Female genital mutilation (FGM) or clitoridectomy is an Islamic tradition, rampant in the Muslim world. Over 96% of the women in Egypt have been clitoridectomized. Back in 2008, devout members of the Egyptian parliament have made female genital mutilation (circumcision) legal again in Egypt. With the advent of increased Muslim immigration, this has become a pressing issue here in America.
But the denial is all-pervasive: this woman was a member of the Dawoodi Bohra Shia Muslim community, and she told her daughters after they spoke to police: “OK, you told them everything … now we are in trouble … I told you this is a big secret.” And the head of her Muslim community “was also allegedly recorded telling members of the Dawoodi Bohra community to tell police its followers do not believe in female genital mutilation.” More taqiyya, more mutilated girls.
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A mother in NSW allegedly allowed her young daughter to be subjected to a genital mutilation procedure.
The little girl imagined she was a princess in a garden.
The eight-year-old told police she had been told to calm her nerves by thinking of a place she liked, before a procedure called “khatna”, involving a small cut to her genitals.
She told officers she remembered getting a glass of lemonade after the painful procedure, and that “khatna” had also been carried out on her younger sister.
Details of the girl’s interview with police were revealed at the NSW Supreme Court trial of her mother, who can only be known as A2, who is accused of organising the genital mutilation of her daughters between October 2009 and August 2012.
The woman, a member of the Dawoodi Bohra Shia muslim community, has pleaded not guilty.
Another woman, who cannot be identified, has pleaded not guilty to carrying out the alleged mutilation on the girls in separate procedures in Sydney and in Wollongong.
A high-ranking member of the community, Shabbir Mohammedbhai Vaziri, has pleaded not guilty to being an accessory after the fact.
Crown prosecutor Nanette Williams told the jury in her opening address on Monday that police had heard reports of female genital mutilation within the Dawoodi Bohra community, and went to interview the sisters at their school on August 29, 2012.
The eight-year-old girl told police that “khatna” was “when they get a little cut down there”, Williams said.
“She explained she knew what khatna was because it had happened to her. She went into detail that she was seven-years-old when she had her private part cut by an unknown woman.”
The jury heard that when A2 spoke to her daughters after their police interviews, in a conversation secretly recorded by investigators, she allegedly said: “OK, you told them everything … now we are in trouble … I told you this is a big secret.”
The woman accused of carrying out the procedure was allegedly recorded telling the girls’ mother that police should be told she only conducted a check up on the girls, the court heard.
Vaziri was also allegedly recorded telling members of the Dawoodi Bohra community to tell police its followers do not believe in female genital mutilation.
The court heard a doctor who examined the sisters would give evidence there was no scarring, and their external genitalia appeared normal.
Defence barrister Robert Sutherland, SC, for the mother and Vaziri, said there would be no dispute about the vast majority of the case.
He said a “ritualistic” ceremony took place, but a central issue at trial would be whether there was any injury or mutilation to the girls.
“It’s effectively secret women’s business,” Sutherland told the jury.
“Despite the investigative forces of the state being brought to bear because of suspicions that something barbaric happened … this was much ado about nothing.”
The trial is continuing.
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