‘I underwent genital mutilation as a child – right here in the United States’

Credit: Julie Jacobsen/AP

by Tasneem Raja, Mother Jones, April 21, 2017

“‘This story isn’t going away,’ said one friend over the phone. We both grew up in the same controversial, secretive South Asian Muslim sect as the doctor, a 44-year-old emergency room physician named Jumana Nagarwala who was born in Washington, DC. ‘This time, the community can’t just pretend it’s not happening.’ Just today, two more followers of the sect were arrested in connection with the case.

“Our sect is known as the Dawoodi Bohras, a Shiite branch of Islam based in Gujarat, India, with an estimated 1.2 million followers around the world and thriving outposts across America. Some Bohras and others say the sect has veered toward a cult of personality and away from Islamic principles; it’s ruled by a well-heeled clergy of “totalitarian kings” with unusually wide-reaching control over their followers. (The Bohra clergy did not respond to Mother Jones‘ request for comment.)

 “Federal officials believe Nagarwala may have been clandestinely cutting girls since at least 2005. It’s the first case of its kind in the United States, where female genital cutting is a criminal sexual act and has been illegal since 1996. The practice is widely seen as an attempt to curb women’s sexuality by making sex less enjoyable, even painful.” Click here for the full text of the article.

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