Earlier in the week I posted an article entitled, I'M OFTEN ASKED WHO WAS MY FAVOURITE RADIO GUEST OF ALL TIME? THIS STORY TELLS OF ONE OF THEM. That person was Somalian Waris Dirie who related her horrific story on FGM (female genital mutilation) Her story certainly caused a lot of interest, among the response I received an email that asked me as a Jew what I thought of circumcision carried on Jewish males? Good question I thought. So I have decided to look closer at both cases and the procedure on circumcision on Jewish males and Muslim females.
The act of the circumcision is called a Brit Milah, which means "covenant of circumcision," it is performed on baby boy eight days after he is born. It involves the removal of the foreskin from the penis by a Mohel, who is a person that has been highly trained to safely perform the procedure or in many cases the Mohel is also a doctor, in fact so experienced are Mohels that the British royal family and many royal families throughout Europe use the Mohel to perform the circumcision on their young males rather than have it done by a surgeon. It is one of the most well-known Jewish customs and signifies the unique relationship between a Jewish boy and God. Traditionally, a baby boy is named after the ceremony. Mohels are permitted by Jewish law to use anaesthetic creams such as EMLA, which parents can obtain from their paediatricians, unless their mohel is also an MD, as some are. Mohels may also give the baby a sugar-water solution, in addition to an anaesthetic, to help relieve discomfort.
Horror, horror, In my day the Mohel would let the baby suck on cotton wool dipped in a little red wine which would act as an anaesthetic, but to tell you the truth I don’t remember a thing about mine. I must of been pi**ed!!
So now let’s look at the negative side of the Brit Milah, No American medical association recommends infant circumcision as a routine procedure. The reason that American medical associations (and the vast majority of medical associations worldwide) do not recommend routine infant circumcision is because it is not medically necessary. Circumcision Causes Pain and Stress: An infant’s foreskin has more than 240 feet of nerves, 20,000 nerve endings, and 3 feet of veins, arteries, and capillaries – circumcision removes all of them, causing the infant tremendous pain. A research article reported Circumcised men have more difficulties reaching orgasm, and their female partners experience more vaginal pains and an inferior sex life, a new study shows. It goes in to report that If a man is circumcised, he faces an increased risk of experiencing delayed orgasm, and his female partner has an increased risk of not feeling sexually fulfilled. As a circumcised male I most certainly do not agree with that last point!!!
Waris was only 8 years old when she was laid down by her mother on a flat rock, then an elderly woman proceeded to circumcise her using a dirty rusted razorblade and absolutely no form of anaesthetic or antiseptic!. The practice involves one or more of several procedures, which vary according to the ethnic group. They include removal of all or part of the clitoris and clitoral hood; all or part of the clitoris and inner labia; and in its most severe form (infibulation) all or part of the inner and outer labiaand the fusion of the wound. In the case of Waris Dirie, as soon as the cut was finished the she is sewn up using a dirty needle and twine and her legs are bound together, she is then left there until she heals. Many children die from shock immediately or simple bleed to death. If they survive this savagery they will often get badly infected as urine backs up and disease sets in. Other serious complications include, HIV and hepatitis B and C; inability to urinate; and damage to nearby organs including the bowel. Long-term consequences include: chronic vaginal and pelvic infections; menstrual problems; persistent urine infections; kidney damage and possible failure; cysts and abscesses; pain during sex; infertility; and complications during pregnancy and childbirth also suffer serious psychological damage. So why are these children brutalised? Is it a religious act, something in the Koran? NO! So why? It’s simply down to male ego! This is because the Muslim male can be guaranteed his bride is a virgin and he and only he can burst the sewn up vagina open. Hard to believe after reading this that according to a report more than 66,000 women in England and Wales have undergone FGM and more than 24,000 girls under the age of 10 are at risk of it !!
Waris Dirie is now the United Nations spokesperson against Female Genital Mutilation at the United Nations. She is the founder and chairperson of the Desert Flower Foundation.
Waris says, “Female mutilation has cultural, no traditional, and no religious aspect. It is a crime that seeks justice”
Since posting the above article, I spotted this in today's Sunday Press:´
Officers believe the network is allowing the brutal practice to continue under the radar as thousands of girls in the UK remain at risk.
The crime ring uses doctors willing to prescribe pain relief to victims, travel agents who arrange flights to countries where the cutting takes place and money lenders to provide finance for families.
FGM has been illegal in Britain since 1985 but there has never been a successful prosecution.
However, the country's first trial for female genital mutilation is expected to take place within weeks, following a concerted campaign to bring FGM to an end.
Experts have warned though that prosecutions are being hampered because doctors, teachers and social workers are systematically failing to report cases of genital mutilation to the police.
According to the latest research, more than 65,000 girls in the UK are at risk of female genital mutilation.
However there were only 93 reported cases in the UK last year - 69 to the Metropolitan Police and 24 to West Midlands Police.
This is despite an estimated 70 girls, some as young as seven, seeking treatment every month.
One of the biggest problems has been that prosecutors must persuade the victim to testify against her parents.
As with other honour-based crimes, the practice is driven by deeply held traditional beliefs.
Commander Mak Chishty, the national police lead on fighting the crime, told The Sunday Times: 'If you're a travel agent, a taxi driver or a person who has got any part in a young girl being mutilated, then rest assured we are going to come and we are going to seek to prosecute you with all legal means.
'Anybody who facilitates a young, vulnerable person being mutilated, they will be subjected to criminal investigation whether they helped them, counselled it, procured it, aided or abetted it,' he said.
Chishty said doctors who repeatedly prescribe pain relief for the victims and are seen as supportive of the practice will be targeted.