West Midlands Police Do Not See ‘Benefit’ In FGM Prosecutions
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is an utterly barbaric practice that has been illegal in the UK since 1985. Despite its legal status, there were 5700 recorded cases of FGM between 2015 and 2016 alone. As of today there is yet to be a single prosecution for this debilitating crime.
For those unfamiliar with this life-changing ‘procedure’.
From End FGM:
Female genital mutilation is classified into four types:
- Type I: Also known as clitoridectomy, this type consists of partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or its prepuce.
- Type II: Also known as excision, the clitoris and labia minora are partially or totally removed, with or without excision of the labia majora.
- Type III: The most severe form, it is also known as infibulation or pharaonic type. The procedure consists of narrowing the vaginal orifice with creation of a covering seal by cutting and appositioning the labia minora and/or labia majora, with or without removal of the clitoris. The appositioning of the wound edges consists of stitching or holding the cut areas together for a certain period of time (for example, girls’ legs are bound together), to create the covering seal. A small opening is left for urine and menstrual blood to escape. An infibulation must be opened either through penetrative sexual intercourse or surgery.
- Type IV: This type consists of all other procedures to the genitalia of women for non-medical purposes, such as pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization.
Although FGM isn’t exclusively an Islamic issue (it’s practiced by some mainly African Christians too), it does receive significant endorsement by way of the Islamic religion.
The four Sunni (majority denomination in the UK) schools of jurisprudence consider FGM to be either ‘obligatory’, ‘honourable’ or ‘preferred’:
The differences in jurist opinions focuses around several hadith from the Sunni collections:
Hadith Sunan Abu Dawood favoring FGM
A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.
When challenged on the lack of convictions by one Twitter user, West Midlands Police responded as below:
Here we have it. In 2017, a UK police force does not see the ‘benefit’ in prosecuting parents who mutilate the genitals of their child daughters.
After some considerable push back online, West Midlands Police appeared to contradict their earlier statement:
My question would be ‘when’? When are they going to arrest those guilty of, or complicit in this crime? A few thousand more young girls irrevocably damaged perhaps?
A petition has been set up at change.org to request that the police department carry out their obligations to the law.
I discussed the issue of FGM on the latest edition of the Taking The Myth podcast: