Some of America’s most respected attorneys have been willing to earn the ire of their colleagues and critics for the sake of what is right and good defending the rights of Muslims. Many other Americans have also defended the rights of Muslims to pray and to have access to halal food. These positions, while not always popular in certain circles, are consistent with America’s commitment to religious liberty and the first amendment of the Constitution. Many of us Muslims have appreciated and applauded these outspoken heroes for their commitment to religious liberty and principled positions on matters pertaining to free speech and human rights. They have often taken stances representative of the best of America’s commitment to freedom.
It therefore came as a shock and a serious disappointment to learn that the great attorney, Mr. Alan M. Dershowitz, America’s most vigorous defender of religious liberty, has chosen to participate as a consultant in the defense of a Michigan doctor, Jumana Nagarwala, who has been arrested for mutilating the genitals of girls in her Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community. Our American Islamic Forum for Democracy made this statement in April at the time of her arrest. We also then sent an open letter to Mr. Janel Amil Saheb, the head of her Detroit Dawoodi Bohra community, which very likely created an environment that was complicit in the crimes. Rather than enable them by consulting in their defense as Mr. Dershowitz seems want to do, it is incumbent upon all genuine defenders of women’s rights to demand immediate reform.
It has been revealed that Nagarwala and others in the community have essentially been trafficking young girls from out of state to her “practice” so that she can cut and maim their bodies, all the while claiming to uphold the Hippocratic oath – one I also took and hold sacred as a physician – to “do no harm.”
Responding to criticism, according to Breitbart, Mr. Dershowitz now says of his consulting agreement with the Dawat-e-Hadiyah:
“This group rejects female genital mutilation. I agreed to consult with them and to work toward an acceptance of merely a symbolic pin prick, not even of the clitoris, but just of the clitoral hood, which is the equivalent of the foreskin… The idea really is the functional equivalent of what Jews do. If a non-Jewish kid were circumcised at birth, as many are but didn’t have a bris, didn’t have a religious circumcision and he wants to convert to Judaism or his parents want to convert him to Judaism, he has a little symbolic pin prick, it draws one tiny bit of blood and that takes the place of a circumcision and that’s what I propose.”
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