Female genital mutilation

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Female genital mutilation (FGM), sometimes referred to euphemistically as "female circumcision", refers to various forms of permanent and harmful operations performed on the private parts of girls or women. Although not exclusively Islamic — some Christians, Jews, and animists have also been known to practice it — FGM is primarily an Islamic practice.[1][2][3]

Female genital mutilation is relatively rare in the West but is widely practiced in parts of Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa, especially but not exclusively where Islam predominates. However, it is growing in Western countries due to Muslim immigration.[4] The Swiss Islamic Council has defended FGM even though Switzerland bans the practice.[4] Between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018, an average of one FGM case every two hours occurred in England.[5]

... practitioners look on it as an integral part of their cultural and ethnic identity, and some perceive it as a religious obligation Female Circumcision: Rite of Passage Or Violation of Rights? - Guttmacher Institute

The mutilation is usually carried out when the girl is prepubescent,[6] often forcibly and against her wishes. It can cause many potential genito-urinary complications, including infection, urinary incontinence, and increased risk of problems during future childbirth.

Worldwide, an estimated 3 million mutilations are performed each year,[7] and 200 million girls and women are living with FGM.[8]


United States

In the United States, Congress outlawed the practice in 1996 and further tightened the law in 2013. Both performing the operation in the US and transporting a child to a foreign country to get the operation are felonies subject to 5 years imprisonment.[9] However, no federal cases were brought against doctors until 2017.[10] However, many states have failed to also adopt laws to cover situations where the child does not cross a state line to get the operation.

U.S. states

On June 9, 2017, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law expanding Texas's ban on FGM.[11] On July 11, 2017, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill into law making FGM a felony.[12]

Other countries

Indonesia was one of the first countries to ban FGM in 2006, prohibited health officials to perform FGM as a “useless” practice that “could potentially harm women’s health”. In November 2010, the government gave in to Islamic pressure and legalize FGM but with regulations allowing health care professionals to scratch the girl's area with a sterile needle.[13]

See also


  1. Munro, Neil (April 13, 2017). Feds Promise to Protect Half a Million American Girls from Genital Mutilation. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  2. Roys, Julie (May 8, 2017). Fear Of Islam Should Not Enable Female Genital Mutilation Inside The United States. The Federalist. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  3. Khan, Aysha (April 27, 2017). The ’Splainer: What is female genital mutilation, and what does it have to do with Islam?. Religion News Service. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Tomlinson, Chris (February 24, 2018). Swiss Islamic Council Justifies Female Genital Mutilation. Breitbart News. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  5. Deacon, Liam (July 8, 2018). England: New Female Genital Mutilation Case Every Two Hours, Experts Demand Action. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  6. Female Genital Mutilation – The Wallace Global Fund
  7. Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: Introduction. Retrieved on June 15, 2017.
  8. Welcome To The Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation Website. Retrieved on June 15, 2017.
  9. 18 U.S.C. §116
  10. Multiple references:
  11. Hope, Merrill (June 14, 2017). Texas Expands Ban on Female Genital Mutilation. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  12. Rodriguez, Katherine (July 12, 2017). Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Signs Law Making Female Genital Mutilation a Felony. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  13. Indonesia. Retrieved on June 14, 2015.

External links