"A mother, a former registered nurse and Sydney Islamic sect leader convicted in Australia's first female genital mutilation court case — seen as a breakthrough in prosecuting the crime — have been acquitted by an appeal court." by Emily Lawrence. Read more here.
One of the greatest highlights of my life’s work is serving as an expert witness for Dawoodi Bohra families in the United State's first federal FGM case. I received the exciting message last week that one of the families has been reunited with their daughters and their parental rights will not be terminated as the CPS (Child Protective Services) had motioned the court several months ago.
Just a day later, I learned the best news yet, that the criminal FGM case in Australia - where the parents of a young girl (who had no visible alteration) and a community elder were convicted and imprisoned - was overturned on appeal!!!
While I am deeply troubled by those activists who demonize, persecute and support the separation of Bohra families for practicing Type I female circumcision (a harmless “nicking” of the clitoral foreskin on girls) while upholding as sacred the same community’s practice of male circumcision (the complete removal of the penis foreskin) of non-consenting boys, I am hopeful that ordinary men and women who make up these juries will continue to see through the sexist, racist and Islamophobic hypocrisy of most anti-FGM rhetoric.
Kudos to the courageous lawyers and other brilliant expert witnesses who literally put their reputations and careers on the line to do the right thing against all odds.
By Fuambai Sia Ahmadu, PhD