Is Female Genital Mutilation an Islamic Problem?

By Julie Roys

Two Michigan doctors and a spouse are being charged in the nation’s first federal criminal prosecution involving female genital mutilation (FGM), and the State Department wants to make sure we don’t get the wrong idea.

“When we think of female genital mutilation, we usually think of African cultures and non-Christian religions,” says A. Renee Bergstrom, a 72-year-old white woman, in a newly-released State Department video. “However, my FGM took place in white, Midwest America. FGMC (female genital mutilation/cutting) is global in scope. It cuts across race, religion, geography, and socio-economic class.”

The video was released on April 14, the day after authorities charged Michigan doctor, Jumana Nagarwala, with mutilating the genitals of two seven-year-old girls from Minnesota. The painful procedure, which involves cutting or removing all or part of the external female genitalia, was allegedly performed at a clinic in Livonia, Michigan. The owner of the clinic, Dr. Fakruddin Attar, has also been charged along with his wife, Farida Attar, who allegedly assisted in the procedure.

The news of FGM occurring on American soil has shocked many. But it also has revived debates about who or what is to blame for this barbaric practice.

Read the rest of this article on The Federalist website.



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1 thought on “Is Female Genital Mutilation an Islamic Problem?”

  1. Hadith

    أشمِّي ولا تنهَكي
    ašimmī wa-lā tanhakī
    [Cut] slightly and do not overdo it

    ختفضن ولا تنهكن
    iḫtafiḍna wa-lā tanhikna
    Cut [slightly] without exaggeration


    FGM = FGM Type I, II, III, IV (WHO | Classification of female genital mutilation). There’s no such thing as ‘mild’ FGM. FGM is FGM is FGM.

    Islamic institutions such as the Indonesian Fatwa Council (MUI – Majelis Ulama Indonesia) do not call the “mild” forms of girls’ circumcision a mutilation (FGM). We see that differently. Even the least invasive form of girls’ circumcision has to be overcome, worldwide. Khatna resp. Khitan al-inath (Islamic FGM) has to be overcome, worldwide.

    Khatna / Khitan al-inath (FGM) is religion (Sharia and Fiqh; Islam), for the Shafii madhhab of Sunni Islam and also for the Shia Bohra (see criminal case against Dr Jumana Nagarwala, Michigan, US) FGM is wajib (obligatory, a religious duty).

    My real concern is that Europe, and the USA will soon legalise some “mild” forms of the Classification of FGM.

    Any form of FGM should be banned everywhere.


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