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From hijab to circumcision, irony never ends for women in Islam

Anupam | Jan 5 2008

Britain is one of the few countries known for possessing higher civilian ethics and supporting human rights in the best possible way. However, quite shocking itís to know that here too women are subjected to brutality, sometimes in the name of religion or sometimes in the name of customs. The issue takes a more gruesome turn when it comes to Muslim women.

Itís shameful to say that this brutality is a part of 21st century Britain. Yes! You got it right. No doubt, in the Muslim community, this brutality is prevalent for a long time after it started approximately 2000 years ago. However, one is certainly shocked to know that countries like Britain are also part of it. Here I am talking about a very brutal form of custom called Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

If you think that FGM is just like male circumcision, in which a small part of thin foreskin is snipped off then you are wrong because it is a surgery of the cruelest kind that involves:

ē The removal of the tip of the clitoris, which is very sensitive because it contains the most nerve endings

ē Total removal of the clitoris and surrounding labia

ē The removal of the clitoris and labia and the sewing up of the vagina, leaving only a small opening for urine and menstrual blood - a process known as infibulations.

Conservative estimates show that 66,000 women and girls living in Britain have been mutilated so far and the practice is still on. It provides a glimpse of the horrific practice, still prevalent in a developed countries like Britain, but the situation is no less than a nightmare in many developing countries. For instance, in around 28 countries in central Africa, it is widely practiced.

Defining it as one of the cruelest surgery, wonít be wrong. However, itís ironic that instruments normally used for conducting FGM include razor, blade, broken glass, a tin lid and any other sharp-edged glass. In most cases, untrained mid-wives conduct entire procedure, exposing the victim to fatal repercussions like - serious infections, HIV, abscesses and small benign tumors, hemorrhages, shock, clitoral cysts, etc.

The main logic behind such horrendous practice is that it makes women calm and enables her to provide more satisfaction during sexual intercourse. Isnít it bullshit just, especially at a time when old shackles regarding virginity, abstinence are fast losing their importance? Moreover, such barbaric customs or traditions makes mockery of the very concept of modernization, which we all feel proud of. Isnít it?



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