Note: This story has been updated. View the bottom update to see what occurred.
A British doctor is facing up to 14 years in prison if found guilty for the procedure he completed on a young mother at the alleged request of her husband.
Dr. Dhanuson Dharmasena has admitted performing female genital mutilation on the unnamed 24-year old mother but said that he did so at the insistence of her husband, Hasan Mohamed, 41.
Dharmasena originally argued that he performed the illegal operation, which involves the surgical removal of external female genitalia in order to prevent the woman from having pleasure during intercourse, simply because Mohamed requested it.
Later, however, he insisted that her performed the FGM, which is illegal in the U.K., out of medical necessity.
Mohamed has also been charged in relation to the occurrence.
The victim had first been mutilated in Somalia at age six, but the permanent stitches used then were torn during childbirth. Dharmasena, 32, illegally replaced them, in essence re-performing the procedure often referred to as “female circumcision.”
“It is that stitching back together by Dr. Dharmasena, and Mr. Mohamed’s insistence or encouragement, which the prosecution says is an offence,” prosecutor Kate Bex told the jury (H/T Mad World News).
It was also a clear violation of policies published by Dharmasena’s employer, Whittington Hospital, she added.
FGM is widespread in Muslim countries and has become more of a problem in the West as Muslims immigrate. It leaves women at risk of infection and other complications and increases the risk of death in childbirth for both the mother and the baby.
It’s also exceptionally painful and often performed without anesthetic in what can only be categorized as an example of the contempt in which women are held by many Muslim men and much of Islamic culture.
Provision must be made for cultural beliefs and the free practice of religion, of course — but this sort of cruel barbarism is far beyond the limits of any such cultural accommodations.
Both these men should go to jail for a long time both for their crime and to send a clear message that such brutality has no place in Western society.
UPDATE: Since this article was written, Dr. Dharmasena has stood trial and has been found innocent of violating the law. He claims that the effectual “female circumcision” surgery was not intentional on his end and that he was not trained for doing anything else. He also claims that he thought the woman wanted it done and that the husband pressured him.
He’s been found innocent violating the law, even though the woman still had to undergo the horror. Make sure to pray for her and for justice in the end for all women who are abused in such a way.
Either way, “female circumcision” is truly horrific and evil, and we need to unite against it as an entire society. There is NO place for such abuse in civilization. End of story.
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