Jumana Nagarwala, an emergency room physician in Detroit, is accused of performing female genital mutilation on girls between six and eight years of age. Justice department officials believe these are the first ever charges under a US law that banned the procedure in 1996. Today, two more were arrested in connection with Nagarwala’s procedures. Federal authorities in Michigan say that Fakhruddin Attar, a Detroit-area physician, and his wife, Farida Attar, aided and abetted Nagarwala in performing female mutilation.
Jumana Nagarwala’s best defense? According to her lawyer, she wasn’t doing any harm, just a religious procedure. Her defense is not only totally absurd, it’s downright offensive. Female genital mutilation is not only harmful – it is a direct violation of human rights. You simply cannot claim freedom of religion when your actions are both a felony and traumatize children. The mutilating procedure has been illegal since 1996 so ignorance isn’t a defense either. Therefore, it would be too kind of Nagarwala and her accomplices to rot in a cell. Their actions are not only incomprehensible but disgusting; antithetical to every American ideal our nation holds.
Even worse, Nagarwala has been performing the procedure for twelve years. Yes, in America, this brutal and obscene practice has skated under the radar. It makes you question – is this happening elsewhere, too? It’s entirely unthinkable to consider that it could be happening across the nation, hidden from view. However, if Nagarwala got away with these procedures for twelve years, it’s depressingly likely it’s already alarmingly widespread. Therefore, we must begin to teach the dangers of female circumcision and focus on prevention and awareness of the abhorrent mutilation procedure.
A Michigan lawmaker introduced an anti-Sharia bill in response to Nagarwala’s heinous acts.
State Representative, Michele Hoitenga, attempted to garner support for House Bill No. 4499. The bill would ban residents from using foreign laws – such as Sharia law – in state courts. However, female genital mutilation hasn’t adhered to a particular culture or religion. It is widespread across the world, even today, in places like Africa, Asia, and the Middle East but is not unique only to Islam. To add, in no case would the U.S. Constitution ever be underneath law from a foreign land. Our government is stringent to the Constitution and that cannot be changed.
Indeed, we must address the creeping problem of female genital mutilation in the U.S. but a bill to demonize and stereotype Muslims isn’t the answer. Only education and prevention can cease this intolerant and neanderthal practice.