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← British girls undergo horror of genital mutilation despite tough laws

British girls undergo horror of genital mutilation despite tough laws - Comments

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 1 by Stafford Gordon

The horror is unspeakable.

I couldn't bring myself to watch the video.


Updated: Sun, 25 Jul 2010 19:49:35 UTC | #492804

Adrian Bartholomew's Avatar Comment 2 by Adrian Bartholomew

Thumbnail is enough for my eyes today. Zero prosecutions? Really? None? Nada? Zip? That is not incompetence. That has to be deliberate avoidance by the authorities in investigating and prosecuting the law.

PS. I don't buy the "it's very hard to prosecute" line I really don't. Of course it is hard but still...

Updated: Sun, 25 Jul 2010 20:08:15 UTC | #492809

Wuht2Ask's Avatar Comment 3 by Wuht2Ask

Comment Removed by Author

Sun, 25 Jul 2010 20:17:04 UTC | #492815

Fyre13's Avatar Comment 4 by Fyre13

The horror is unbelievable. I can't bring myself to watch the video.

I vaguely remember a few women being prosecuted in France some years ago.

Without racial profiling, checking up on the children seems impossible.


Sun, 25 Jul 2010 20:17:59 UTC | #492817

Adrian Bartholomew's Avatar Comment 5 by Adrian Bartholomew

The law has been in place for 25 years. Prosecuting other types child abuse can be even harder due to less physical evidence than there is for FGM, and yet those types abuse do get investigated and prosecuted (not often enough I'm sure but the point stands I think).

Updated: Sun, 25 Jul 2010 20:25:33 UTC | #492819

RichardofYork's Avatar Comment 6 by RichardofYork


Sun, 25 Jul 2010 20:28:02 UTC | #492820

Dinobird's Avatar Comment 7 by Dinobird

No prosecutions? - total disgrace!

There are times when I really am ashamed to call myself British!

Not only should those carrying out the mutilations be prosecuted but the parents of the child should also be prosecuted for child abuse; with the child taken away from them permanently. We also need laws that make it illegal for any parents/guardian to travel abroad with the intent to have this procedure carried out on their children.

It seems religious and cultural "sensitivities" are yet again to blame for the lack of action within the authorities. Being accused of "intolerance" is their greatest fear so they often turn a blind-eye to religious customs such as this, no matter how abhorrent they are.

I think I shall forward this link to my local MP with along with a question asking what action the British government is going to take to stamp this practice out. We could also do with a campaign solely for this issue. Not a single prosecution! I can't get over that fact!!!

Sun, 25 Jul 2010 20:37:21 UTC | #492821

jel's Avatar Comment 8 by jel

fgm/mgm, both should be illegal. Mutilating children for cultural or religious reasons should be outlawed.

Sun, 25 Jul 2010 20:38:01 UTC | #492822

PrimeNumbers's Avatar Comment 9 by PrimeNumbers

There is no excuse for not prosecuting this abuse. The evidence is the mutilated child, and the only guilty party the girl's family. Yes, both parents should be prosecuted for the abuse and for failing to protect the child and yes they should go to jail for a long time. Yes, that'd be tough on the kid, but this abuse has got to stop and I can see no other way, and yes, I'm angry. But we all know the lack of arrests is because of appeasement of religion, and specifically the appeasement of Islam.

Sun, 25 Jul 2010 20:41:59 UTC | #492823

Mrkimbo's Avatar Comment 10 by Mrkimbo

If anyone tried to do this to my little girls I would certainly do my best to kill them. Yet loving mothers who have had this done to themselves when they were children are eager to have it done to their own. 'For good people to do evil things you need religion.'

The Guardian website is full of responses from worried lefties pinting out that the practise is cultural not religious, that some mullahs oppose it and that it happens in non-Muslim parts of Africa too. Rings very false to me!

Anyone doing this, consenting to this, or plotting to have it done, in Britain or elsewhere, should be put in prison for 15 years minimum. It a kind of child rape of the most disgusting kind, with all the life and body-scarring repercussions and overtones of male power and control over women. Where are the feminists on this one? We know where - made impotent by their psychopathic hatred of the 'evil west', which means that non-westerners may not be criticised for any reason whatever except collusion with it. I've heard more anger at Ayaan Hirsi Ali for throwing in with US rightwingers than I have against this revolting custom. Shame on them!

I couldn't watch the video - the still was enough to make me feel frighteningly violent.

Sun, 25 Jul 2010 20:58:14 UTC | #492825

MartinHowe's Avatar Comment 11 by MartinHowe

I'm lucky enough to have videos and previews blocked by default; imagining it via the text is horrifying enough. What the dammed hell is wrong with our government that all involved do not serve lengthy lengthy jail terms and remain on the Sex Offenders Register for life?

Medical reasons apart, there is no legitimacy in mutilating people in any way, let alone that. That it happens in the 21st Century is beyond belief. About time the Crown Prosecution Service put the boot in.

Sun, 25 Jul 2010 21:11:41 UTC | #492827

mostlyX's Avatar Comment 12 by mostlyX

Question: Why no prosecutions?

Answer: Multicultural Etiquette and religious credulity.

Sun, 25 Jul 2010 21:15:44 UTC | #492829

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 13 by Ivan The Not So Bad

I notice that whenever FGM crops up, the official comments stress it has nothing to do with religion.

It is the same here in this utterly grim tale.

It's just that a) FGM seems to happen almost exclusively to girls with parents of one particular religion b) it never happens in girls whose parents have no religion c) there is plenty of evidence that religion is used to enforce it and d) officials then give the game away somewhat by going on to stress that there is nothing in Islam that requires FGM.

I suppose govermnment and the medical profession go through these contortions in order a) not to offend b) not to alienate and c) to try and disuade the perpetrators by talking to them in their own language and within the context of the religion which they initially claim has nothing to do with it.

It's harm reduction. But not ideal. A bit fucked up, actually.

Sun, 25 Jul 2010 21:16:27 UTC | #492830

-TheCodeCrack-'s Avatar Comment 14 by -TheCodeCrack-

Not a single prosecution? This is a disgusting revelation. I demand it get fixed ASAP, and I demand the government stop facilitating this practice by not-prosecuting anyone.

Sun, 25 Jul 2010 21:34:09 UTC | #492831

chawinwords's Avatar Comment 15 by chawinwords

I have trouble reading and absorbing such ignorance, stupidity, and child abuse, whether in the name of tradition, culture, or religious crap. It makes me sick to my stomach, double time.

Sun, 25 Jul 2010 21:41:01 UTC | #492832

Stephen of Wimbledon's Avatar Comment 16 by Stephen of Wimbledon

All British Citizens living in England & Wales

Don't Just Sit There - Do Something To Save These Girls From Bloody Torture Now

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. They are also responsible for:

  • Advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • and

  • Determining any charges in all but minor cases
  • The Director of the CPS is superintended by the Attorney General, who is accountable to Parliament for the CPS.

    Clearly, the Attorney General and the CPS are failing girls who should enjoy the protection of the law and police forces of our country.

    DON'T DELAY, Complain Today

    Make a complaint to the Attorney General's Office.

    Send an e-mail to the Director, Policy and Administration, Attorney General's Office at the e-mail address below. You should receive a substantive response within 20 working days. The Director, Policy and Administration can be contacted at:


    Suggested text follows.

    I was horrified to learn that Female Genital Mutilation - nothing less than the bloody torture of young girls, some of them barely of school age - is a commonplace in our country.

    Until I read this story: ... I could never have believed that such barbarity was possible in the modern, progressive, State of which we pretend to be a part.

    According to this report, the Crown Prosecution Service has not brought one case against these people who are causing severe pain and anguish to children - including some who are making money from this practice. Please tell me that this is not so.

    Please reassure me that the Attorney General's Office, the Crown Prosecution Service and our many police forces are not sitting on their hands - thus tacitly legitimising this disgusting, depraved, and morally offensive abuse.

    It is my understanding that the Crown Prosecution Service is responsible for advising the police on cases for possible prosecution? Please advise me on the Crown Prosecution Service's current advice to police forces regarding bringing cases against torturers under the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985, and the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. Can you also, please, advise me as to why this advice appears not to be working.

    Please restore my confidence in your branch of government - please tell me that I have not suddenly become a citizen of some stone age village where ludicrous superstitions trump the rule of law. Please tell me it is still possible for you to extend the protection of the law to at least some children in our care.

    Please tell me that the routine torture of British citizens, of any age, is a practice your office and the Crown Prosecution Service actively monitors and combats by working with police to bring the repugnant oppressors to book. Please tell me that you are doing something - anything.

    I will look forward to your detailed reply.

    Tell your friends to e-mail too

    Sun, 25 Jul 2010 21:42:59 UTC | #492834

    Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 17 by Cartomancer

    The very fact people think to frame this debate as "is it religion, or is it culture?" is very depressing. It's rather like saying "is the painting striking because of the vibrant colours in it or because of the vibrant greens?" Religion is a part of culture. It's an aspect of culture. It is culture. People choose their religions based on their cultural horizons, and their religious beliefs affect the other aspects of their cultures too. People with a backward, misogynistic, patriarchal culture that values the kinds of things that lead to female genital mutilation will naturally tend toward the kinds of backward, misogynistic, patriarchal religious ideas that support the practice. They're two sides of the same coin, and sadly this coin is legal tender in far too many societies.

    As soon as people realise that religion behaves exactly like any other cultural form or complex of ideas, a lot of problems will cease. This rather pointless argument for one. Whatever semantics one wishes to use, the practice is abominably barbaric and creepy to the highest degree. It must stop as soon as possible, preferably sooner.

    Sadly, though, while taking a stand and actually prosecuting the perpetrators is an important part of changing the culture, it will not do the job on its own. We also need to change that culture root and branch, find out why such pockets of backwardness persist among certain ethnic groups and take steps to convince the communities themselves that it is the barbarity it so clearly is. What we in fact need to do is improve our integration strategies and ensure that ethnic minorities do not form closed, ghettoised, isolated communities where such horrific things can fester. This is very difficult indeed, but it is not impossible.

    Updated: Sun, 25 Jul 2010 21:57:04 UTC | #492835

    Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 18 by Richard Dawkins

    Who will deny that this is worse child abuse than anything done to an altar boy by a Catholic priest? These vile women who use knives to perpetrate violent crimes against girls are not pedophiles but pedophobes, and they should be prosecuted even more severely than the pedophiles.

    I have it on the authority of a London schools inspector that the reason the police do not prosecute is that they are afraid of being accused of racism or "Islamophobia." In the words of the police officer quoted in this article, they "don't want to alienate communities." You might as well refrain from prosecuting child rapists because you don't want to alienate the pedophile community. If arresting these vicious hags really were "islamophobic" (or course it isn't), I'd be proud to be called islamophobic.


    Sun, 25 Jul 2010 22:02:05 UTC | #492837

    jon_the_d's Avatar Comment 19 by jon_the_d

    I haven't watched the video yet, not sure I want to, but just reading the account of the girl made me feel physically sick.

    Whether they want to say this is religious, or cultural, or whatever, it's irrelevant. it has to be stopped regardless!!!

    I don't know about the laws regarding circumsion (male or female), but they're only kids, and it IS physical mutilation, and apparently a lot of pain, for no medical reason, either purely cultural, or more likely religious grounds. Either way, young children should not have their bodies mutilated when they are not old enough or mature enough to make the decision themselves. so it should never be allowed to happen, only adults should have the freedom to do this to themselves if they so wish. children need to be protected. It's bad enough we can't protect them from indoctrination, but physical mutilation!! we've got to do something!

    Make it illegal for parents to allow this to happen to their children. If their involvement can be proven, surely they can be prosecuted for GBH, abuse, or at least gross negligence.

    This is sick, and I can;t believe people have such twisted minds.

    ALSO, surely this whole thing is an affront to Allah/God, who created them according to his will. By butchering his handiwork, are they not basically insulting his intelligence and defying his will?


    We need so much more action on this issue, and a hell of a lot more prosecutions.

    Let's give these children their rights.

    Sun, 25 Jul 2010 22:04:30 UTC | #492838

    Charisma's Avatar Comment 20 by Charisma

    It makes me so angry. I weep for this poor woman who will not be able to have a child. There aren't words to describe how horrific this is.

    Sun, 25 Jul 2010 22:10:16 UTC | #492841

    cheesedoff17's Avatar Comment 21 by cheesedoff17

    Just the thought of it is enough to screw my face up. I can't watch horror. I'm astounded and disgusted to hear that the British government has never made a prosecution. The French do prosecute if it happens to be discovered in France but most times the girls are sent back to Africa. Thanks to publicity and feminist activism, both Mali and Senegal have officially ban it. Also, in those countries, there is an ongoing campaign of educating women against the dangerous side effects which seems to be making some headway.

    Sun, 25 Jul 2010 22:26:45 UTC | #492847

    Stephen of Wimbledon's Avatar Comment 22 by Stephen of Wimbledon

    Hi Cartomancer,

    It seems so obvious to me.

    We also need to change that culture root and branch, find out why such pockets of backwardness persist among certain ethnic groups and take steps to convince the communities themselves that it is the barbarity it so clearly is.

    The answer is: - Policies for the integration of immigrants Substantial compulsory education of adults on mores, culture and identity. Plus acknowledgement that multiculturalism is the road to sectarianism.

    The first point is a toughie - the media (albeit in a rather disorganised and lazy way) tend to conspire against their traditional role as educators and informers.

  • Better education of the next generation - in particular, critical thinking needs to become a significant part of the curriculum.
  • I met a lecturer in education a couple of months ago. She tells me that critical thinking is only available at A Level - and that it is typically studied only by those in private education ...

    A commentator in today's Sunday Times (in my defence, bought by my Father) says that GCSE's are too easy. I agree, the whole curriculum needs toughening up.

    Is my cure too simplistic? If so, why?

    Sun, 25 Jul 2010 22:31:47 UTC | #492848

    Dax's Avatar Comment 23 by Dax

    Again, let's stress that it has got nothing to do with religion, but with culture! Yeah, right. When are we going to accept that culture and religion are intertwined. Religion dictates culture, and vice versa. If people's religion (whether this is Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, whatever) is patriarchal, teaches you that women are impure, that sex is meant for procreation, that women should be subservient, et cetera, et cetera, then it just follows that the cultural position of women will be the same! Sure, it's not a prerequisite in Christianity or Islam, but without the religious oppression of women, the cultural oppression would have diminished a lot a long time ago.

    (See @Ivan above)

    Sun, 25 Jul 2010 22:36:45 UTC | #492849

    LittleFluffyClouds's Avatar Comment 24 by LittleFluffyClouds

    Ouch. It reminds me a little bit of Pullman's "Silver Guillotine."

    What can you really say about this?

    Richard, I think you're correct that most pedophiles are not, at least at first, sadists; they simply project feelings and attitudes onto children that children do not have and deceive themselves that children can be in an adult relationship. They often end up as rapists and destroy children's dreams. This is surely bad enough, but yes, I agree, being violated by a priest is not anywhere near as bad as having your genitals sawed clean off!

    This is just as hideous as it gets.

    Sun, 25 Jul 2010 22:46:39 UTC | #492852

    Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 25 by Cartomancer

    Richard, Comment #18

    "These vile women... these vicious hags..."

    I understand the strength of feeling this subject elicits, Richard, but I am not sure these epithets are entirely warranted or helpful. If I may...

    These women, too, are victims. They are the victims of the oppressive, ignorant, tribal culture that they were born into - most often they were mutilated themselves as girls, and have, through the sickening alchemy of psychological abuse, come to esteem and value the very thing that has twisted them. They might well be the most important vectors of that culture, the ones whose hands perform the vile acts, but they perform them within their limited world-view and with intentions they themselves deem good. They were not given a choice, or the kind of education which would help them to see the barbarity in their actions. In fact many of them are specifically denied such an education. These women are morally ignorant, and oppressed by their own culture. While their actions are vile and evil, they do not perform them out of viciousness or malice. Or, at least, the vast majority do not.

    Prosecute, educate, feel outraged and offended that such things go on. Do so by all means and with all haste. Direct the scorn and anger at those who turn a blind eye in the service of vapid multiculturalism or sheer patronising apathy. But will these women really benefit from being demonised, and will demonising them help to enlighten their communities and their culture?

    Updated: Sun, 25 Jul 2010 23:03:39 UTC | #492855

    InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 26 by InYourFaceNewYorker

    Yep, the elephant in the room is that they're not prosecuted because the cops are afraid of being "racist." They're probably also afraid of getting blown up.

    What I don't get is how a woman who recalls the agony she experienced going through this could go and do it to her own daughter.


    Comment 18 by Richard Dawkins :

    Who will deny that this is worse child abuse than anything done to an altar boy by a Catholic priest? These vile women who use knives to perpetrate violent crimes against girls are not pedophiles but pedophobes, and they should be prosecuted even more severely than the pedophiles.

    I have it on the authority of a London schools inspector that the reason the police do not prosecute is that they are afraid of being accused of racism or "Islamophobia." In the words of the police officer quoted in this article, they "don't want to alienate communities." You might as well refrain from prosecuting child rapists because you don't want to alienate the pedophile community. If arresting these vicious hags really were "islamophobic" (or course it isn't), I'd be proud to be called islamophobic.


    Sun, 25 Jul 2010 23:05:31 UTC | #492858

    jon_the_d's Avatar Comment 27 by jon_the_d

    Seeing as it is so hard to prosecute, and seeing as prevention is preferable anyway (obviously), I put my mind to how the government could clamp down on this practice.

    Workable solution(?):

    2 PARTS

    1) The law regarding FGM could be bolstered to mean anyone complicit in the arranging or permitting of the procedure could be prosecuted and imprisoned.

    Any child found to have had this done to them will be taken into care pending a full investigation. Parental non-cooperation would result in a decision of unfit parents.

    Put simply; If a child has this done to them, they will be taken away form the parents, and the parents would most likely face prison.

    2) Compulsory yearly health checks by medical professionals for all children under the age of 16. No-one can be excused, not even for religious or cultural reasons. female doctors can of course be requested.

    These health checks can of course be overall general health checks, but will also check for any signs of abuse or mutilation. Any concerns would be instantly reported to the authorities as usual.


    This 2 part solution means that any parents considering mutilating their child would know that A, if they get caught their child will be taken away from them, and they'd be thrown in jail, and B, there is no WAY they would NOT get caught.

    These two steps are both easily implemented, and well, an extra health check never harmed anyone...

    any comments?

    Updated: Sun, 25 Jul 2010 23:20:23 UTC | #492861

    Fuller's Avatar Comment 28 by Fuller

    I am not equipped with the vocabulary to express the deepness of my sadness and anger that the authorities have failed their own citizens like this. So I won't even try.

    Sun, 25 Jul 2010 23:14:37 UTC | #492863

    green and dying's Avatar Comment 29 by green and dying

    I would've thought the reason for lack of prosecutions was that it's such a hidden thing. The only ways the police would come to know about it would be if the girl herself complained to them or a doctor had treated her for complications while she was still a child. (Although the woman in the video said she'd had complications treated at age 12 - I wonder whether the police were informed?) The only other way to know about it would be, as the woman in the video suggested, to check girls returning to the country from countries where it is very commonly practised. Half of me feels like preventing FGM is such a serious thing that compulsory checking by a doctor would be justified, but then I have a close friend whose mother is from one of those countries (and was mutilated, though my friend never was - her mum said she'd never let it happen) and who went to that country every single summer of her childhood/adolescence and I feel like it would be too much to require her to submit to examinations every time.

    As it is, most of the girls probably wouldn't be seen by a doctor until they were adults. And by then it's up to them whether anything gets reported, and even if they wanted to they probably wouldn't want their own parents prosecuted and they'd probably not know who did the actual cutting.

    I just have a hard time believing that the reason is sensitivity to religion, although maybe I'm being too optimistic.

    Sun, 25 Jul 2010 23:17:28 UTC | #492864

    Ohnhai's Avatar Comment 31 by Ohnhai

    Religoin or culture.... It's a moot point. Fgm and Mgm need to stop. Period. Regardless of it's driving motivator. MGM is practiced as an undeniable example of Human sacrifice in all corners of the world and is tolerated as a normal and even celebrated. This irks me. At least the Catholics only think they are committing cannibalism.

    But FGM is a true evil. Designed as nothing more than a brutal method of controlling and. Further de humanizing of women. The truly tragic thing about all of this is that the women do it to themselves.. !!! You rarely hear of the father, uncle, grand father dragging the luckless girl off to some foreign parts to get brutalized. No, it is always the aunt, grand mother, the mother. How can ANY mother condone this for her child.... I't baffles me. But no it actually doesn't. Fear at not being seen to conform, especially when peer retribution can and sadly does go as far as murder, especially when combined with poor education and enforced ignorance can push people to all manner of stupidity.

    A parent who smacks their child too often or too hard will be labeled as a bad parent and have the child taken from them. Yet slice the end of a penis off or mutilate a girl denying her full woman hood and it's ' we must tolerate cultural diversity'.

    Cultural or not , religious or not , this simply has to stop. There is no place in modern society for this barbarity. Genital mutilation ( for any reason other than genuine, no other choice but to do this, life threatening medical reasons) of children or for that matter any uninformed, unconsenting adults should never be tolerated.

    I don't care if it is coded by your religion as I do not recognise the authority of dogmatic assertion backed up by myth and fable.

    I don't care if you claim it is tradition as tradition is no reason to keep doing something so repellant.

    Sun, 25 Jul 2010 23:34:03 UTC | #492872