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Female Genital Mutilation

Call the Confidential FGM Hotline: (888) 783-2995

Female Genital Mutilation

An ongoing federal investigation has identified 4 individuals in Metro Detroit for aiding in the performance of female genital mutilation (FGM) on what is now estimated to be at least 100 young girls. Named as defendants in the nation’s first FGM criminal case are Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, Tehera Shafiq, Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife, Farida Attar. The accused conspirators allegedly performed dozens of these procedures at the Burhani Medical Clinic in Farmington Hills, Michigan and possibly elsewhere. The Burhani Medical Clinic is owned and operated by Dr. and Mrs. Attar, two of the four defendants in this case.  It is estimated that the Metro Detroit mutilation conspiracy began in 2005.

Each of the four defendants belong to the Dawoodi Bohra community, a sect of Islam predominantly from western India and Pakistan. Although the practice of FGM is considered a cultural norm within the Dawoodi Bohra community abroad, it is condemned in the United States. In response to the ongoing federal investigation of Nagarwala, Shafiq, and Attar(s), the Anjuman-e-Najmi mosque, home to the Dawoodi Bohra community in Metro Detroit, announced the following in a public statement: “Any violation of US law is counter to our instructions to our community members. It is an important role of the Dawoodi Bohras that we respect the laws of the land, wherever we live.”

Across cultures, victims of FGM have spoken out against this practice and the lifelong traumas incurred as a result. Within the Dawoodi Bohra community specifically, many survivors of FGM have  pressured the religious and cultural community at large to ban this form of violence against young girls.

We Are Joining the Movement to End FGM

Are you one of the hundreds of women who received FGM as a young girl while under the care of Drs. Nagarwala or Attar? If you are a victim of FGM and are 18 years of age or older, you have legal options. Lend your voice to a growing chorus of survivors who stand united against FGM by getting in touch with our team. 

With full recognition of the complexities presented by the issue of FGM that takes place in our local community of Metro Detroit, 1-800-LAW-FIRM is available to offer support and advocacy on behalf of survivors who wish to come forward. Call the dedicated FGM Survivor Hotline at 888-783-2995 to learn more about how you can be a part of our efforts.

What is FGM?

Female genital mutilation or female genital cutting or female circumcision (FGM/C) describes any deliberate, non-medical removal or cutting of female genitalia. The practice is most often performed within insular cultural or religious communities that stem from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Though it varies among cultures, FGM is typically performed on young girls between ages 4 and 14, and is intended to suppress females’ sexuality.

Types of FGM:

  • Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris
  • Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora 
  • Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and sewing over the outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris or inner labia. 

The Dangers of FGM

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), FGM has no health benefits and can implicate many immediate  and long-term health problems.  Complications of FGM include:

  • Severe pain
  • Shock
  • Hemorrhage
  • Tetanus or infection
  • Urine retention
  • Ulceration of the genital region and injury to adjacent tissue
  • Wound infection
  • Urinary infection
  • Fever
  • Septicemia (blood poisoning)
  • Trauma

FGM can also have long-term and lifelong implications including:

  • Complications in childbirth
  • Anemia
  • Cysts
  • Chronic pain and discomfort
  • Abscesses
  • Keloid scars
  • Damage to the urethra
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Genital hypersensitivity
  • Increased risk of HIV transmission
  • Psychological effects

Call the Confidential FGM Hotline

If you or someone you love is a victim of FGM and would like to explore your potential legal options, call the dedicated FGM Survivor Hotline at 888-783-2995. All calls are completely confidential. 

FGM in the Spotlight: 

Feds: Up to 100 Girls May Have Had Genitals Cut in Michigan (Detroit Free Press)

Islamophobia is No Defense for Female Genital Mutilation (USA Today)

4th Person Charged in Detroit Genital Mutilation Case (CNN)

Religious Exemptions and the Detroit FGM Prosecution (Washington Post)

This American Life 586: Who Do We Think We Are? (Mariya Karimjee)