) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***

MADRID, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 6, 2016 – Women protesting during the International Day against female genital mutilation . (Photo by Marcos del Mazo / Pacific Press)

An estimated 513,000 women and girls are at risk or have already been subjected to female genital mutilation in the United States, with the number skyrocketing due to increased immigration from countries in the Middle East and North Africa, where the practice is common.

The State Department considers female genital mutilation—the partial or total removal of female genitalia for no medical reason—to be a form of gender-based violence. The practice is illegal in the United States.

The number of girls suffering from female genital mutilation has tripled in the U.S. since 1990, according to a reportreleased by the Government Accountability Office on Monday.

The government places the blame on increased immigration from majority Muslim nations, where female genital mutilation is a common practice.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 513,000 women and girls in the United States were at risk of or had been subjected to female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in 2012, a threefold increase from its 1990 estimate,” the Government Accountability Office said. “CDC attributes this change primarily to increased immigration from countries where FGM/C is practiced, rather than an increase in the occurrence of FGM/C. Agency estimates were not able to distinguish between those who have already been subjected to FGM/C and those who are at risk.”

The report also noted that there have been exceedingly few investigations into female genital mutilation in the United States, because it generally goes unreported.

“While [female genital mutilation/cutting] FGM/C is a crime under federal and many state laws, law enforcement officials identified few investigations and prosecutions related to FGM/C,” the report said. “Officials said that this may be due, in part, to underreporting.”

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials have had no criminal investigation into the practice, despite identifying “at least 25 individuals in immigration court proceedings who were suspected of assistance in the perpetration of” female genital mutilation.

“Of the 25 suspected perpetrators, officials were aware of 1 individual who was removed from the country in July 2005,” the report said. “The remaining 24 were granted relief or protection from removal, were still in immigration proceedings, or were not issued a travel document by their home country to implement the immigration court’s final order of removal.”

Over 200 million women and girls alive today have suffered from female genital mutilation around the world. The numbers are especially prevalent in North Africa, as women and girls have reported being subjected to female genital mutilation at alarming rates.

Ninety-eight percent of women and girls in Somalia said they have undergone female genital mutilation. Other countries with high rates of the practice included Guinea (97 percent), Mali (89 percent), Egypt (87 percent), and Sudan (87 percent).

The State Department has done little to invest in fighting the practice abroad despite its recognition of female genital mutilation as “gender-based violence.” A previous Government Accountability Office report revealed that the agency spent more trying to invent the “origami condom” than it did fighting female genital mutilation abroad.

The State Department has only one stand-alone effort specifically targeting female genital mutilation, spending just $1.5 million over two years.

The latest report echoed the findings, noting that the State Department does not provide information on the dangers of the practice to many immigrants. The Government Accountability Office said the State Department does not provide a fact sheet on female genital mutilation to nonimmigrant visa recipients, which includes tourists, foreign students, diplomats, and temporary workers entering the country.

“[Female genital mutilation/cutting] FGM/C has both immediate and long-term health and social consequences,” the report said. “While federal agencies have made efforts to provide assistance to women and girls in the United States at risk of or who have been subjected to FGM/C, and increase awareness of the issue, certain efforts to educate immigrant communities and plan agency activities on FGM/C are lacking.”