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Female circumcision could cause infertility-study

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  • Female circumcision could cause infertility-study

    By Patricia Reaney

    LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) - Female circumcision, which is practised in more than 30 countries and affects 2 million girls each year, could cause infertility.

    Swedish researchers, who examined nearly 300 women in Sudan where the practice is widespread, said on Friday women who had undergone circumcision, or female genital mutilation (FGM), were five to six times more likely to be infertile.

    "All sorts of female circumcision, not only the severe forms, probably cause an increased risk of infertility. This is a very important argument to be used in areas where this is practised," Dr Lars Almroth, a paediatrician and researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said in an interview.

    Despite efforts to stop what human rights campaigners have described as an atrocity against womanhood, female circumcision is practised in Africa and is common in some countries in the Middle East. It involves the removal of part or all of the female genitalia.

    An estimated 135 million women and girls have been circumcised, according to the human rights group Amnesty International.

    It is considered part of the culture, a tradition or a rite of passage to adulthood. In some countries it is viewed as a means of reducing a woman's sexual desire and of safeguarding her fertility.

    The research, which is published in The Lancet medical journal, is the first clinical study to show it has the opposite effect.

    "We found that the more extensive form of genital mutilation, the higher the risk of primary infertility. The risk is very high -- 5 to 6 times higher -- than in the other group," Almroth said referring to women who had not been not circumcised.

    He and his colleagues believe infertility may be caused by infection, inflammation, scarring or by the physical alterations resulting from the circumcision.

    In Sudan up to 90 percent of women have had some form of genital mutilation. The average age of circumcision for women in the study was 7 but it is performed on girls as young as 4, according to Almroth.

    In some countries crude instruments are used to perform the circumcision and nothing is given to relieve the girl's pain.

    The researchers examined 99 infertile women and 180 others who were pregnant for the first time from two hospitals in Khartoum. They controlled for other factors that could cause infertility, such as sexually transmitted infections, age and social and economic conditions.

    "It is only female circumcision that stands out," said Almroth.
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  • #2
    Female genital mutilation can cause infertilityImmediate complicationsNew ScientistSocial disasterThe LancetThe Lancet (vol 366, p 385)

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    • #3
      I'll be cancelling my operation then
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      • #4
        Originally posted by marjan
        I'll be cancelling my operation then
        Wise woman.
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        • #5
          Female circumcision

          Sunday, September 24, 2000

          Female circumcision, or as is commonly termed by the West , female genital mutilation, has been a hot topic in many congresses and many NGOs (not to mention the media) for many years now. The public, however, has not been well informed on the subject, whether one means the West that hears about the subject in complete terror, or the East that practices the ritual in ignorance.

          Dr. Abeer Barakat, assistant lecturer of public health, Cairo University, researched this subject in 1997, and with her study and some of our own research we will try to elucidate the public on this much discussed topic.

          What is female circumcision?

          Female circumcision is the partial or complete removal of the external genitalia, varying from removal of the prepuce (hood) of the clitoris only, to full excision of the clitoris, labia minora and labia majora.

          Several classifications of female circumcision exist; one of which (for simplicity) is the following:
          • Clitoridectomy (1st degree circumcision) is the removal of the prepuce of the clitoris.
          • Excision (2nd degree circumcision) consists of removal of the prepuce and glands of the clitoris and often the removal of the whole of it.
          • Sunnah circumcision (3rd degree circumcision) includes excision and paring of the adjacent parts of the labia minora above the plane of the labia majora, or the removal of the whole of it.
          • Infibulation (4th degree circumcision) -or Pharaonic circumcision- consists of removal of all the external genitalia, the whole of the clitoris and the entire labia minora.
          In the WHO classification one additional type called Type 4 exists which includes all other unclassified practices involving female genitalia. This includes: pricking, piercing or incising the clitoris and/or labia; stretching of the clitoris and/or labia; cauterization by burning the clitoris and surrounding tissues; introcision; scraping (angura cuts) or cutting (gishiri cuts) of the vagina or surrounding tissues; introduction of corrosive substances or herbs into the vagina; and any other procedure that falls under the definition of female genital mutilation (FGM).

          Where did Female Circumcision originate?


          It is difficult to ascertain whether it was originally an old African puberty rite that reached Egypt by diffusion or a Pharaonic survival plan that fits within the Egyptian cultural patterns and has subsequently spread to other parts of Africa.

          In a Greek papyrus in the British Museum dated 163 BC, reference is made to the circumcision of girls in Memphis at the age when they received their dowries.

          However, Elliot Smith, the Egyptologist, stated that there is no evidence of infibulation in pre-dynastic or later Egyptian mummies.


          Among the various tribes inhabiting the West Coast of the Red Sea, the Kreophagoi were said to mutilate their sexual organs and excise the genitals of their women in the Jewish manner.

          Jesuit missionaries and others have referred to the prevalence of excision in Ethiopia from the earliest Christian times.

          Other countries

          The early Roman technique of slipping rings through the labia majora of their female slaves to prevent them from becoming pregnant, and similarly the chastity belt, introduced in Europe in the 12th century by the Crusaders, were intended as a barrier against unlawful sex. (The chastity belt was a chain belt that was locked and held a metal plate in the genital region with only an opening for urination.)

          In the USA, a female circumcision and excision were forwarded by the Orificial Society, which was formed in 1890.

          Anthropologists for some of the original inhabitants of Australia have reported Introcision, or cutting into the perineum to enlarge the vagina as a puberty rite, in the past.

          How Prevalent is Female Circumcision?

          In Egypt

          The practice of female circumcision is widespread in Egypt. According to the Egyptian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) done in 1995, 97% of the ever-married females questioned had been circumcised. The prevalence was only 90%, however, with those with secondary or higher education as well as in the frontier provinces. According to other studies, two thirds of circumcised females showed a partial or total excision of the clitoris and labia minora, while partial or total excision of the clitoris was less common and of the labia minora only was least common. Labia majora excision occurred in one in eleven cases only.

          In the Middle East:

          Female circumcision is not practiced in the Middle East, or in the countries of the Arab Peninsula, with the exception of Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman.

          In Bahrain, genital operations are rapidly decreasing, and consist of a cut made over the clitoris.

          It is not practiced in the cradle and of Islam, namely Saudi Arabia. Neither is it practiced in Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.

          In Africa

          Documentation on the prevalence of different types of FGM began in the early twentieth century with reports by European travelers and missionaries.

          Muslims, Christians, some animists and one Jewish sect practice FGM in Africa. But it is not a requirement of any of these religions. The distribution of the practice does not follow the distribution of these religious groups in the African continent. Infibulation is overwhelmingly the most common type of circumcision performed in Africa.

          Through out the world:

          FGM is reportedly practiced among a few groups in Asia and among some in Australia.

          What are the reported reasons behind performance of female circumcision?

          Many reasons exist for people of different cultures to perform this operation and they vary as much as the cultures themselves.
          • Chastity and preservation of virginity are the most common motivations for the performance of female circumcision. It is believed that by performing the operation in its mild form the sexual desire of the girl is decreased thus hindering the chances of sexual promiscuity. In its more severe forms, as in stitching the vaginal orifice, which occurs in some African communities, the girl is physically prevented from being approached sexually. The importance of maintaining virginity is utmost as the girl is meant to be approached only by her future husband and some think that female circumcision is one of the ways to ensure her virginity for that moment.
          • Tradition: the acceptable image of a woman with a place in society is that of one who is circumcised among other various characteristics. The fear of losing the psychological, moral, and material benefits of "belonging" is one of the greatest motivators of conformity. The notion of sexual victimization through performance of the operation is not felt while women and girls remain firmly within their own culture. However, unmarried girls who move into European circles are beginning to be conscious of it. It is difficult to assess the psychological damage of a tradition that is so universally accepted.
          • Hygienic motivations: It is believed that the secretions produced by the glands in the labia minora and majora are foul smelling, unhygienic and so make the female body unclean. However, in noncircumcised women, it is very easy to clean the external genitalia. It is only in the rare cases where there is a stricture of the prepuce of the clitoris (phimosis) or elongation of the prepuce (foreskin) that is difficult to clean; in such cases a properly done surgical circumcision without encroaching on the clitoris may be required.
          • Male approval: the argument that circumcision enhances male sexual performance is only valid where males have been conditioned to believe that sexual pleasure and prowess can only be achieved with circumcised women who are subdued and passive during the act itself.
          • Mystical and ritualistic factors: the circumcision ceremony (in many countries) includes many superstitious performances depending on the country of origin ranging from the time of day in which it is performed to wearing protective necklaces.
          • Education versus ignorance: statistics have proven that a strong relationship exists between the type circumcision chosen and the parents' education. Daughters of highly educated parents are commonly either not circumcised at all, or if circumcised, the 3rd degree or the intermediate type is chosen in preference to the 4th degree.
          • Financial motivation: the cost of the operation is beneficial to certain people who perform the operation such as traditional birth attendants and some qualified doctors who perform the operation.
          • Other reasons: some believe that female circumcision is one of the rites that allow passage of a girl from childhood to femininity. External genitalia are considered ugly and become more beautiful after circumcision.
          The operation

          The operation is performed in different communities by different people and with various tools. In more educated communities, a trained doctor performs the operation with sterilized equipment. In the more ignorant societies, a traditional birth attendant performs the operation using a variety of tools ranging from unsterilized knives and razors to sharp stones taken straight from the ground.

          Complications of the operation

          de range of complications exists in relation to female circumcision ranging from short-term to long-term. The short-term complications include bleeding, infection, pain, urinary retention, stress, shock, and damage to the urethra and anus. In the case of minor operations, most wounds heal with few long-term problems. Cases have been reported where girls have suffered repeated infections, soreness and intermittent bleeding for many years. The stitch used to tie the clitoral artery may not be absorbed totally, becoming the focus for an abscess. The tough scar over the clitoris may split open during childbirth.

          Infibulation, on the other hand, is accompanied by an expansive list of long-term complications that needs further discussion out with this article. However, besides the greater risk of infections and general damage to the area, some complications include: hematocolpos, dysmenorrhea, pelvic infections and infertility, more frequent indication for Cesarean section delivery, difficulty in penetration during the wedding night due to tight scarring of the vaginal opening, dyspareunia and vesico-vaginal and recto-vaginal fistulae.

          The issue of sexual desire and satisfaction

          The psychological aspect of human sexual arousal is a complex phenomenon that is not fully understood by experts. It involves emotions, concepts of morality, past experience, acceptance of eroticism, fear of disease or pregnancy, dreams, and fantasies. The combination of physical messages from sensory organs and the emotional images culminate in a psycho-physiological state during which a person is able to experience orgasm. The erection of the clitoris is only secondary to the higher center stimulation in which its function is to lead the stimulation to its destination and orgasm during a sexual act. So whether the clitoris is present or absent it makes no difference as regards chastity, as it has a secondary role.

          Female orgasm has both clitoral and vaginal components. Evidence suggests that orgasms require clitoral stimulation while vaginal stimulation, though pleasurable, is a minor triggering mechanism: also direct clitoral stimulation is a greater stimulus than coitus, which causes pelvic pressure and traction on the clitoral hood.

          With infibulation, there is destruction of practically all the nerve endings in the outer sex organs that convey the pleasurable sensations to the brain. She is left with the sensations from the vestibule at the vaginal orifice and the vagina itself whose nerve endings respond more to pressure than touch. If she has an orgasm then it is what is called "vaginal orgasm" in contrast to the more effective "clitoral orgasm." Studies performed found that 29.8% of infibulated women found sexual satisfaction or had orgasms compared to 48% of 1st degree circumcised women.

          With clitoridectomy, some of the sensitive tissue at the base of the clitoris, along the inner lips and around the floor of vulva, are still intact and will give sensory sexual messages if properly stimulated. In addition, other sexually sensitive parts of the body, such as the breasts, nipples, lips, neck and ears may become hypersensitized to compensate for lack of clitoral stimulation and thus enhance sexual arousal.

          In normal noncircumcised females, orgasm does not always occur. In excision, some local sensitive areas still exist in what is left of the clitoris, labia minora and vestibule, besides the pressure response of the vagina. This explains why, in spite of excision, about one third of those excised still get satisfaction and a pleasurable sensation and another 42% reach orgasm, compared to the 1st degree circumcision where 27% have satisfaction and 48% reach orgasm.

          No satisfaction at all was present in 39% of infibulated women, 25% of those of 1st degree circumcision, and much less in the uncircumcised category.

          In Dr. Barakat's study, in which 97.6% of those interviewed had excision of the clitoris with partial or total excision of the labia minora, 72.8% of the women experienced orgasms.

          Are there documented medical indications for female circumcision?

          Indications for female circumcision were documented in 1959 by an American physician, WG Rathmann MD, who performed many female circumcisions in the United States during his long years of practice. These indications in general terms are of functional need: lack of ability to have a climax or ability to have one only with considerable difficulty; and an anatomic or mechanical factor that needs correction.

          According to Dr. Rathmann, the two common problems that make the highly sensitive area of the clitoris unable to be stimulated are phimosis and redundancy. Sebaceous glands around the clitoris attempt to prevent adhesions of the prepuce to it. This sometimes fails and the clitoris is adheres tightly to the prepuce. This defect may range from 25% of the normal surface adherent to complete coverage. A prepuce for the protection of the clitoris is normal and useful, but if it is excessive and extends past the eminence of the clitoris it can prevent contact and is harmful. In general, the greater the degree of phimosis or redundancy, the greater the probability of satisfactory results by its correction.

          Religious aspects of the practice

          Whatever the origin of female circumcision, it did not originate in the Islamic tradition, contrary to popular belief. Both Muslims and Christians have circumcised their daughters since early times, and there is considerable evidence that the practice existed long before Christianity and Islam. There is no question that female circumcision preceded Islam in Africa.

          In relation to Islam there are some sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which are interpreted differently by Islamic scholars. In one of these sayings the Prophet (PBUH) says to Umm Atteya, "If you circumcise do not go deep (i.e. do not encroach on the clitoris) because it would be useful to the wife and desirable to the husband ".

          The majority of Islamic scholars doubt the authenticity of these hadiths. This view was supported by the recent declaration of the present Sheikh (head) of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Tantawi, basing his declaration on many references, old and new, and among them some eminent Islamic scholars such as Sheikh Shaltout, a previous head of Al-Azhar.

          Another previous Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Gad El-Haqq, was in favor of the authenticity of these hadiths and thus, favored circumcision, but on the condition that "it should not cut the clitoris or any part of it." "Only a part of the skin of the hood should be removed." "The operator should pay compensation if he removes or injures the clitoris".

          The Health page of Islam-online does not address this subject to promote a certain opinion on the issue, whether for or against. However, we do feel that the public should know the different aspects on this issue.

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          • #6
            islam-qa (check the links below) states that circumcision is obligatory for men and a honour for women.

            people are often mixing up circumcision and fgm (these are two totally different matters as there is a difference between h o o d e c t o m y aka c l i t o r i d e c t o m y and c l i t o r i d o t o m y.

            h o o d e c t o m y does no way touch the c l i t o r i s - just like male circumcision it makes the "glans" visible. its like a woman taking off the burkah. apart from the hygienic benefits of a circumcision there is a scientific article which perhaps is not contrary to a fatwa at islam-qa (quote: "With regard to the wisdom behind the circumcision of women, it is to regulate their desire so it will be moderate.") states that a h o o d e c t o m y may enhance the ability of some woman to achieve an orgasm i.e. many women suffer from a female phimosis which is the cause for their problems and which is mostly not recognised or overlooked by gynecologists.

            apart from that i may assume that in rare or "abnormal" cases the c l i t o r i s might be touched or cut. that means when it is extremely large i.e. almost reaches the size of a penis (see: fatwa at islam-qa). i guess that would apply only to hermaphrodites or people who consume lots of male hormones. thus it is considered as cosmetic surgery. anything else does not make sense.

            in the hadeeth (it is either regarded as weak or there is a debate about the authentity of these hadeeth among scholars) it states that the circumcisor should not cut too much and be moderate - as it is more "pleasant" (some translate: "better") for the husband and the wife. this should answer all the questions. how can it be more pleasant or better if you cut in extremes? apart from that female circumcision is not required or obligatory for women.

            hence, cutting in extremes i.e. c l i t o r i d o t o m y or fgm is not sunnah nor obligatory nor allowed in islam.

            from another point of view (some food for thought) any surgery or operation even a haircut or cutting nails is a mutilation i.e. a manipulation of Allah's creation. its just that some are required as stated by the prophet salla Allahu 'alayhi wa salaam.

            Allahu 'alam.
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            • #7
              Mutilation, brainwashing, backwards custom

              Horrifying. Completely horrifying. I had no idea!! I mean, I had HEARD of it, but I assumed that it was only practiced in little podunk villages where people didn't even have electricity or running water. To read (and I have read, all these articles that people have posted in here on this frightening topic) to read that it is being practiced in CAIRO and other modern cities and societies........ horrifies me completely. What on EARTH makes this okay for MUSLIMS to be doing??????

              My GOSH I am so glad that I happened to see this thread two days ago!!
              I was talking via email with an egyptian sister, regarding marriage!!! I seriously was!! Obviously finding this thread puts a stop to everything, and alhamdulillah!

              Naturally I will stop all correspondence and will always remember NOT to pursue the topic of marriage with ANY egyptians. I will not run the risk of marrying a mutilated woman. My lord, what would have happened if she and I had had a DAUGHTER together?? Would I have been expected to smile and say "sure let's get to that doctor on her fifth birthday?" NOT!

              Horrifying. Did I say that? Good! Let me say it again! It's horrifying!!!
              Barbaric and evil, obviously terribly abusive and HORRIFYING.
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              • #8
                female circumcision a good custom for muslim girls

                I am a 30 year old British born nurse. I met and married an Egyptian doctor
                years ago, lived in Egypt for several years and converted to Islam and underwent
                female circumcision. I have no regrets.
                Firstly I want to dispel any myths about what it is. It is NOT infibulation -
                something which occurs only in Sub-Saharan Africa and is strictly forbidden by
                Where female circumcision is practiced (and that is in Muslim countries from
                Africa, through the Middle East to the Far East) female circumcision can be
                described as
                either of two forms - partial circumcision, where part or all of the clitoris and
                labia are removed or full circumcision where the labia majora are also removed.
                The only
                stitches put in are to surture the cuts made during the circumcision - and
                NOT for the purpose of narrowing the vaginal opening.
                Secondly, under Islam, all operations (including circumcisions!) must be carried
                out under
                medical conditions by qualified personel and using an anaesthetic where
                There is no more reason for somebody in Egypt to go to a "back-street"
                than somebody in the West has cause to go to a "back-street" abortionist.
                Neither is there anything barbaric about female circumcision. The authorities in
                West know perfectly well that STRICTLY SPEAKING IN MEDICAL TERMS, partial female
                circumcision is a more minor procedure than male circumcision. Where the cuts are
                there are fewer nerves or blood vessels cut than in male circumcision.
                are almost non-existent. Even in the case of full circumcision complications are
                greater than in male circumcision. This information is widely known in countries
                practice female circumcision, but it is deliberately supressed by the West -
                you want to call it cultural imperialism, political correctness or just plain old
                bigotry against those of different beliefs or religion is up to you.
                Thirdly, the reasons for female circumcision are also deliberately misrepresented
                by the
                West. Female circumcision IS permitted under Islam and since the West has banned
                this is an attack on our religion. In the past female circumcision was considered
                optional, but many (both ordinary people and religious scholars) now think that
                should be mandatory because of the West's anti-Islamic predjudice.
                The West also deliberately supresses the medical information relating to the
                benefits of
                female circumcision. Particularly in the case of Egypt where due to Western
                pressure its
                practice was banned for many years - but then permitted again some years ago -
                comparative data has been gathered. [While female circumcision was banned it
                continued to be practiced, although admittedly under less than perfect conditions
                and this was one of the reasons why the Egyptian government lifted the ban].
                Within a few years of the ban being lifted, female circumcison rates shot up from
                90% in
                the countryside and 50% in the cities to 97% throughout the country. It could be
                seen from the data that, in the case of full female circumcision, genito-urinary
                infections were reduced to about 10% of their level in previously uncircumcised
                women. Even
                when only partial circumcisions were performed, there was still some preventative
                Also, and very importantly, births amongst circumcised women were found to be
                easier. This
                is exactly the opposite of what the Western "Feminist" and "Human Rights" groups
                would have
                you believe. With external genital tissue already removed, there was far less
                need for
                episiotomies. Caesarain births were reduced. Labour is generally shorter and
                easier in
                circumcised women and healing of the birth canal and the surrounding region much
                Fourthly, another of the great myths put about by Western anti-female
                circumcision groups
                is that it stops a woman from enjoying sex. Nothing could be further from the
                Female circumcision does remove unwanted and unintentional arousal, there is no
                doubt about
                that, but until you have undergone female circumcision you can't be aware of just
                much involuntary (and completely unneeded) arousal occurs because of previously
                rubbing or pressure on your genitals. Many women in Egypt who have been initially
                circumcised have opted for full circumcision because in day-to-day life it brings
                a very profound feeling of contentment, calmness and satisfaction. You are
                freed from sexual thoughts, you can have no idea how liberating that feels. It is
                removing an itch that you cannot scratch. There is no feeling of loss -
                because the very thing that caused you to desire sex all the time has been
                removed. Do not
                believe the myth that sexual arousal is all in the mind.
                So if arousal is removed, doesn't that mean sex is less enjoyable? It is exactly
                opposite! Intercourse is far more pleasurable because the whole of the sexual act
                made spiritual in nature and focuses entirely on intercourse with your husband.
                circumcised women still enjoy orgasms? OF COURSE THEY DO! With no external
                tissue in the way, penetration is deeper and more satisfying and with all
                coming only from penetration, the resulting vaginal orgasim is deeply intense in
                way that an uncircumcised woman could not understand.
                Fifthly, there is also a great deal of hypocrisy from the West, particularly in
                regard to plastic surgery. How can it be OK for Western women to have breast
                nose jobs or (dangerous) lipo-suction - all in the name of aesthetics, but it's
                OK for a Muslim woman to change her body?
                Sixth, it is well known in countries as far afield as Indonesia and Malasyia to
                that girls who have been circumcised do better in school and university. How can
                it be
                that the West claims to champion women's rights but tries to deny Muslim girls
                the right
                to a better education, something that is closely correlated with the practice of
                female circumcision in Muslim countries?
                And finally what of the myth that female circumcision is dying out. Well the West
                stick its head in the sand if it likes. It certianly suits us. Of course, if the
                various "feminist", "human rights" and anti-female circumcision groups in the
                were forced to confront the actual figures, then it might help expose the rest of
                lies about female circumcision to their deceived populations.
                Even the Western estimates acknowledge that as many as 200 million Muslim women
                have been
                circumcised world wide. They know that the number is growing both as the Muslim
                population grows and as access to better medical facilities allows it to be
                carried out
                by a greater proportion of the Muslim population. In some countries like Egypt,
                Malasia and Indonesia female circumcision is almost 100%. [Just think, if any of
                go on holiday to Egypt all the women you pass (including any female doctors
                and nurses) have undergone either partial or full female circumcision. How is it
                they can be happy with their lifes and seek to continue the practice in what is
                obviously an open, friendly and civilised country if they weren't happy with
                being circumcised?] Its practice is now also spreading to other Muslims from
                like Pakistan, Northern India and Bangladesh - often it is now being found
                Muslims who have settled in the West. I ask you this question, if a religious
                of yours was banned, do you think you would be more or less likely to continue
                its practice?
                It is only because of Muslims natural reluctance to talk openly about sex and
                of the deliberate suppression of information from Muslim countries - including
                with medical staff and Muslim women and who have been circumcised who argue
                strongly for
                it to continue - that there has been no open debate about the nature and benefits
                female circumcision. The West claims to champion freedom of speech, freedom of
                conscience and a rational approach to life and yet when it comes to female
                it couldn't be more irrational and hypocritical - instead it gives voice only to
                hysterical lies from rabid pro-lesbian "feminist" and anti-Islamic groups. Are we
                Muslims being told that some are more equal than others? Think how you would feel
                if the situation was reversed.
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                • #9
                  Two million girls a year have all or
                  part of their external genitals severed.
                  Their parents believe it will curb their sex
                  drive, keep them virgins until they marry and
                  make them faithful wives.
                  They call it female circumcision. The
                  United Nations and other opponents call it
                  female genital mutilation, unspeakable
                  violence against women
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                  • #10
                    Egypt Overturns Female Circumcision Ban

                    A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet
                    (peace_be_upon_him) said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for
                    a woman and more desirable for a husband.

                    Egypt Overturns Female Circumcision Ban

                    On Tuesday, June 24, Cairo Administrative Court Judge Abdul Aziz Hamade
                    overturned the Health Ministry's 1996 ban on female circumcisions. The
                    Judge claims that the Ministry cannot forbid a practice that parliament
                    does not consider illegal. Eight Islamic scholars and doctors challenged
                    the decree on the grounds that it interferes with religious beliefs and
                    physicians' rights to perform medical duties. The ruling was a victory for
                    Islamic fundamentalists who claim that female circumcision -- called
                    female genital mutilation by its critics -- protects women from what they
                    consider the consequences of excessive sexual desire as well as sexually
                    transmitted diseases and other maladies.

                    It also demonstrated the continued influence of Islamic fundamentalists
                    within Egyptian courts, whose conservative rulings on social and religious
                    issues are often at odds with the views of secular-minded ministers in the
                    military-backed government of President Hosni Mubarak.

                    Today's ruling, which prompted cheers from the predominantly male
                    audience, overturned a decree last July by Health Minister Ismail Sallam
                    banning doctors from performing the operation, which involves the full or
                    partial removal of the clitoris on girls before they reach puberty.

                    "I feel joyful," Sheik Yusef Badry, a conservative Islamic cleric who sued
                    to overturn the ban, said in a telephone interview this evening. "The
                    judge returned to Islam, and he recognized that [the sayings of the
                    Prophet Muhammad] ordered Muslims to do this operation. . . . A woman can
                    enjoy her sexual feelings with her husband, but if we cut off this piece,
                    she will be able to control herself."

                    Badry was joined in the lawsuit by Munir Fawzi, a British-trained
                    gynecologist and professor at Cairo's Ain Shams University who defends the
                    practice on both religious and medical grounds.


                    "It wasn't simply a medical procedure with certain risks. It was done in
                    the dirt with rocks and broken glass and no anesthesia.

                    Many other women were scarred for life, have urinary tract problems and
                    a reduced or non-existant sex-drive, plus serious complications like
                    sterility resulting from infection. Painful intercourse is common because
                    some girls are sewn up after the removal of the outer skin flaps. And
                    tradition in some North African areas dictated that the older women held
                    down the girl on her wedding day while her new husband forced intercourse
                    to break not only the hymen, but the sewn up opening to the vagina too.
                    This could be an extremely traumatic experience for *him* too. The girls
                    also suffered retention of menstral blood and infections of the
                    reproductive tract, or painful menstruations have occurred.

                    It is simply done - by force if necessary. Late teens and young women
                    (19-22 years old) who've managed to avoid it, have sometimes run up
                    against older relatives who have tried to force it upon them. Some have
                    fled their countries, only to be returned to their relatives who force the
                    procedure upon them. "
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                    • #11
                      Barbaric, horrid, shameful and WRONG. Oh did I mention MAD? INSANE?

                      I've spent literally HOURS reading about this topic, not just the things posted here. I read the articles, I read the postings. I followed links and made some inquiries on my own, here in Texas within my own muslim community.

                      The good sis who took the trouble to type so much in this forum, has made MANY points.

                      I will not spend the hours it would take to address each and every one. But let me grab one or two:

                      If this were a VOLUNTARY procedure, done by adult women to their own bodies and by their own choices, then I wouldn't be typing anything on the topic at all. I'd be keeping my opinion to myself. And I understand that some women CHOOSE to have this done after they've matured and, about THAT, I have nothing at all to say.

                      But it's NOT. This is something forced on little girls who have no say-so in their own mutilation. And if you are going to try to tell me that a five yr old child has valid say-so in their own behalf, obviously I will disagree with you.
                      I am not alone in my disagreement either; for instance this is why there aren't any five-yr olds running any of our businesses, schools or countries.

                      There's a reason why they do it to little bitty girls, isn't there. Because they are too small to be able to stop anyone from doing it! The BETRAYAL on the part of the poor child, when her own parents take her to the doctors to have their most private parts sliced away... I cannot imagine!!

                      This isn't about cleanliness, so don't try THAT noise with me either. The "cleanliness" issue is exactly why Allah (swt) made soap and water.

                      This is simply about CONTROL, and nothing else. If it were not, then it wouldn't be done to children. They would wait until women were old enough to decide to have it done on their own, and that would be that.

                      I am going to unsubscribe from this disgusting thread, I have had enough.
                      The only reason that I even FOUND this thread, is, the chat is down.
                      Don't get me wrong! I needed to know about this, it has saved me from possibly marrying an egyptian woman. I am grateful to everyone who has posted about it, and I am grateful to Allah (swt) that I found the thread.

                      But I have had enough. I am sick to my stomach. I feel deep sincere pity, a profound sense of helplessness, and nothing but RAGE and sadness for each and every girl-child born within the borders of such a backwards and barbaric country that would make something like this perfectly "okay" to do.

                      Thank you for reading, and thank you to ummah-dot-com for making this forum available for all of us of such diametrically opposed opinions to get together and talk peaceably.

                      I won't be reading any more of this, and I won't submit anything further.
                      I agree to peaceably disagree with you on this frightening topic and I will leave it there. Salaam.

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                      • #12
                        I'm in support of Zaira's posts.......

                        Where I come from, female circumsision is done before the child reaches 1 yr old......
                        and this is applies to 100% all Muslim born female.

                        I still see Muslim babies aplenty........
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                        • #13
                          reply to yunir

                          Dear yunir

                          You are from which country ?
                          write something about female
                          circumcision in your country

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by zaira
                            In some countries like Egypt,
                            Malasia and Indonesia female circumcision is almost 100%
                            Somewhere nearby.....

                            well, circumsision is done by trained specialists of course, and as mentioned before, done before the child reaches 1yr old. In fact, its usually done within the first 6 months........

                            I believe that the skin is much more softer and easily procedured on.
                            In exact how the circumcision is done, tht I have no details.....

                            And I'm not sure about converts/reverts though..........

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                            • #15
                              I have only one response to these people LYING B*******

                              this whole issue of female circumcision has come up because the west wants another reason to screw over muslim africa... they use these so called apologetic muslim to say female circumcision is the same as fgm and try to convince us to stay away from the sunnah of islam... the prophet (Saw) reccomended this to women so how can it be haram. Hajar (as) the wife of ibrahim (as) did this and it is known as her sunnah..

                              these little messed up retarted moderate muslims who want to launch a crusade for the west against the somali communities in europe go and rot in hell as far as im concerned they throw so much curse upon themselves and cause so much fitnah....and no im not from africa but this thing gets me so vexed because slandering my somali bros for no reason and causing fitna for them when probably theyre amongst the best deen wise in europe...

                              There is no nobility in anyone who lacks faith.

                              The wise man knows that the only fitting price for his soul is a place in Paradise.



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