Female genital mutilation: Hospitals to log victims

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Doctors and nurses in the UK are to be told to log details of the injuries suffered by victims of female genital mutilation (FGM).

The move is designed to gather more information on the practice, which was outlawed in the UK in 1985, and to help women at risk.

It comes ahead of the United Nations' Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM on Thursday.

At least 66,000 girls and women in the UK are believed to be victims.

The Department of Health says from April, all NHS hospitals will be able to record if a patient has undergone FGM or if there is a family history of this.

By September, all acute hospitals will have to report this data to the Department of Health, on a monthly basis.

The government says this is the first stage of a wider scheme to improve the way the NHS will "respond to, follow up and support the prevention of FGM".

It is hoped this will, in the autumn, provide the first snapshot of how many women have been treated by the NHS for FGM, and in the longer term, help identify families where girls might be at risk.

Written By: BBC News
continue to source article at bbc.co.uk

49 COMMENTS

  1. What have the 4 African countries mentioned in common?

    (clue- something the BBC does its utmost NOT to mention)

    Clue 2- weasel words like ‘culture’ ‘custom’ ‘tradition’ are popular substitutes…

    • In reply to #3 by Fritz:

      What have the 4 African countries mentioned in common?

      (clue- something the BBC does its utmost NOT to mention)

      Clue 2- weasel words like ‘culture’ ‘custom’ ‘tradition’ are popular substitutes…

      Are you Implying that Islamic countries are the ones who promote female genital mutilation ?… but you are too afraid to name it ???
      Well I would have thought from many articles previously on the site that this barbaric practice was more of an Arab or African tradition, and not specifically Muslim – but those African countries happen to have converted to Islam fairly recently……The majority of Muslims in the world live in Indonesia and do not practice this barbaric act…..So what are you trying to Imply?

      • In reply to #4 by Light Wave:

        The majority of Muslims in the world live in Indonesia and do not practice this barbaric act…..So what are you trying to Imply?

        On the contrary it is practised in the Muslim parts of Indonesia but not the non-Muslim. It seems to have arrived with Islam

        Indonesia (Type I and IV)
        FGM is prevalent in Indonesia.[146][147][148] In certain communities of Indonesia, mass female circumcision (khitanan massal) ceremony are organized by local Islamic foundations around Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. Some FGM are Type IV done with a pen knife, others are Type I done with scissors. Two Indonesian nationwide studies in 2003 and 2010 found over 80% of Muslim girls are subjected to cutting, typically newborns through the age of 9. More than 90% of adults claimed they wanted the practice to continue.[147][149] Historical records suggest female circumcision in Indonesia started and became prevalent with the arrival of Islam in the 13th century as part of its drive to convert people to Islam. In islands of Indonesia, where partial populations converted to Islam in 17th century, FGM has been prevalent in Muslim females only.[150][151] In 2006, FGM was banned by the government; however, FGM/C remained commonplace for women in Indonesia – the world’s largest Muslim nation.[152] In 2010, the Indonesian Health Ministry issued a decree outlining the proper procedure for FGM, which activists claim contradicted the 2006 ruling prohibiting clinics from performing any FGM.[153] In 2013, the Indonesian Ulema Council ruled that it favors FGM, stating that although it is not mandatory, it is still “morally recommended”.[154] The Ulema has been pushing Indonesian government to circumcise girls, claiming it is part of Islamic teachings.[155] Some Indonesian officials, in March 2013, claimed cutting and pricking type circumcision is not FGM.[156]

        • In reply to #9 by mmurray:

          In reply to #4 by Light Wave:

          The majority of Muslims in the world live in Indonesia and do not practice this barbaric act…..So what are you trying to Imply?

          On the contrary it is practised in the Muslim parts of Indonesia but not the non-Muslim. It seems to have arrived with Islam

          Indonesia…

          I WAY under estimated the level of involvement that Indonesian Muslims have in FGM practice – according to your data, but Muslims distance ‘themselves’ from this being specifically Islamic and as I said it is known to be more traditionally Tribal African or Arabic – pre Islam….Even if all Muslim countries practiced this… its still now treated as a criminal act in UK as it should be everywhere ? Next step ban all child circumcision.. but the female version is far more brutal as it doesn’t just involve loose skin….

          • In reply to #12 by Light Wave:

            but the female version is far more brutal as it doesn’t just involve loose skin….

            Those with foreskins will no doubt argue about the loose skin comment but the assumption that the FGM is always extreme is also incorrect. There are a number of Types classified by the WHO which differ in severity.

            Michael

      • In reply to #4 by Light Wave:

        In reply to #3 by Fritz:

        Are you Implying that Islamic countries are the ones who promote female…

        First here’s a wikiislam link, that goes in to detail.

        Quaran, Hadith, and Scholars: FGM

        Secondly, a link that quotes a conversation with Muhammed.

        Muhammed’s conversation with a Female circumciser

        “…While there is no mention of FGM in the Quran, a Hadith (saying about the life of the prophet) recounts a debate between Muhammed and Um Habibah (or Um ‘Atiyyah). This woman, known as an exciser of female slaves, was one of a group of women who had immigrated with Muhammed.

        Having seen her, Muhammad asked her if she kept practicing her profession. She answered affirmatively, adding: “unless it is forbidden, and you order me to stop doing it.” Muhammed replied:

        “Yes, it is allowed. Come closer so I can teach you: if you cut, do not overdo it, because it brings more radiance to the face, and it is more pleasant for the husband.”[2]“

        [2] Sami A. Aldeeb Abu Sahlieh, “To Mutilate in the Name of Jehovah or Allah: Legitimization of Male and Female Circumcision,” Medicine and Law, July 1994, pp. 575-622.

        However, it could be argued that Muhammed didn’t mandate it.

      • In reply to #4 by Light Wave:

        In reply to #3 by Fritz:

        Are you Implying that Islamic countries are the ones who promote female…

        Other posters have explained better than I that Islam is indeed a driving force, but not the ONLY one behind this barbarism.

        True, tribalism is probably as bad an influence but much north African tribalism revolves around religious belief anyway.

        I again point out that the BBC is guilty of ‘kitman’ (the Islamic tradition of avoiding unpleasant truths), in that it avoids using
        the “I” word and until very recently, the “M” word also, preferring the insulting term “South Asian” when referring to Muslims.

        Are you aware that UK police are investigating 54 “Asian” grooming gangs and over 500 cases of alleged rape of non- muslim
        girls? Do you know that the practice of raping non-muslims is sanctioned in Islam as a form of Jihad?

        The Sikh community has brought rape accusations against “Asians” which has forced the BBC to drop this canard and use the
        dreaded “Muslim” word. Progress against liberal leftist political correctness is slow but gaining pace, however the adverse effects
        of Islam in Europe are quite possibly irreversible and will increase with time and uncontrolled immigration.

        Hopefully as knowledge of Islamic values increases something will be done to slow the process but the future looks worrying, to me.
        Please, don’t take my word for any of this but do please do some research and look deeper than Cameron’s lie “It’s nothing to do with
        Islam”…

        AND before I am accused of hatred of Muslims, think again- I lived in an Islamic country for 2 years and I believe absolutely that the
        primary victims of Islam are MUSLIMS; Muslim women, overwhelmingly.

        This is strong stuff I write here- possibly too strong for RDFRS but I hope it won’t be censored. I can and will provide the Islamic references for everything stated, if required.
        [but, see Terrawatt #21]

    • In reply to #3 by Fritz:

      What have the 4 African countries mentioned in common?

      (clue- something the BBC does its utmost NOT to mention)

      Actually:-

      Female genital mutilation: A family speaks out against the abusehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-26049727

      As the government announces hospitals are being told to log information on patients who have suffered or are at risk of suffering female genital mutilation (FGM), three generations of one family scarred by the practice have spoken out.

      In a modest house in north London, a Somali family debates the wrongs of FGM.

      Two of them, grandmother Fatima Ali and her daughter Lul Musse, were cut as girls in Somalia. One, Lul’s daughter Samira Hashi, who came to the UK as an infant, has not been and will not be.

      Fatima, who is in her 80s, was mutilated in the most brutal way – FGM in its most extreme form, and without anaesthetic.

      “I was seven years old,” she says, speaking through her granddaughter as an interpreter.

      She says she was in a group of four girls and that she initially felt brave and excited and had wanted to go first.

      “The woman that was cutting me had my blood, splashing over her face,” she says.

      She says the pain she went through “nearly killed me” but that she went on to have it done to her daughter because she was “not educated enough” and thought it was the Islamic thing to do.

      “I understand now it was wrong and can’t let my grandchildren go through what I’ve been through,” she says.

      • In reply to #5 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #3 by Fritz:

        What have the 4 African countries mentioned in common?

        (clue- something the BBC does its utmost NOT to mention)

        >

        Actually:-

        Female genital mutilation: A family speaks out against the abuse – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-26049727

        Horror of horrors…I couldn’t squeeze my knees together hard enough and that’s just to read the article….This brutality definitely must be wiped out…British law will now prosecute it as a crime ….but is it retrospective ? It applies to all residents and citizens of UK whether here or abroad….but it may not stop foreigners coming here and performing it on British girls

  2. It is quite simple if you see evidence that any child or minor has had bits of their genitals cut off you know a crime has been committed. Report it as such to the police. Period! If you see it in an adult it is most likely that a crime has also been committed in the past, perhaps the question could be asked when was this done to you? By whom? If someone comes in with a shotgun wound would they not report this? Even if it was claimed to be an accident?

  3. “The Department of Health says from April, all NHS hospitals will be able to record if a patient has undergone FGM or if there is a family history of this. “

    Will be able to record? 30 years after the law was enacted?

    “It is hoped this will, in the autumn, provide the first snapshot of how many women have been treated by the NHS for FGM, and in the longer term, help identify families where girls might be at risk.”

    Notice the article makes no mention of actual action taken to enforce the law, only measures of damage assessment.

  4. Whether a religion is involved is really irrelevant it is sheer barbarism. Parents should be arrested and prosecuted if they subject their daughters to FGM. If they try to pass off their barbarism by appeal to the hocus pocus humbug of islam then we can conclude that this twisted religion is a compelling factor. That we have laws in place and thousands of girls at risk or victims without a single prosecution is a monument to the utter rank cowardice and incompetence of law agencies and government.

  5. I don’t understand while girls of the appropriate age going on “holiday” to countries where these practices occur are not required to undergo screening on departure and return. They would travel only through a small number of airports so it would be possible to provide all the appropriate facilities such as female doctors, translators, etc. Parents could be warned of the consequences of any mutilation on their way out.

    Michael

    • In reply to #15 by mmurray:

      I don’t understand while girls of the appropriate age going on “holiday” to countries where these practices occur are not required to undergo screening on departure and return. They would travel only through a small number of airports so it would be possible to provide all the appropriate facilitie…

      Wow that could be seen as being very intrusive.
      I mean think about it, every time you leave and return the country you have to show your privates to someone…
      Also this is not necessary. As long as the hospital keeps a record, they will be able to find out any changes that have
      happened and could narrow it down to the time, in which it happened.

      Anyway, on to the article, I think this is very good news. Its a step in the right direction and will help build up
      towards more powerful means of helping girls.

      • In reply to #22 by Terra Watt:

        In reply to #15 by mmurray:

        Wow that could be seen as being very intrusive. I mean think about it, every time you leave and return the country you have to show your privates to someone… Also this is not necessary. As long as the hospital keeps a record, they will be able to find out any changes that have happened and could narrow it down to the time, in which it happened.

        Only if you are a girl at an at risk age and travelling to certain countries. I agree it’s intrusive but this is a difficult crime to stop. Interestingly your reaction is similar to the one I had a year or so back here when lots of posters here were keen on all girls in the right ethnic groups and age being examined at School by a doctor.

        Why would you expect the girl to attend hospital ?

        Michael

      • In reply to #22 by Terra Watt:

        In reply to #15 by mmurray:

        I don’t understand while girls of the appropriate age going on “holiday” to countries where these practices occur are not required to undergo screening on departure and return. They would travel only through a small number of airports so it would be possible to provide…

        Then its TOO LATE!! The abuse has happened. The abuse needs to be STOPPED not measured!!

  6. I think the govn’t should have an amnesty policy.
    All cases must be reported by dd/mm/2014 and no prosecution will be made.

    After that, large fines, lifetime community work sentences, jail and deportation (if not citizens) should all be options for the courts to impose on the parents and perpetrators for any case found.
    Defendants could reduce sentences by providing evidence of the identity of practitioners in other countries who could then be banned from traveling to all UK territories.
    All child mutilation should be systematically prosecuted.

  7. Not content with committing infanticide if a fetus is the “wrong” sex, religious leaders/traditions, instructs devotees to hack bits off of their children after they’re born.

    Over twenty years ago in London some hospitals kept the sex of a fetus secret because of “some cultural practices”.

    What is it about religion that inhibits the truth being spoken? It’s a fantasy that causes untold harm; the worst self inflicted wound humanity suffers.

    And if you don’t go along with it you’re a bad person; ridiculous!

    Well, in my book, if something is ridiculous it should be ridiculed; the trouble is that doing so is very upsetting to religious people; so, what ever you do, if it concerns religion, it stinks.

    I need a cup of tea.

  8. Where is your intestinal fortitude, o mighty UK government? Why haven’t you hosed the filth that practise FGM back into the cess-pit of History where they belong?

    Oh I forgot – the world’s first ‘Commonwealth,’ home of the “mother of parliaments,” where all “are equal before the law,” is still hiding its backbone in its wallet!

    And multiple upvotes to comments 13, 15, 16 and 17!

  9. FGM was certified as criminality over twenty years ago; and yet there have been no prosecutions since.
    This demonstrates the politically correct evil adopted by both police and politicians?
    It’s a superb example of nauseating backward culture!

    • In reply to #19 by Blasphemyman:

      FGM was certified as criminality over twenty years ago; and yet there have been no prosecutions since.
      This demonstrates the politically correct evil adopted by both police and politicians?
      It’s a superb example of nauseating backward culture!

      Well put. Why is it that so many people of liberal bent are in denial about Islam? The facts are staring them in the face but they don’t want to see. Jihad has become commonplace, warfare to spread islam; gays are hanged in public in Iran, thieves have their hand amputated in African muslim countries, crucifixion is carried out in Yemen, witches beheaded in Saudi Arabia, suicide bombings are commonplace- and liberal deniers cling to their “Nothing to do with Islam” lies and deceptions.

      Democracy is in deep trouble- wake up, people.

  10. Why just hospitals? Why not GPs, and health visitors and school nurses?

    And why report it only to the Dept of Health? Why is there no obligation to report it immediately to the police with a view to prosecution and imprisonment of the parents? And if the parents are not willing to rat out whoever carried out the procedure for them, they can go to prison for twice as long.

    We need to stop pussy-footing around “multicultural sensitivities” on this one. The plain fact is that in the 29 years since 1985, Britain has prosecuted nobody at all.

    France has prosecuted more than 100. And people in France have pretty much got the message.

    • In reply to #20 by Stevehill:

      Why is there no obligation to report it immediately to the police with a view to prosecution and imprisonment of the parents?

      That would make for a tricky situation. If you link health care to policing then there is a danger that someone in need of care is likely to avoid or be denied health care. This is the perfect example, suppose a girl (or indeed boy) has been ritually mutilated but sometime later needs (unrelated) medical help. The parents are likely to avoid taking the child to seek professional help and instead decide to use back street care instead.

      Personally I am revolted by male and female mutilation (although the girls clearly get the raw end of the deal). How can we continue to allow these practices? Well obviously the answer is that we do not want to offend the religious sensitivities but that should not be a consideration when we are talking about child abuse.

      • In reply to #23 by naskew:

        In reply to #20 by Stevehill:

        Why is there no obligation to report it immediately to the police with a view to prosecution and imprisonment of the parents?

        That would make for a tricky situation. If you link health care to policing then there is a danger that someone in need of care is likely to a…

        Perhaps to a point. But hospitals are already obliged to inform the police if they treat say gunshot or knife wounds, and they are also obliged to act if they see evidence of child abuse, including if needs be taking children into care on the spot.

        If FGM is not child abuse, what is?

        As I say, we’re pussy-footing around this issue.

        Incidentally, it seems in Northern Ireland, uniquely, a hospital is obliged to report evidence of any arrestable offence to the police.

        • In reply to #25 by Stevehill:

          If FGM is not child abuse, what is?
          As I say, we’re pussy-footing around this issue.<

          Insert here ISLAMOPHOBIA- any criticism of the Religion of Peace or its prophet is usually met
          with this word, accompanied by RACISM, regardless of truth or otherwise in said criticism.

          Meaning? ‘Irrational fear of Islam’… I for one am very afraid of this so-called religion with its many
          calls to kill the kuffar, the People of the Book and all other non- believers. What is ‘irrational’ about that?

  11. Mutilation of children is barbaric and cruel. The exposure of the extent of it in UK is to be welcomed but the unintended consequence may be that parents who have mutilated their children will keep them away from important medical treatment in order to prevent the reporting of the mutilation, The pracitce should be criminalised and heavily penalised to prevent it happening but an amnesty should be granted to encourage the parents of child victims to report it now or face future prosecution. STRONG ACTION IS NEEDED to protect children and prevent it from happening, not collection of data to analyse an atrocity that is known to exist! .

    • In reply to #26 by Richard01:

      The pracitce should be criminalised and heavily penalised to prevent it happening but an amnesty should be granted to encourage the parents of child victims to report it now or face future prosecution.

      HI Richard,
      unsure if this tread is still active, I agree that some amnesty may be warranted. You would need to be careful how it was applied. If any forewarning was given there may well be a rush to get your female children circumcised before the amnesty ended. Secondly I think before we can successfully achieve this we will probably need to ban non-medical male circumcision also. Still I would assume this is not a matter of government writing new laws rather a matter of applying laws that already exist. Including prosecuting those who fail to report abuse when they find it.

  12. Due to the secretive nature of this barbaric ritual and all of the powerful cultural symbolism that is attached to it, the only way to attack it’s continued existence is with a persistent, assertive strategy of stealthy meme destruction.

    Government services play a role in setting the law and holding citizens accountable for their behavior. For this to work effectively, residents and citizens need to have a perfectly clear understanding of exactly what that law means. For incoming immigrants there should be detailed explanation of the law when they file their paperwork. This is where the old ideas will be challenged for the first time but it’s not enough to have a one time discussion and then send them on their merry way. Government social services need to follow up with home visits for an extended period of time and reports should be compiled including educational assessment and complete medical evaluation for all children. Evaluation of genitals is part of a standard check-up. All adults in the family need to understand that these medical assessments will be done on a regular basis and any indication of physical abuse will be reported to the government authorities immediately with no exceptions. Specifically, all matters of family law must be clearly stated and must be:

    1. Explained in the immigrant’s native language hopefully by a member of their own community in good standing, who is viewed as a respected liaison between the new country and the immigrant’s community. Immigrants must sign their name to official papers that they understand their legal responsibility and that infractions have substantial consequences including termination of their immigration processes and a permanent record with the police and government agencies.

    2. Gender segregrated so that women can freely ask questions about their legal rights having to do with domestic violence, reproductive rights, control of their own finances, right to pursue an education and career, and their right to choose when and who to marry. Men should be addressed separately and instructed that there are real penalties that will have very bad consequences such as steep fines and jail time and that bribery and special favors from someone they know in the system will not make the problem disappear as it did in the old country!

      It must be stated in no uncertain terms that all children have strict rights in their new country including the right to not be hit, beaten, cut, burned, punished in ways that cause physical pain or mutilation and that if it becomes apparent that these crimes have been committed against a minor in their household, then the police will be called and the adults who are responsible for these crimes will be arrested. Once arrested, their behavior will be public knowledge and this is a shocking idea to new immigrants who operate with a puritanical worldview and assume that they can mutilate the genitals of children and teens and install feelings of shame and perversion in the privacy of their own homes because due to the shameful sexual nature of this issue, no one would ever talk about it in public. Shame avoidance is of paramount importance and this should be used in the fight against GM. In fact, most of the issues mentioned above are taboo for discussion by mixed gender interlocutors in traditional families and this is why it is imperative to have gender specific members of their own communities who act as liaisons between the two different societies.

    Every opportunity should be taken to communicate these ideas and requirements to the new immigrant whenever they interact with government agencies but this is not enough to change traditions and viewpoints that are deeply ingrained and surrounded with fear, shame and threats that make change impossible in the family and their community. We need to collect individuals from the community itself to recieve special training and education and then to be sent into the community to implement an assertive program of progressive reform. Find promising, progressive young people from the community, give them generous scholarships and incentives to complete the program to work in social welfare professions and then hire them to act as these crucial liaisons.

    The mosques are the first place I would start with gender segregated discussion programs about all the topics mentioned above. Imams must be leveraged and so must the matriarchs of the community. These individuals have the power to make things happen in families and communities and rule by edict. When edicts are issued by matriarchs and patriarchs, change happens on the spot and no underling has the right to even enter into the discussion. When it comes to the issue of FGM, matriarchs are ones that will make policy changes for their dependents. These elderly and middle aged women are forces to reckon with! They are often uneducated and illiterate but that doesn’t mean that they are stupid. In my experience, they never shy away from difficult discussions and listen respectfully and thoughtfully to the opinions of this outsider although that doesn’t mean that they agree with me every time. Sometimes we circle back to issues several times before a working agreement is reached. (I’m American and my in-laws are Algerian). Many have suffered through war and extreme poverty and have strength of mind and resilience that is astounding to observe. We need to target them. Let’s meet them on their own turf. I’ve seen it work.

    • In reply to #30 by LaurieB:

      Evaluation of genitals is part of a standard check-up.

      I’m sorry but I wouldn’t stand for that kind of treatment!
      Why? Because I myself would not like to be treated that way, where I’m subjected to standard check up of my genitals.
      What needs to happen is this, when we find out about a girl who was circumcised, we need to treat it as a criminal
      offense, and do some good police work to find out who did it and then punish them for their act of child abuse.
      I assume that the police can usually catch thieves, rapists, child molesters and murderers,
      so they should be able to find out those who do this utterly repugnant treatment of little girls.

      Violating basic rights,decency and privacy isn’t the way forward.

      • In reply to #48 by Terra Watt:

        I’m sorry but I wouldn’t stand for that kind of treatment!
        Why? Because I myself would not like to be treated that way, where I’m subjected to standard check up of my genitals.
        What needs to happen is this, when we…

        I said:

        reports should be compiled including educational assessment and complete medical evaluation for all children. Evaluation of genitals is part of a standard check-up. All adults in the family need to understand that these medical assessments will be done on a regular basis and any indication of physical abuse will be reported to the government authorities immediately with no exceptions.

        Oh dear, you have just reminded me that in previous discussions of this topic, others were surprised to hear about the idea of evaluation of genitals as part of a yearly pediatric check up and I think I had a comment by an Aussie that a yearly check up for kids was unheard of there as well. I assumed that yearly check ups for kids was a health standard as it is here in the States. My bad. I shouldn’t assume such a thing. I will add that evaluation of genitals is part of the standard physical assessment and is on the form that physicians use to write their findings from the exam. American kids are used to this as being part of the exam. The parents know this too since they’re always in the exam room with the kids. I’ve never heard complaints about this procedure from anyone and I would wonder why a parent would object to this part of the exam. I assume that a refusal would be a red flag for the physician to suspect sexual abuse.

        Physicians and teachers are obligated to report evidence of abuse to the authorities here if they observe it. This is where my recommendation comes from. Here in our system, an immigrant girl would have a standard physical exam, which includes a genital assessment-just like for all other children and at that point it would be documented whether or not she has experienced FGM or not. If she turns up in future routine examination as a victim of that practice, then it will be clear that it happened in the interval and then we have a solid case against the adult member of her family who coerced the girl into the abuse.

        What needs to happen is this, when we find out about a girl who was circumcised, we need to treat it as a criminal offense, and do some good police work to find out who did it and then punish them for their act of child abuse. I assume that the police can usually catch thieves, rapists, child molesters and murderers, so they should be able to find out those who do this utterly repugnant treatment of little girls.

        How do you imagine that we will find out about the FGM? I agree with LindaOH in comment 47. She says:

        Most of the women who have FGM don’t see themselves as having been mutilated until it is being called out as such in a different country.

        I’m doubtful that girls will suffer this violation that their own moms and grandmothers have coerced them into doing and then walk up to a police officer and rat them out. We can’t count on victim reports to end this problem. They are children with no power to stop it. Maybe FGM victims imagine that all girls in the world suffer this abuse just like they have. That’s why we need trained professionals like physicians, social workers and teachers to use the information that they glean in their own professional domains.

        I’m sorry but I wouldn’t stand for that kind of treatment! Why? Because I myself would not like to be treated that way, where I’m subjected to standard check up of my genitals.

        I can’t relate to that comment because I don’t remember a time when I was not “treated that way”! Goodness gracious, I hope you are having yearly PAP tests for cervical cancer and mammograms (at a certain age) for breast cancer detection. And how in the world would a super modest woman deliver a baby without legs open wide in the presence of several medical professionals? Let’s face it, there are some times when medical staff must have access to these parts of our anatomy whether we like it or not. American kids are taught that Dr.s sometimes need to check their “privates” in a yearly check up and that it’s for good reason. Other people are not allowed to see or touch their “privates” for any reason and that if another adult shows interest in this then children know to tell their parents or teacher or Dr. about this right away, even if the abuser tells them to keep a secret or threatens them with harm.

        Since these yearly pediatric exams are standard practice here in the States, I would expect any incoming immigrant families to be made aware of the fact and I don’t care about their religio-cultural puritanical complaints about it.

        There are times when modesty must be surrendered in the interests of health and in the case of FGM this routine check up could save the physical and psychological well being of a child. That is the priority here!

  13. I’d be interested to know what percentage of the world’s muslims refuse to practice this – Is it more than those who practice it ???…Just because its illegal in certain countries is not likely to prevent it …determined people will be more devious to get around any laws….The grassroots level of discouragement is probably the best way to make a difference from Moderate and influential muslim women especially….

    • In reply to #32 by Stevehill:

      Credit where due. At least one Muslim woman has her head screwed on and is trying to do something about FGM.

      It’s a petition. Worth signing.

      Thanks for posting that. It’s very encouraging. What an excellent opportunity to make real progress on this issue. The potential victims of this crime are asking for help and protection. How could anyone turn their backs on these girls? I’d like to have an update on her progress. A petition is not enough. The government needs to jump on this and make more resources available to her and initiate a program using her school as a model.

    • In reply to #32 by Stevehill:

      Credit where due. At least one Muslim woman has her head screwed on and is trying to do something about FGM.

      It’s a petition. Worth signing.

      Signed & forwarded to all in my address book

  14. I cannot begin to imagine the physical and mental agony this vile procedure causes. And the idea that a mother can willingly submit her child to it beggars belief.

    We need more than just recording incidences and suspicions. Perpetrators need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Generally, I’m against capital punishment, but in FGM cases, I’m happy to make an exception.

  15. In reply to #37 by Fritz:

    In reply to #4 by Light Wave:

    The majority of Muslims in the world live in Indonesia and do not practice this barbaric act…..So what are you trying to Imply?

    Implying nothing- stating you are ignorant of the facts. Google ‘FGM Asia’ to see the truth on Wikipedia; I tried to provide several links but none seem to work.

    • In reply to #39 by Fritz:

      In reply to #37 by Fritz:

      In reply to #4 by Light Wave:

      The majority of Muslims in the world live in Indonesia and do not practice this barbaric act…..So what are you trying to Imply?

      Implying nothing- stating you are ignorant of the facts. Google ‘FGM Asia’ to see the truth on Wikipedia; I tri…

      I gave the wikipedia link up at Comment #9.

      I noticed the Guardian today in its campaign against FGM was totally ignoring Indonesia, Malaysia and Phillipines as well.

      Michael

      • In reply to #40 by mmurray:

        In reply to #39 by Fritz:

        In reply to #37 by Fritz:

        In reply to #4 by Light Wave:

        The majority of Muslims in the world live in Indonesia and do not practice this barbaric act…..So what are you trying to Imply?

        Implying nothing- stating you are ignorant of the facts. Google ‘FGM Asia’ to see th…

        Thanks Michael, I missed that. I worry that my anger and frustration shows too much regarding the Religion of Peace and its good works. Things are changing though, recalling a few years ago that comments critical of islam were immediately met with vociferous defence by certain subscribers. So it’s reassuring that the truth is becoming more accepted.

    • In reply to #39 by Fritz:

      In reply to #37 by Fritz:

      In reply to #4 by Light Wave:

      The majority of Muslims in the world live in Indonesia and do not practice this barbaric act…..So what are you trying to Imply?

      I was ignorant of that fact – I wrongly assumed Indonesian Muslims are more moderate than the middle east and africa ? I thought ignorance of this particular subject is the norm……So you still haven’t stated what exactly it was that you were implying then Fritz – by saying ‘what do all those 4 african countries have in common’ implying nothing ?? So whats the answer to your cryptic message ? Okay so you still wont own it….dont say it then…..theres no clarity about what you are trying to say…

  16. The idea that if you do this to a girl it is harm and if you do the same thing to a boy it is not harm does your case no good. It is such a glaring hypocrisy. Why is a pin prick to a girl more harmful than the amputation of a large portion of a boy’s genitals? Why not have hospitals log ALL genital mutilations, not just the female victims? Why have a law that protects one gender and not the other? How could you ever prosecute someone under such an obviously biased law!

    Fix this and progress may begin to be made.

    • In reply to #45 by Godfree1:

      The idea that if you do this to a girl it is harm and if you do the same thing to a boy it is not harm does your case no good. It is such a glaring hypocrisy. Why is a pin prick to a girl more harmful than the amputation of a large portion of a boy’s genitals? Why not have hospitals log ALL genital…

      Its not biased in an unfair way but Obviously in a Gender specific way as the biology dictates….and there are also many groups against male circumcision…..They both leave lasting effects however the female version certainly seems more brutal, but both crimes against children are equally horrific to the child being put through it by adults usually family…having your clitoris hacked off with a rusty razor blade is not a pinprick….your insensitivity is palpable

  17. Most of the women who have FGM don’t see themselves as having been mutilated until it is being called out as such in a different country. To log its occurrence to protect young girls is still a very useful idea. Its a sensitive subject, though. And its not enough if it only included one gender. How about NHS doctors also log all the males with genital mutilation (i.e. male circumcision) to protect baby boys. For unexplainable reasons, MGM is still mostly overlooked as such, despite its similarity to FGM in that it is not medically relevant in the majority of cases and based on religious origin, plus it is also performance on tiny baby boys that have no say in the matter and can often lead to problems, including diminished sexual pleasure/function based on the loss of sensation that the boys experience.

  18. A report in The Guardian

    The girls were ready to leave for London on Eurostar when French police arrived at the school gate to take them into care and their parents into custody. It is doubtful the cousins, both six, had been told why they were crossing the Channel. But activists campaigning against female genital mutilation (FGM) told the Guardian they had learned that the parents were planning to have them “cut”, and tipped off the police just in time.

    So much for UK laws if it is seen as the place to go to get your daughters mutilated.

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