Today, an estimated 130 million (Mostly Muslim) women have undergone sexual mutilation.
It is performed in many African countries, including Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Chad. It is also a tradition among Muslims in Malaysia and Indonesia, and in a number of countries in the Middle East, including Egypt, the UAE, and parts of rural Saudi Arabia. Lately, it is happening to Muslim girls in Western countries.
Thousands of girls mutilated in Britain: The National Health Service is offering to reverse female circumcision amid concerns that there are 500 victims a year with no prosecutions.
The NHS is to advertise free operations to reverse female circumcisions, with experts warning that each year more than 500 British girls have their genitals mutilated.
Despite having been outlawed in 1985, female circumcision is still practised in British African (Muslim) communities, in some cases on girls as young as 5. Police have been unable to bring a single prosecution even though they suspect that community elders are being flown from the Horn of Africa to carry out the procedures.
Sarah McCulloch, of the Agency for Culture Change Management UK, said that every year more than 500 British girls were having circumcisions. “A lot of them are done in the UK, but some still travel overseas,” she said. “What the communities do is they gather
together and collect money to pay for the ticket for a ‘doctor’ to come from Somalia, Sudan, or whatever,” she told The Times. “And when she arrives here, she goes to a house and has the girls brought to her.”Times ONLINE
Ayaan Hirsi Ali explains that many Muslim clerics endorse female circumision to repress sexuality in young girls, depriving their right to pleasure and causing extreme pain, and even death. Many girls die from hemorrhaging and use of non-sterile instruments.
It appears to be driven originally by men’s desire to have power over womens’ sexualityto remove fear of paternity uncertainty by keeping women chaste and uninterested in love affairs, but the practice has become so old and rooted that it is now perpetuated by womenupon women in many places.
There is no mention of it in the Koran, and only a brief mention in the authentic hadiths, which states: “A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet said to her: ‘Do not cut severely, as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.’ But because of this still debated hadith, some scholars of the Shari school of Islam, found mostly in East Africa, consider female circumcision obligatory. The Hanafi and most other schools maintain it is merely recommended, not essential.The small girl’s torn genitalia are stitched with thorns and her legs tied together to reduce blood loss. Many die.
More than 90 percent of Sudanese women undergo the most severe form of circumcision,known as “pharaonic,”orinfibulation, at the age of seven or eight, which removes all of the clitoris, the labia minora, and the labia majora. The sides are then sutured together, often with thorns, and only a small matchstick-diameter opening is left for urine and menstrual flow. The girl’s legs are tied together and liquids are heavily rationed until the incision is healed.
During this primitive yet major surgery, it is not uncommon for girls, who are held down by female relatives, to die from shock or hemorrhage of the vagina, urethra, bladder, and rectal area may also be damaged, and massive keloid scarring can obstruct walking for life.
After marriage, women who have been infibulated must be forcibly penetrated. This may take up to forty days, and when men are impatient, a knife is used. Special honeymoon centers are built outside communities so that the screams of the brides will not be heard. Sometimes the husband traditionally runs through the streets with a blood-stained dagger.
Female genital mutilation is carried out for cultural and religious reasons. Women across the world are affected by the practice which is widely recognized as a violation of human rights.
“I heard the sound of the dug blade sawing back and forth through my skin,” The woman used thorns from an acacia tree to puncture holes in her skin and sew her up, leaving a tiny hole the diameter of a matchstick, through which urine and menstrual blood could dribble.
“My legs were completely numb, but the pain between them was so intense that I wished I would die.” Five-year-old Waris was left in a hut to recuperate her infibulation.
Uncircumcised girls are seen as unclean and treated as outcasts. For more than 20 years Dirie suffered health problems from her radical circumcision. Menstruation was a long, agonizing process each month, as the menstrual blood backed up in her body.
Egyptian Muslims Explain Why They Circumcise Their Daughters.
5/17/08 “Conservatives in the Egyptian parliament have made female genital mutilation (circumcision) legal again in Egypt.” Following are excerpts from a television program about female circumcision in Egypt, which aired on Al-Mihwar TV on May 10, 2007. Female Circumcision of Egyptian Muslim women has been adopted and promoted by various groups within Islam.The practice of circumcision in Islam comes from the Hadith, Shariah law, and the consensus of Islamic communities.
“I was unable to see, and somehow my breathing seemed also to have stopped. Yet I imagined the thing that was making the rasping sound coming closer and closer to me. … At that very moment I realized that my thighs had been pulled wide apart, and that each of my lower limbs was being held as far away from the other as possible, gripped by-steel fingers that never relinquished their pressure.
I felt that the rasping knife or blade was heading straight down towards my throat. Then suddenly the sharp metallic edge seemed to drop between my thighs and there cut off a piece of flesh from my body.