Female Circumcision – communities call for religious freedom to be upheld

Female Circumcision – communities call for religious freedom to be upheld

Mumbai, June 4 (NewsIn.Asia) – Female Circumcision, more popularly known today as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has caught international attention, especially since many organisations are calling for a worldwide ban.

But despite the heavy objection, millions of Muslim women, in many countries, in South Asia, Middle East and the African subcontinent, perform it as part of a religious practice. They see it as their religious right and are calling on authorities to respect their religious freedom.

They  say that their practice should not be confused with severe FGM practiced in some parts of Africa. Religious scholars say that the latter procedures have nothing to do with Islam. What the Muslims practice, they say,is a mild, almost symbolic, procedure performed for religious purposes.

Dawoodi Bohra version

While the world is being told horrific stories, there is one community who clears many misconceptions surrounding the circumcision they perform. The Dawoodi Bohras, a small minority community scattered in many parts of the world, have been at the receiving end of criticism from many organisations and human rights activists for performing circumcision called  ‘khafz’ on their female children at a young age of 7.

The Dawoodi Bohras say they have been shunned and shamed for performing a ritual which, according to them, does not accord with the activists’ definition of FGM.

Doctors within the community explain that what they perform is a procedure milder than even the Type 1a, but since it is performed for non medical reasons, it also falls under the WHO definition of FGM. Doctors say that the minor procedure is performed as part of a religious belief and causes no physical harm.

Community members are now voicing their concerns about being attacked by certain groups, even some within the community, who they claim have ulterior motives.

“Khafz is mainly Type 4, which is even more minor than the Type 1a. Khafz is definitely a harmless procedure. It’s sad that it is clubbed under FGM. So many women in India and abroad undergo much more severe procedures under the garb of ‘cosmetic surgery’. Why are they then not accused of performing FGM?” Dr Alifiya S. Bapai, a practicing gynecologist in Mumbai, told NewsIn.Asia via email.

“Female circumcision performed by Dawoodi Bohras is absolutely harmless. There are no ill effects,” she added.

Khafz’ performed for religious purity

She explains that Khafz is performed for ‘religious purity’ in the same way as male circumcision is. The procedure according to her has been practiced for generations and there have been no deaths recorded to date, due to Khafz.

So why is the community being targeted if the procedure is so harmless?

Fifty nine year old Fatema (who did not want to reveal her surname), a Dawoodi Bohra in Mumbai said that her community is being unjustly accused of sexual and child abuse especially by some groups who had broken away from the community and are using the Dawoodi Bohra label just to tarnish the image of the community.

Fatema, says Bohra women have never been forced or brainwashed to perform circumcision and that it is based on free choice.

“Some groups go as far to allege that we force it. And they term us as mutilators. This is unfair. Neither what we perform is mutilation nor are we forced to do it. Khafz has been performed for generations and it is a religious belief. It is wrong to say that it is child abuse. If this is child abuse then what is male circumcision? Males are circumcised days after they are born. No one should have the right to enforce unjust laws on religions especially when  a practice is harmless,” she asserted.

“Some activists also say that the procedure is against a girl’s right as it is done without her consent. Then is a male child circumcised with consent? When we give vaccinations to our daughters is it with consent? When we have to operate on them for some illness is it with consent? These questions are baseless. A mother knows and does what’s best for her child, especially when harmless procedures for purity are performed. Every religion has its own beliefs. When we practice an age old procedure which is harmless, then the world suddenly sees a problem,” Fatema said.

WHO’s stance 

The World Health Organisation which has been in the forefront of the call for a ban on FGM, when questioned by NewsIn.Asia about the Type 1a procedure said WHO uses the term FGM for all types of circumcision practices to emphasize the permanent nature of the changes and the damage done to healthy, normal, female genitalia.

“FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls,” the WHO told NewsIn.Asia via email.

The Organization added that immediate complications have been documented with all forms of FGM. These can include excessive bleeding, pain, infection, shock or even death.

However, when specifically asked if the organisation has recorded any clinical evidence of harm against the Type 1a, WHO said it does not compile individual reports but rather looks at the body of evidence from scientific literature to develop its positions about health risks and the public health and human rights significance of the practice.

Upon further insistence for specific clinical evidence, WHO was able to provide NewsIn.Asia with links explaining the consequence of all forms of FGM, but within those reports there was no scientific study to prove that Type 1a has caused any clinical harm.

“There are some anecdotal claims of emotional stress, often partly due to the manner in which it was conducted in earlier times or if the parent had not prepared the child, and partly because all surgical procedures however small carry risk of pain. But if it is carried out properly, from an anatomical standpoint, it cannot cause harm,” 29 year old Bohra lady Umaima said.

She also alleged that some claims of horror and trauma experienced by some women are exaggerated.

No clinical evidence of harm or injury

Several community members and other Muslim communities who perform the Type 1a and Type 4 procedures point out that, to date, there has been no clinical evidence of harm. They also dismiss allegations that the procedure is performed to curb the sexual pleasure of a female.

“There is absolutely no clinical evidence anywhere in the world to prove that any of the Type 4 or Type 1a is harmful,” Dr. Alifiya said.

When asked about the sexual aspect of it, Dr Alifiya explained that if anything, it should enhance sexual pleasure because it has the potential of exposing the clitoris.

On the way the procedure is performed by the Dawoodi Bohras, Dr Alifiya said that many organisations are  claiming that the procedure involves the removal of the clitoris or cutting of the clitoris. But this is untrue, she said, because it only includes a very small nick on the prepuce.

Prof. Rick Shweder replies

Professor Rick Shweder, Harold Higgins Swift Distinguished Service Professor, from the Department of Comparative Human Development in the University of Chicago, in a 2012 Hastings Center Report essay titled “Seven Things to Know About Female Genital Surgeries in Africa” (a statement written and endorsed by 15 scholars and researchers) said in countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia, Mali, Sierra Leone, parts of Malaysia, and Northern Sudan; it is the dominant cultural view that males and females should be treated alike by modifying the genitals of both; and where the vast majority of females (approximately 80–90% in seven African countries) would be deeply troubled by the exclusion of females from the practice.

The report provided by Professor Shweder to NewsIn.Asia said that in what is probably the most rigorous piece of scientific research ever conducted on female genital cutting and reproductive health – a 2001 study by the British Medical Research Council – comparing ‘cut’ and ‘uncut’ women in the Gambia – 10% of circumcised Gambian women in the study were indeed infertile, but the level of infertility was exactly the same for the uncircumcised Gambian women.

“The same pattern of findings – no significant difference found between ‘cut’ and ‘uncut’ women – held true for most of the reproductive health problems investigated in the study, such as menstrual problems or painful sex.

One or two diseases occurred more frequently among ‘cut’ women; one or two occurred more frequently among ‘uncut’ women. While the women in the study had many troubling health problems, in general, the ill health of a circumcised Gambian woman could not be attributed to her customary genital surgery. The authors caution activists against exaggerating the morbidity and mortality risks of the practice.

The report further noted that whenever global feminist organizations, public policy advocates, politicians or celebrities speak out against customary female genital modifications, denouncing them as mutilations and child abuse, so too they should speak out against customary male genital modifications, morally condemning them in similar terms; even at the risk of offending Jewish and Muslim supporters of anti-FGM campaigns.

“Put even more simply: there should be equal protection for boys and girls before the law. If you are an outspoken critic of FGM but then remain silent about male genital mutilation (MGM) you are either biased against women, insufficiently conscientious in the application of your principles, or a hypocrite.”

On minority communities being targeted without any clinical evidence for performing types such as the Type 1a or Type 4 FGM, Professor Rick Shweder told NewsIn.Asia that groups cannot be called mutilators without evidence.

“Just as one would like to see the experts challenged in court to actually produce evidence that Type 1a genital modifications are harmful to either health or sexuality one might also challenge those in India who are attacking the Bohra with this type of sensational rhetoric to defend their claims and demonstrate that they are not engaged in defamatory activities?” Professor Shweder said.

Prof. Carlos Londono Sulkin 

Professor Carlos D. Londoño Sulkin, Department of Anthropology, University of Regina in Canada, speaking on the social aspects surrounding circumcision said it is important to underscore that there should be some recognition of the fact that persons’ moralities– what they really value, their sense of what is important in life, their sense of how they ought to live, look, and behave–are products of their own life processes, in particular social contexts and at particular times in life.

“I think that many Westerners simply do not imagine that female genital cutting can have such positive moral associations, or be part of a respectable or admirable way of life,” he said.

“However, there are some feminists –pointedly not all of them!–who are absolutely committed to the idea that there is this universal hate of women and women’s bodies, and who are driven to interpret a great many practices of their own and other societies as evidence of that. They’d probably think of themselves as despicable people if they didn’t go to battle against FGM.”

(This article has been researched and written by journalists in the NewsIn.Asia news team)

122 Responses to "Female Circumcision – communities call for religious freedom to be upheld"

  1. Batull   June 4, 2017 at 10:28 am

    True absolutely right dr alifiya and fatema i support what they said .khafz is harmless and its not FGM.

  2. Miss Jay   June 4, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Well written article. Especially abt discrimination between MGM & FGM. Clearly the FGM activists in India hv no other scientific backing besides personal accounts stories. Some claiming to feel traumatized after realizing it “may hv happened” to them.

    Where is the backing of psychological counseling/ evaluation reports? A child could be more traumatised by a tooth extraction!

    The WHO report on FGM seems extremely generalized. How can there be the same judgement fr a toe tip skin epidermis being injured an index being chopped off and a whole hand being mutilated. Surely there is a difference medical treatment fr all 3 would differ.

  3. Mf   June 4, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Wow. Finally a report on the Dawoodi Bohras that includes in depth investigation and rigorous reporting. Other journals should take good note.

  4. Fatema   June 4, 2017 at 10:57 am

    It is the right of a mother to do good by her children be it male or female …so activists n reformists …. Let it be … You are making a mountain of a molehill… There r more grave issues of rape and child labour …work on those .

    • Moe Love   June 5, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      No, people don’t have the “right” to permanently carve their religion into their children’s genitals

      • Miss Z   June 5, 2017 at 3:06 pm

        people do have the rights to practice their religion and pass it on to their progeny. We see our children as a part of us unlike those cultures where its a given that they’ll live separate lives someday. So we pass on all that is ours to them with all the love we have for them. And parents have the right to decide just the way they decided to have them, deliver them and take care of them as they grow up.

        • Jewel   June 5, 2017 at 4:04 pm

          Agree with you totally! Miss Moe, you practice your own belief and faith and let us practice ours. As mentioned earlier, we know exactly what we are doing with our beloved daughters. We take care of them till our last breath unlike other cultures where responsibility is shed at the earliest possible moment.

  5. Mf   June 4, 2017 at 11:01 am

    They could perhaps also add ear piercing for infant girls which is common throughout the world, in India perhaps more so with nose piercings for young girls very prevalent. Very similar.

    • Zed Em   June 4, 2017 at 11:59 am

      Excellent point there.

      Perhaps clipping an infant’s nails should be considered traumatic too because you have to hold the child down and do it against their will most of the time and can injure the child in the process. Same goes with haircuts and shaving off of the head in many cultures esp ones done using blades that can cause cuts on the skin if not done properly. And how about vaccines. That too against diseases that most of us never even get. Piercing a newborn with a needle just because you think you’re protecting them. What an outrage. How is that even legal. Someone should ban vaccines then and all surgical processes until the child gives their consent.

      And mothers of all the activists who say they suffered so called FGM should be reported by them and arrested as the activists themselves are openly informing us that their mothers performed something that is illegal. So might as well start with them.

  6. Jumana   June 4, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Very well written. I truly support what they r saying. N khafz is harmless. khafz is not fgm.

  7. Jewel   June 4, 2017 at 11:26 am

    A very well written article that brings to light the difference between khafz practiced by us, the Dawoodi Bohra and the FGM as defined by the WHO. A sincere request to the activists and others to focus on more grave issues and leave us alone to practice our religious freedom. We are mothers and will never do wrong to our daughters.

  8. Rashida   June 4, 2017 at 11:27 am

    My daughter was circumcised at seven 13yrs ago. I broached the topic some months ago and asked her whether she remembered the day she was circumcised. She said she vaguely did. I asked her if she felt traumatised by the memory. She replied that not that incident but she has never forgotten the time when I had yanked her to a seedy looking salon for a horrendous haircut all because​I had to clear her hair off lice immediately. She said she never wanted to go to school for weeks after. In perhaps grade 7.
    So my point is 1) Primitive methods for procedures may have left scars. But they hold true for everything from tooth extraction to childbirth. Advances in science has greatly minimised risks and have far outweighed benefits.
    2) We do what we think is best for our children. What has worked for us and made our lives pleasurable will be surely implemented on our children. Absolutely why not?

  9. Munira Feeroz   June 4, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Well done for presenting the other side of the picture.

  10. zainab sh. taher   June 4, 2017 at 11:44 am

    First article handling this issue in a non-bias way…well researched and showcasing the truth.

  11. UmmeHani   June 4, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    They are making a strawmen argument. Rightly said by Fatema that if one doesn’t want to practice then it’s not forced upon them. How ironic that they are imposing their wishes on us. I am a proud Dawoodi bohra and support khafd. This is a case of general importance and I hope this article sets a precedent for other journalists

  12. tasneem mustafa   June 4, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Khafz is harmless all should understand our religious values

  13. Tasneem   June 4, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    I support dr. Alifiya…. its a gross shame for well educated individual when they confuse FGM with khafz ( a purity procedure in girls equivalent to Circumcision in males). Its our religion and i hope all must understand the difference between FGM and KHAFZ.

  14. Jamila   June 4, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Very well written n explained. I totally support khafz. Khartoum is harmless,it is not FGM.

  15. Yasmin Zaranwala   June 4, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Dawoodi bohra religion has peace loaded in the community! So where is the question of harmful procedures?W.H.O should peep in the past and present history of dawoodi bohra where nothing has been done against the welfare of people of its own community nd others as well! So is it possible that the harmless procedure of khafz can be so harmful as pretended?……

    The ladies who are still suffering from the trauma of khafz or consider as a sexual assault should relatively do pranayam and come out of it and start thinking positively !Sometimes completely negative upbringing or parents conflicts in childhood make the child mentally traumatized!

    I completely agree with dr.alifiya and fatemaben and others who have great positive views of our customs!

  16. Maria   June 4, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    A well researched piece. This article should get its mention in all publications as well all over social media. There are thousands of Dawoodi Bohra women in full support. Khafz is not fgm. Stop calling us mutilators now.

  17. Arzoo   June 4, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Great, this article is an eye opener for those who have been fighting for a wrong cause

  18. Anna   June 4, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    An article, that gives a broad view about this subject Khafz. Not knowing much about it and only hearing from one side doesn’t give a clear view about it.. This well written article clears the misconceptions. Conclusion, khafz is no where near, to be linked to FGM.

  19. Fatema   June 4, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Very well discribed I totally support khafj…as it is harmless…n it is not fgm so plz stop fighting for a wrong cause n open ur eyes

  20. Fatema   June 4, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Excellent article wriiten.
    Clearing d diffrence btween FGM N KHAFZ.
    I completely agree wd Dr alefiya n others.

  21. Tasneem Wadiwala   June 4, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Khafz is harmless all should understand our religious values

  22. Arwa   June 4, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you news in.asia for this great article and sharing our side of story
    …i am a dawoodi bohra and follower of syedna mufaddal saufuddin .khafz is not fgm.

  23. Insiya   June 4, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Very well written. We are unjustly targeted. But no more. We have one voice. We stand to the point that it is harmless. Our ancestors have gone through it and none suffered and all born children

  24. Taheraly   June 4, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    I am happy ☺ well done

  25. Batul   June 4, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Great article..this article really enforces our faith in the system at large. I am a proud Dawoodi Bohra women having great pride in my religion

  26. zahra   June 4, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    very well written, our ancestors were not fool,it is for purity and enhances sexual pleasure of both men and women, not curbs it as falsely said by some poeple without any facts and figures

  27. Jamila   June 4, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Excellent article followed by superb comments…..enjoy reading them all n really makes me proud to be a Dawoodi Bohra women HAPPY DAWOODI BOHRA​ WOMANHOOD…..

  28. Asiff   June 4, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Khatna (Islamic female circumcision) is not FGM. These are two different things with different effects. Female circumcision involves removing the skin (prepuce) around the clitoris, which enhances, not curbs women’s sexuality. This procedure allows the clitoris to be exposed for greater stimulation since it does away with the prepuce which serves as an obstacle to sexual satisfaction. The clitoral prepuce also harbours germs such as the cancer-causing HPV. Thus female circumcision as required by Islam prevents urinary tract Infections and transmission of cancer-causing HPV to husbands through oral sex. Even Western women are going for it under the name hoodectomy. See: http://asiffhussein.com/2015/04/02/female-circumcision-the-hidden-truth/

  29. samina   June 4, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    a very befitting reply to all those who try to pretend to be well wisher in the garb of evil doers. This should act as an eyeopener to everyone who dare poke their noses in matters that do not concern them we are proud to be dawoodi bohras

  30. Huzefa   June 4, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Superb. The people who are campaigning against fgm have motives which are unknown to the world, especially defaming the community because they are a breakaway cult.

  31. Zainab   June 4, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Well differentiated!
    Hope it’s now clear to people the difference between khafz and FGM.
    Khafz is not at all FGM.
    I believe my custom n religious practices takes great n equal care of women in community as it does for men.
    M proud to be a dawoodi bohra woman.
    I support khafz and not FGM.

  32. ummehani Vanthaliwala   June 4, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Finally a well researched and unbiased article based on facts. Being a dawoodi bohra woman, I am tired of the witch Hunt. I can’t confirm my self and my religion to the general expectations of the world. It’s my right to practice without interference. It has been very hurtful to think that dawoodi bohra women are considered so backwards that they need help and a voice to speak out on our behalf. Let me take this opportunity to address that belief- our voice is loud and clear and concise but are you choosing to ignore it?

  33. Khadija Banswadi   June 4, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Its just a religious ritual followed by us with no harm at all and made sure girl is healthy and taken care of so glad to have this article printed to have our point in front of the world. We will not allow few women to take away our right of freedom of religion . We will speak for ourselves and we stand together Dawoodi Bohra women .

  34. Munira Taiyeb   June 4, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    My tonsils were removed the same year that I was circumcised. Interestingly I remember the removal of the onsils as the traumatic episode.
    I am a practicing Dawoodi Bohra woman and a proud member of my community. I am sure what my mother decided for me was absolutely right because today when I look at my child and make decisions on her behalf, I feel and realise how correct my mom was. Thank you folks for expressing our point of view. An excellent article.

  35. FST   June 4, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    We Dawoodi Bhora women have always been behind the veil n been respected around the globe. Just due to a bunch of grp who have broken away from our community we are being assaulted. We proudly claim to be a literate community and would never put our beloved daughters through female khafz if it caused any harm.

  36. Zahra mohakampura wala   June 4, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Very well said dr. Alefiya and fatema ben it is harmless and even every girl healthy we cause no harm

  37. Tasneem   June 4, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Tasneem
    M a PROUD DAWOODI BOHRA WOMAN with a mind of my own . M well Educated n m more loved by my parents than my Brother . V Belive in Peace Harmony Respect n Freedom to ones Religion Beliefs. KHAFZ IS NOT FGM … please get it straight for ones n for all.

  38. SB   June 4, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Very well return superb answer to the fools who doesn’t understood the difference between khafz n FGM. I m proud to be a Dawoodi Bohra woman .

  39. farida   June 4, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Khafz and fgm are very different and it is so obvious khafz is harmless why cant the very intelligwnt scientific people understand such a simple fact?

  40. Samina Kachwala (@samkdel)   June 4, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Thank you newsin.asia. Well researched, great article clarifying difference between khafz and FGM.
    Showing khafz is completely harmless.
    Also clearly showing that WHO without any data points and scientific proof has wrongly clubbed a minor procedure like khafz into FGM.
    We are a very peaceful, technologically advanced community. We do not need any outsiders to come and talk on our behalf. We all are educated and exactly know what we practice and what we do.
    It’s just that we don’t make a pomp and show out of everything.
    So please leave us alone and let us be the same peace loving, highly patriotic, happy community.

  41. Rashida   June 4, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I agree with one of the comments that the parents of these bunch of women who had been wittingly knowingly and forcefully taken to dark dingy rooms and have had Mutilating surgeries performed on them should face action.
    An overwhelming majority of us on the other hand have had khafz done in the way it should be resulting in us blossoming like flowers emanating radiance and scent. Our mothers did us good unlike those who turned their girls into mutilated women. Their words, not ours!

  42. Arwa   June 4, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Very well said..I think now ths fact is clear to those bunch of evil womens who tried to create misconfusion between khafz Nd FGM..proud to be Dawoodi Bohra women..

  43. burhanuddin M. Aliasger Chopdawala   June 4, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Really dawoodi bohras are a peaceful community and these complications just are being created to compress them
    Khafz is very very harmless

  44. Relaxed   June 4, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Feeling relaxed. Wow there are researchers who are doing unbiased researches. Now we are talking. And yes the most striking comment – mothers of these activists should be prosecuted – immediately. We plead to the authorities to immediately take grave actions against them as they traumatised their daughters. How could they? Poor activists, they are scared for lifetime.

  45. Jumana   June 4, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    “KHAFZ IS NOT FGM”

  46. Mariya.maimoon   June 4, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    I am so glad that we finally have the facts come out. Just because a procedure is not understood by the society in general does not mean it’s wrong. If we ban it on face value, then we should ban ear piercing as well. The words and experiences of a few should not be used to determine the norm in the community. Please look at the community on the whole and hear our experiences as well.

  47. Fatema   June 4, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    Excellent article.I am proud to be a dawoodi bohra women.

  48. Nafisa Hashim Soni   June 5, 2017 at 1:46 am

    Very well explained by Dr Alefiya Ben. I am proud to be DAWOODI BOHRA WOMAN. I am surprised that why other religion women interferes with other religion happenings? Have any DAWOODI BOHRA WOMAN interfered with other religion matter? NO. It is the work of shaitaan, a few evil woman, who spread the misconception.

  49. Zainab maimoon   June 5, 2017 at 3:47 am

    Proud to be dawoodi bohra …and we will not bare any injustice with our community matters .now they know the difference ….between KHAFZ and FGM .

  50. Farida Rexinwala   June 5, 2017 at 4:04 am

    True and absolutely correct. I agree with the comments given by doctors. I am proud to be a dawoodi bohra.

  51. Munira.   June 5, 2017 at 4:13 am

    I am proud to be Dawoodi Bohra Woman.Very well explained by Dr.Alifyaben.No one must interfere in our freedom of religion.

  52. Sharebano   June 5, 2017 at 4:54 am

    It is totally harmless. N we dawoodi bohra females hav no issues on it. It is our sunnat and this is cming since years years ago and ths will continue till the world ends. No one has right to change ths. I am proud to be dawoodi bohra.

  53. Nisrin   June 5, 2017 at 5:33 am

    There are many misconceptions about khafz, which is wrongly linked with FGM.
    It is like comparing a unconscious person with a dead one. They both lie still on the ground only on close examination one knows that one is breathing and the other is not. On similar anology a small minor, harmless procedure is linked with FGM which is so grevious and brutal.
    Khafz improves hygiene, It not only prevents some infections but the removal of prepuse helps to expose clitoris which improves pleasure. Just like When a male is circumcised it improves hygiene and prevents conditions like phimosis and paraphimosis.
    I am proud to be a Dawoodi Bohra woman. And our beliefs are not orthodox but have proved to be scientific with time.

  54. Tasneem Merchant   June 5, 2017 at 5:43 am

    Indeed our values n emotions r being recognised n on behalf of all dawoodi Bohra ladies I take dis opportunity to thank all who worked towards dis religious freedom of ours

  55. Tasneem   June 5, 2017 at 6:11 am

    Tasneem
    M A PROUD DAWOODI BOHRA WOMAN with a mind of my own . I THANK all the people who had evil intentions to scare n suppress us as their Evil doings has had a Positive reaction n has brought US Dawoodi Bohras together with more Unity n Strenght to raise our voice n fight against injustice n their wrong motives ( which v very well understand).

  56. Farida Neelwala   June 5, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Proud to b a Dawoodi Bohra woman n v shd b allowed to follow our religion wid out anyone’s interference thanx fr making our stand clear

  57. Sakina Jamalai   June 5, 2017 at 7:09 am

    I am proud to be a dawodi bohra….and a proud mother with d concern dt we always do good to our children….be it boy or girl…as my parents hv always done good for me and will allways do,and so will I…..

  58. Rashida AbiFazal   June 5, 2017 at 8:00 am

    This is what I wanted to read. One single idea researched deeply and explained simply.
    Great Work

  59. alifiya   June 5, 2017 at 8:14 am

    i totally agree by comments gvn nd m proud to be dawoodi bohra

  60. Tasneem   June 5, 2017 at 8:33 am

    A very well written article and a befitting reply
    Khafz is not FGM . I am a proud Dawoodi Bohra woman and I should be allowed to practice my religion without anybody s interference

  61. Mariyah   June 5, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Thanks to Newsin.asia for letting the world know the difference between FGM and khafz (female circumcision practice by bhora women).
    We r brought up with love respect and ethics.we follow our tradition .we r religious peace loving cumunity.when one is at peace all u can feel is peace around u.
    I am a DBWFR.

  62. Lamiya poonawala   June 5, 2017 at 9:54 am

    I am a proud Dawoodi Bohra woman..and I oppose those who consider this as fgm..our religion encourages female education to the highest and gives full rights to make our own decisions.so forcing was never an option.
    And moreover these FITNATS are done by those only who get jealous on our religion’s perfections.. so we have already won the battle.

  63. Zainab   June 5, 2017 at 10:27 am

    A very unbiased article.. excellent information to actually make the world understand what is ‘ khafz’. Totally in support of DBWRF

    • sakina nadiadi   June 5, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      i m proud to be dawoodi vonrakhafz is not FGM

  64. Fatema   June 5, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Bravo to the unbiased journalism.. I thought such a thing was dead in the so called modern world of today. Finally, a detailed and informed article is out on the fgm debate – and I completely agree, if the feminists are fighting against fgm, then where is your gender equality? Where is your fight against male circumcision? Or is gender equality only a thing when you need it?
    Us dawoodi bohras, men and WOMEN are the followers of islam and Rasulullah SW – there is no inequality when it comes to the practice of our religion. We are all equally happy to perform all tasks that Rasulullah SW has coined for us. Thank you very much for your unnecessary concern, but we are fine and definitely not mutilated.

  65. Insiya Presswala   June 5, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Bravo a very good well researched article. I am a proud Dawoodi Bohra and am totally in favour of Khafs. It is practice performed on all ladies since last 14k and there have never been any physical damages to any. All lived fully satisfied life who bore not just one or two but many children.

  66. Moe Love   June 5, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Parents don’t have the “right” to tamper with their children’s genitals, period. Anybody who wants to alter their OWN genitals is welcome to though.

    • Mariam   June 5, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      Your statement is far too open. It all depends on intention and the love parents have for their children. In your value system, parents presumably wouldn’t have the right to pierce their daughter’s ears either. Or give them vaccinations, as you know, those too have medical benefits and medical harm, and what is to say that the daughter won’t grow up questioning why you had her vaccinated. We obviously have different values on how best to bring up children. Provided that its done for love, I can’t see why both value systems can’t co-exist. What would be wrong is to impose your values on others.

  67. FP   June 5, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    @moelove
    You can’t cherry pick a parents’ rights. Just as parents are allowed rights to vaccinate, or consent in any other matter really, they should be allowed to decide the good of their child’s future in ALL regards.

  68. Sakina   June 5, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    I very well remember my khafz and I did not even feel a pinch. In fact I can never forget the vaccination I had taken over the years and the pain I felt for those instead. But for khafz all I remember was the love and all the family attention I got. Our voice is our unity and we stand by our rights and freedom. The people who have never experienced the process are not the rightful people to judge us.

  69. Tasneem jalgaonwala   June 5, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    A very well researched article which clears all the misunderstandings one may have. This hard work will surely give positive results

  70. Alefiyah   June 5, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I appreciate this article in favour of db women…you people can search what is khafz and fgm…far away distant definitions…i dnt know why people are mixing these two…its completely HARMLESSs…never leaves any girlchild traumatised…it has never caused any harm…to male of female child…its for good…i dont kniw why..even after being educated people cannot realise wht is the meaning of these two and wht are the procedures to do these…i am a proud dawoodi bohra girl..we are having freedom to get educated freedom to take our own decision…its never forced…no women here was forced….

  71. Rashida mufaddal   June 5, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I totally agree with the myths broken regarding the FGC ( female genital circumcision) practiced world wide by us DAWOODI BOHRA community with our free will and we believe it is our religious right .

  72. Fatema jamaal   June 5, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Bravo for the superb article which clearly diffrenciate FGM and Khafz.and i m a proud to be a member of dawoodi bohra community .Thanks my mother to take the decision for me for the purity and hygiene of myself.

  73. Tas pal   June 5, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Brilliant well researched article.
    Khafz is not fgm.
    I am not traumatized nor has it ever affected my marital life in anyway whatsoever or my ability to conceive or any complications in child birth.
    The only thing that traumatises me is this negative bashing of a procedure which is part of my faith by Mutilators who have no right to interfere in my fundamental right to practice my religion .

  74. Akapasi   June 5, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Its out there now.well explained and well clarified.khafz is harmless. Fgm is not khafz! If certain people still want to argue and feel negative towards the issue then they are either foolish or then blind.

  75. Sakina   June 5, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Superb
    I support khafz
    Its harmless
    Its not fgm
    Some ppl who just want to escape frm religion bring shame to religion
    Bt myself don’t remember the episode of undergoing it not at all traumatised nor pschyologically affected no emotional impact..
    M leading happy married life with 2 kids..
    I am a proud dawoodi bohra woman

  76. B   June 5, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Kudos to News.In Asia news team for a well researched and written article.

    If there was any physiological or physical issue with this procedure, don’t you think it would have shown in our community women. We have been practicing this for years, but women in our community are only becoming more educated, more independent and have immense faith in our religion.

    I am in favor of “Khafaz”, and I am proud to be a Dawoodi Bohra Woman.

  77. arwa   June 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    I am against FGM but not Khapz. Khapz is not FGM. Is there any WHO qualitative and quantitative research analysis quantifying truama attributed to singularly khapz as made by the anti lobbyst been measured to controls from outher mainstream Dawoodi Bohras with similar variables to rule out traumas due to various other causes like deprivations, break ups, failures and myraid other cuases to authenticate hearsay?
    I haven’t come across any. So its an utter goof up and those attitudes that says we know it all and you all are downtrodden ? Baaah WHO blanket covers causing more confusion and disrest then truly be guiding forces.
    Personal perspectives should not overrule this loud voice raised by Dawoodi Bohra Women

  78. Rashida r.   June 5, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I totally support khafz.it is harmless.The issue of banning it is baseless.

  79. batul   June 5, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    A very well written article.khafz doesnt harm us in anyways .

  80. Poonawalas   June 5, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    I am a practising engineer over the past 10 years and there has not been even the slightest effect on my health or my ability to work. So people who are making false claims on khafz please shut yourself.

  81. batul   June 5, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    i agree with dr alifiya’s reply its harmless.

  82. Salma   June 5, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    I m proud to be dawoodi bohra woman…when we dont interfere in other religious issues so nor should others

  83. Fatema   June 5, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Yes, it really is very sad.. activists and many so- called researchers have been a part of the mob mentality. Such sensitive issue need impartial, non-judgemental research and empirical data. Who claim to be dawoodi bohras are not really our representatives. Rather than talking to us, you shouldnt have threshed and maligned our name.

  84. Kubra   June 5, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Well written article. Khafz is absolutely harmless.we have full rights to practice our religion and so pass it on to our children. Putting a ban on it is pointless.i am a proud Dagwood Bohra and fully support it.

  85. Farida Jk   June 5, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Excellent article.I am proud to be a Dawoodi Bohra woman.

  86. makda   June 5, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Very well written n explained. I totally support khafz. Khartoum is harmless,it is not FGM.

  87. amatulla2013   June 5, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    newsin.asia has proved that they will do their own independent research and verifying, and not blindly reprint what is provided to them by anyone. Hence their story rises above the general coverage on the issue. Well done editors!

  88. ASM   June 5, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Im a proud Dawoodi Bohra women n totally agree with Dr Alifiya. The practice which is being followed since 1400 years is now being questioned. Show us one single evidence which shows that it has harmed any single women or girl. The handful of women whom i wud call SOCIAL EVILS who are protesting n calling Khafz as FGM, i would like to ask these women, how did you suddenly realize what it is. This is a clear sign that these people hav been brain washed by some groups who simply want to harm a peace loving community.
    Please go n fight for other grave issues like rape, dowry n child abuse.
    People who undergo sex change r not questioned??
    Let us live peacefully n stop interfering in our relegious matters.

  89. Arwa   June 5, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    I support khafz .. N i m proud to be a dawoodi bohra.. Its totally harmless.. I have no bad memories at all abt khafz..

  90. Jumana R   June 5, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Excellent article proud to be a Dawoodi Bohra women.

  91. TASNEEM   June 5, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Excellent article .. will indeed help shed more light on my current scenario about khafz being harmles

  92. Saifuddin A. Lakdawala   June 5, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    I fully object to any ban on Female Circumsicion (FC). FC is very simple, safe & healthy procedure. It is definitely not like the FGM. In FC only a small skin covering the clitoris is removed with out cutting the clitoris or stitching the vagina. The descriptions of Guilt, pain, bleeding and harming her sexual life or any psychological, sociological trauma are cunningly dramatized by Masuma Ranalvi & few others, to malign the Bohra community. She does not follow the guidance of our Sayyedna Mufaddal Saifuddin (tus) nor does she represent our Bohra women.

    FC was usually kept secret from menfolk, not because it is heinous but because such sex things are not discussed openly in our Indian Culture like it is done in the shameless Western Nude Culture.

    The pain, bleeding & healing takes just a few days in FC, just as in the kitchen when you often cut your fingers with a knife. You don’t even remember it after few days. FC should be left to the decision of the mother’s choice for her girl child as is done for the Male child Circumsicion.

    The Dawoodi Bohras are highly educated, closely knit & peaceful Sect of Islam. The following clips will also help others who want to exactly know what is going on against the Bohras in the fictitious PIL, filed by their enemies with dishonest agenda in Supreme Court, about FGM. If they have misunderstood FGM & FC & they are really sincere they will withdraw such PIL after going through the following facts based on Religion, Medical Science & Personal choice.

    1. FC from Islamic point as clearly described by the Prophet Muhammad (saww):

    a). https://islamqa.info/en/82859.

    b). Islam Me Female Genetal Mutilation – FGM Karna Ya…: https://youtu.be/MmgjEdF7jNQ.

    2. Medical Research Papers by Well known Doctors.

    a). Female Circumcision In America – Part 1: https://youtu.be/pvX5J7lAv4g.

    b). Female Circumcision In America – Part 1: https://youtu.be/pvX5J7lAv4g.

    c) What exactly is done in FC. Female circumcision animation for education: https://youtu.be/RZNXarzyY2Q

    3. Individual Personal Choice, even by non Muslims.
    “Circumcision is OK” say women and men: https://youtu.be/wcJNAtn-c6I

  93. TasneemM   June 5, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Very well written.. proud to be a dawoodi bohra women and a part of DBWRF supporter

  94. munira   June 5, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Khafz is not FGM .I support my religious practice as it’s completely harmless and v as parent hv right to think about our child’s best.the article is well written

  95. Zainab Arsiwala   June 5, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    I agree wit dr.alifiya… When khafz is totally harmless then why other people r making it an issue ….we r so proud to b dawoodi bohra women ..

  96. Sakina mithai   June 5, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    I agree. Khafz is harmless. I m proud of being dawoodi bohra. Excellent article written .

  97. Tas   June 5, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Very informative article. Completely agree with Dr Alifya and Fatema. With Prof. Shweders report it should be clear enough to one and all to understand that khafz is harmless. We practice equality in men and women. It’s better to concentrate on the real harmful issue’s around us.

  98. Fatema Bombaywala   June 6, 2017 at 1:46 am

    We dawoodi bohras are an educated community and do not follow any harmful religious practices. Before targeting our community , make a thorough investigation. Some people are only trying to defame our sect for their own motives.

  99. Tasneem boltwala   June 6, 2017 at 2:12 am

    I agree with the article written n strongly believe in Khads which is totally harmless and far too different from fgm.. ..proud to be a dawoodi bohrs

  100. Yasmin Zaranwala   June 6, 2017 at 2:38 am

    I think other caste people or the so called women feminist groups should not have any objections if we follow our religion and customs happily!If they don’t want to follow it then they can form their own religion as INDIA respects all religion and it’s customs! KAFHZ is totally harmless and there is no question of relating it to FGM….THE above article is truly well researches and I completely agree with the supportive team !
    I WOULD LIKE TO THROUGH A PIECE OF ADVICE TO THE SO CALLED GROUP WHO ARE AGAINST OUR RELIGION AND CUSTOMS THAT……………
    Stop being jealous and holding grudges for our religion and customs and concentrate on some constructive work and learn the positive attitude from our religion rather than criticizing us!,cause as you know we also have a VOICE and once it will start raising your sound will be muted!

  101. Zainab   June 6, 2017 at 2:40 am

    Appreciate Newsin.Asia for putting forth researches that support that FC is a totally harmless religious practise.
    It has been taken up as violating Women’s rights by a few who actually have no religion to follow. The devout n peity Women of the Dawoodi Bohra community have as much freedom as any other in choosing whats best for her, and She does CHOOSE FC as her religious RIGHT, which cannot be taken away from her. I proud to be a Dawoodi Bohra.

  102. Arwa Yusuf   June 6, 2017 at 4:40 am

    Bravo to all the Dawoodi Bohra women to stand for our rights ….the arrows from the Munafekeens will take us much more higher…n not pull us down….
    I too am a proud Dawoodi Bohra well educated women…n will not have someone else interfere in our religious beliefs n practices

  103. Maryam S Dudhwala   June 6, 2017 at 6:34 am

    I m proud to b a Dawoodi Bohra

  104. Razia   June 6, 2017 at 7:27 am

    As the big word ‘Trauma ‘ being spoken again n again by these so called messiah or saviours of girl child for FGM, Our great grandmothers, grandmothers, our moms have all gone through this Khafz (circumcision). They were quite heathly & strong & beared many children. WERE THEY TRAUMATISED.?

  105. Fatema G   June 6, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Indeed a very well researched article! I strongly support KHAFZ, which is a totally harmless practice, n i think we dawoodi bohra women own our rights to practice our religion freely! Especially when we know what we are practicing is truly meant for our own good!

  106. Tasneem   June 6, 2017 at 9:46 am

    We Bohra Community Ladies all support KHAFZ as it is not FGM. We have all gone through it n even girls in our family …we are living a healthy life

  107. Tasneem   June 6, 2017 at 9:49 am

    We are proud to be in Dawoodi Bohra Community…..Supporter of DBWRF

  108. Fatema M U   June 6, 2017 at 10:09 am

    KHAFZ IS NOT FGM
    I support KHAFZ which is harmless practice.
    I m proud dawoodi bohra women

  109. Radiya U   June 6, 2017 at 10:13 am

    I support khafz n am proud dawoodi bohra women

  110. Jumana   June 6, 2017 at 10:27 am

    We dawoodi bohras are an educated community and do not follow any harmless religious practice…I agree with the article written n strongly believe in Khafz which is totally harmless and far too different from FGM.. ..Proud to be a Dawoodi Bohra.

  111. Tasneem Hatim   June 6, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I support khafz n proud to be dawoodi bohra women

  112. Rashida zohairbhai   June 7, 2017 at 2:46 am

    Absolutely right. There is no harm in khabz. It’s personal choice n religious practice. We are proud Dawoodi bohra women. We respect all religion we don’t interfere in others religious issues. Let us obey what is good for us.

  113. Durriyah   June 7, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    I am proud to be Dawoodi Bohra and agree with all my fellow followers that khafz is not FGM

  114. Nafsifida 53   June 8, 2017 at 12:53 am

    Well written article and awesome comments!I am a proud Dawoodi Bohra and this is my message to the cast off garbage who call themselves activist s…..mind your own business!

  115. Farida   June 10, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Wow well written and informative article. Khafz is absolutely harmless.we have full rights to practice our religion.and i m a proud to be a member of dawoodi bohra community. It’s solely done for the purity and hygiene and khafz is not FGM !

  116. Bríd Hehir   June 16, 2017 at 11:06 am

    I’ve reproduced this article (with permission) on www dot shiftingsands dot org dot uk