It is now OK in America for parents to deliver their daughters up to hack “doctors” and nurses who will mutilate their genitals and call it a religious ritual, thanks to a federal judge in Detroit.
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman on Tuesday dismissed female genital mutilation charges against several doctors in the first criminal case of its kind nationwide, ruling the law is unconstitutional, the Detroit News reported.
Friedman’s insane opinion comes two weeks after defense lawyers mounted the first challenge to an FGM law passed by Congress in 1996. The law sat there for 19 years without a single prosecution until April 2017. That’s when former Attorney General Jeff Sessions decided to prosecute two Muslim doctors, a wife of one of the doctors and the parents of nine girls who were transported to a clinic in Michigan, several of them across state lines, to have their genitals cut.
Prosecutors said at the time that upwards of 100 girls ranging in age from 7 to 12 had been sent to the clinic, which sounds more like a Third World torture chamber.
The U.S. already allows up to 1 million babies to be aborted every year. Now our judges say it’s acceptable to mutilate young girls. What is the future for a society unable or unwilling to protect its most vulnerable?
Until Sessions’ brought this case, no one had ever been prosecuted under the 22-year-old federal law, not under presidents Clinton, Bush or Obama.
Prosecutors told the Detroit News that the girls — four from Michigan, two from Minnesota and three from Illinois — underwent the brutal FBM procedure of having their clitorises fully or partially removed. But defense lawyer Shannon Smith argued that the procedure performed on the girls was “benign” and not a mutilation. It was part of their religion and their culture and therefore should not be prevented by law.
She found a sympathetic ear in the liberal Judge Friedman, who apparently found a loophole in the 1996 law in which he was able to deny that the FGM doctors and parents were engaged in interstate commerce and therefore committed no federal crime.
The doctors involved still face charges of conspiracy and obstruction and could face up to 30 years or more in prison if convicted on those counts.
Hopefully the U.S. Department of Justice will appeal this ghastly ruling by Judge Friedman. In the meantime, this should prompt Congress to go back and tweak the 1996 law to make sure it is strictly enforceable.
Dr. Jumana Nagarwala of Northville, Michigan, was arrested in April 2017 and accused of heading a conspiracy that lasted 12 years, involved seven other people and led to mutilating the genitalia of nine girls as part of a religious procedure practiced by some members of the Dawoodi Bohra, a Muslim sect from India that has a small community in Metro Detroit.
Most local members of the sect involved belong to the Anjuman-e-Najmi mosque in Farmington Hills.
The judge’s opinion drops charges against three mothers. They are:
- Farida Arif of Oakland County, who was charged with participating in the conspiracy and having her daughter undergo female genital mutilation.
- Two mothers from Minnesota, Haseena Halfal and Zainab Hariyanawala, who were charged last year with female genital mutilation and conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation. The allegations involve their daughters, who were 7 at the time of the procedure.
The order Tuesday also dismissed charges against Tahera Shafiq, 49, of Farmington Hills. She was accused of participating in the procedure involving the Minnesota girls.
“She’s done, for the time being,” Shafiq’s lawyer, Jerome Sabbota, said. “It’s wonderful. She can go about her life. These are deeply religious people, and a lot of people don’t understand that.”
Worldwide, an estimated 140 million women and girls have undergone the procedure, according to the World Health Organization. More than 3 million girls in Africa undergo the procedure each year.
The procedure has been illegal in the U.S. since 1996, and there are no medical benefits for girls and women, according to the World Health Organization.
Female genital mutilation is an internationally recognized violation of human rights.
Some members of the Dawoodi Bohra community who have spoken against the procedure say the surgery is performed to suppress female sexuality, reduce sexual pleasure and curb promiscuity, according to court records.
The procedure is most common in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, along with migrants from those regions, according to the World Health Organization. For example, 99 percent of girls in Somali have their genitals mutilated while more than 85 percent of girls in Egypt are mutilated.
In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control estimate that up to 500,000 women and girls are at risk of having the barbaric procedure performed on them. This high number is largely due to the increasing number of refugees, asylees and migrants imported to the U.S. from the Third World over the last 35 years. The vast majority of the refugees entering the U.S. every year, about 95 percent, are hand-selected by the United Nations.
There are four major types of female genital mutilation, including a partial or total removal of the clitoris.
Prosecutors in Michigan alleged that two girls’ clitorises were completely removed, but the evidence is lacking for at least one girl, Smith said.
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