Let’s be clear: FGM (female genital mutilation) is illegal in the United States. That fact did not stop Drs. Humana Nagarwala, Fakhruddin Attar, and his wife Farida Attar, from allegedly performing these criminal and human rights atrocities against two vulnerable 7-year-old girls in the Detroit metro area. The physicians and Attar’s wife have all been arrested. According to Fox 2 News in Detroit the three have been charged with female genital mutilation and conspiracy. The doctors are also charged with making false statements to investigators and trying to obstruct the investigation.
For years, many Muslims have insisted that the practice of FGM has nothing to do with Islam, that it is, originally, an African and pagan custom. This may be true. However, many Muslims believe it is religiously required.
Boldly, cleverly, the Detroit-area physicians are arguing that FGM is a “religious practice” and that to interfere with it is tantamount to religious discrimination. There is some proof that Mohammed allowed a female “exciser” to perform this mutilation — but he advised her not to “overdo it.”
In the Islamic world, FGM is practiced most widely in the in the Arab Muslim Middle East, both in the Gulf and in African states such as Egypt, Somalia, and Sudan; but it has increasingly spread to Muslim communities in Central Asia (parts of Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran) and to the Far East (Malaysia and Indonesia).
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