FGM Destroys Lives of Little Girls

A Michigan court will determine whether to protect a child’s best interests when she was the subject of female genital mutilation (FGM), or to protect the religious freedom of those who mutilated her.  This could be a test on whether other Sharia Laws will be upheld over state sovereignty in protecting what is best for children
CNN reported last Wednesday that “two Michigan doctors and a medical office manager were indicted Wednesday by a Detroit grand jury in the first federal female genital mutilation case in the United States.” In an audacious move, Mary Chartier, the attorney for one of the doctors, Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, is basing her defense upon the need to protect religious practices that mutilate little girls.  Chartier said: “I do believe that the government does not fully understand the religious practices of Dr. Attar and Dr. Attar’s religion, and I think that’s why we are in this courthouse today, and what we’ll be fighting over for the next few months.”  This defense holds that FGM is deserving of more protection than an innocent child, and is justified in Islam.  Therefore Dr. Attar was just exercising his freedom of religion.  The right to genitally mutilate a little girl could become a test case for the spread of Sharia practices in the U.S.
This Sharia practice of FGM violates Michigan and U.S. law requiring courts to protect the best interests of a child, and it violates the international Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).  To learn more about the horrific reality of FGM see footnote 87 of Suffer the Children: How the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Has Not Supported Children, published by the N.Y. Int’l. L. Rev.  The CRC has been working to protect children since 1989 but FGM still destroys the lives of little girls around the globe.  In A Brief Assessment of the 25-Year Effect of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, published by the Cardozo J. Int’l. & Compar. L. I set out the concerns of FGM clearly as they still exist today.  This Michigan case is just an example of the harm inflicted on little girls in the name of religious freedom.  Protecting the practice of FGM is no way to restore families.

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