Intactivism News

November - December, 2014

To more recent news


News items are copied to Circumstitions News blog (which takes comments)

- thanks to Joseph4GI


New Hampshire Public Radio
December 26, 2014

Bill Would Cut Circumcisions From Medicaid Payments

A bill proposed in the state legislature would end Medicaid payments for circumcisions.

The bill’s sponsor, state representative Keith Murphy of Bedford, describes the practice as unethical.

"To me there’s something fundamentally wrong about strapping a baby boy to a board and amputating perfectly healthy, normal tissue," says Murphy.

Murphy adds trimming circumcisions from the state budget will save money, although how much will be determined by the legislature next year.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says the medical benefits of circumcisions outweigh the risks. Eighteen states deny Medicaid dollars for the procedure, including California, Maine and Florida.

Circumcisions are an important religious procedure for Muslims and Jews.


Capital (New York)
Deceber 23, 2014

City reports new case of herpes after metzitzah b'peh

by Dan Goldberg

The city's health department reported that another infant has been diagnosed with neonatal herpes following the Jewish circumcision ritual known as metzitzah b’peh.

There have now been four reported cases in 2014, and though Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to address the issue on "Day 1" of his term, there have been no policy changes during his first year in office.

Metzitzah b’peh involves a mohel sucking the blood directly from the wounded penis and has been roundly criticized by public health experts and by most authorities in the Jewish community.

While some in the Orthodox community contend this is the only acceptable way to perform a circumcision, or Brit Milah, many authorities condone squeezing the blood out or using sterile pipette to suction the blood, which decreases the chance of infection.

This is the 17th case since 2000, the health department said. Of those 17, two infants have died and at least two more have suffered brain damage.

The most recent case involved a boy born in November. Twelve days after his circumcision, the baby was brought to a pediatrician’s office because of concerns about fussiness after feeding, according to the health department. The boy had a “cluster of papules” on his penis and was sent to a dermatologist who then sent the boy to the emergency room.

The location of the lesions, timing of signs and symptoms, and laboratory identification of HSV-1 are consistent with transmission of the herpes virus during direct contact between the mouth of the ritual circumciser and the newly circumcised infant penis, the health department said.

Circumcision usually occurs on the eighth day of life, a time when an infant's immune system is not fully developed. While many adults can have mild cases of herpes, the virus can be far more dangerous if contracted by a newborn.

Dr. Thomas Farley, the city health commissioner under former mayor Michael Bloomberg, "strongly advised" the practice "never be performed."

In 2013, the Bloomberg administration instituted a rule that required mohels to obtain written consent before performing metzitzah b’peh. The consent form contained the warning that “the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene advises parents that direct oral suction should not be performed.”

The policy, which did nothing to prohibit the practice, enraged many in the Orthodox community who felt their religious freedoms were being violated.

The regulation, according to reports in The Jewish Daily Forward, was rarely enforced, and in August a federal appeals court ruled it must pass a stricter constitutional test than was applied by the lower court.

During a Democratic mayoral primary debate in 2013, de Blasio was asked if he approved of the consent form, and he criticized Bloomberg for not engaging in a dialogue with the “community.”

“I would start over,” de Blasio said. “Change the policy to find a way to protect all the children but also respect religious tradition in an appropriate manner and come in Day 1 to City Hall with a new policy that's fair.”

De Blasio has not changed the policy.

When introducing Dr. Mary Bassett, his choice for health commissioner, de Blasio said he intended to leave the Bloomberg consent policy in place until some better policy could be found.

“I've said we will keep it in place while searching for a solution that is more effective,” de Blasio said at the time. "The current approach can be better and that's what we are going to figure out a way to do—with the community.”

De Blasio has not changed the approach.

His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier story


Kuala Lumpur Post
December 20, 2014

PM calls on local companies to export circumcision technology

PEKAN – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has suggested that local companies widened the circumcision technology not only within the country but also to export it so that the practice will receive response from abroad.

He said the practice of circumcision was not only compulsory among the Muslims but also believers of other religion such as the Jews.

“In fact in our country, even the non-Muslims consider circumcision as a good practice which should also be adopted by them,” he said when speaking at the mass circumcision ceremony for the Pekan parliamentary constituency, here Saturday.

The ceremony, organised by the Pekan Umno Religious Bureau and the Umno Malaysia Religious Bureau, was also attended by Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob.

Najib said if previously the ‘Tok Mudim’ was the most feared person by the children as they performed the circumcision in the traditional manner without the use of anesthetics, but with the latest technology such as the Flushcutter, Tara Clamp, Sunathrone and Laser Carbon dioxide, the feeling of pain during circumcision could be reduced.

“The elderly people in the past said that the pain from circumcision was just like the bite of an ant, but with the availability of various technology including the use of laser, the pain from circumcision could be reduced.

“Previously, those going for circumcision would soak themselves in the pool or river before dawn aimed at reducing the bleeding, shrinking the skin and cleansing themselves, that’s why they held mass bathing and we don’t deny the trauma that the children had to go through using the old method,” he said.

He said that the use of modern circumcision technology such as the Sunatech derived from research by a local could not only reduce the pain but also made the process simpler and safer.

“In fact, it only takes 10 minutes for one session and is a simple process without stitching, without bandaging and without pain.

“Children using this method of circumcision are said to be able to carry out their routine daily activities such as bathing, praying and it (the process) is most suitable for export abroad,” he said.

He said the government was prepared to cooperate with the company concerned to widen the circumcision method in the villages and rural areas especially in areas which was inaccessible to doctors.

Meanwhile, 328 children from within the Pekan parliamentary constituency were involved in the two-day free circumcision programme, reports Bernama.


The Monitor (Uganda)
December 18, 2014

Boy's genitals chopped in mock circumcision

by Mudangha Kolyangha

A four-year-old child has almost left his three-year- old brother without genitals after he tried to circumcise him.

The incident happened in Kamonkoli, Budaka District.

Imitating the Bagisu cultural circumcision practice commonly known as Imbalu, the two boys were seen dancing, dressed in banana leaves, but few minutes later the younger one was found lying in a pool of blood.

The four year old self-made surgeon who can not be named because he’s a minor is said to have used a sharp razor blade to cut off the fore skin of his colleague’s genitals.

The child’s parents had to rush the child to Mbale hospital for proper circumcision and medical attention.

Officials at Mbale hospital confirmed the incident saying the boy is in a stable condition.

This is an even year and the male circumcision season is on.

The legendary ceremony among the Bagisu ethnic group marks the initiation of boys into manhood.

Following the launch of the imbalu season in Bugisu region in August, President Yoweri Museveni, one of the witnesses as courageous young men face the knife in the rite of passage to adulthood, pledged to promote the cultural ceremony for tourism purposes.


Inyenyeri News (Rwanda)
December 18, 2014

Rwanda: Families blame Circumcision for [Sickness and] Death of Children

by Venuste Mfitmana

Two families in Burera District whose children developed medical complications after undergoing circumcision recently have expressed their concerns over the safety of the procedure.

The parents of a six-year-old boy claim their son is suffering from urethrocutaneous fistula, an unusual developmental anomaly in children who present with an abnormal opening on the ventral aspect of the penis with a normal foreskin. [Obviously cut-and-pasted from a medical textbook. Urethrocutaneous fistula is also a known complication of circumcision.]

The medical complication came after the boy underwent circumcision during a campaign by the military that was held at Bungwe Health Centre in Burera in October.

This is likely to undermine government efforts to promote circumcision as one way of preventing HIV transmission.

The Ministry of Health launched free male circumcision programme in October 2011. However, last year, the ministry launched a national drive to “non-surgically” circumcise 700,000 boys and men aged 15 to 49 by the end of 2016.

The procedure involves using a plastic device called PrePex that comprises two rings and an elastic band that cuts off blood supply to the foreskin, which shrivels and is removed with the band after a week. [This may be knifeless, but it is still surgical.]

The boy’s parents have however alleged that the child received inadequate medical attention and poor treatment while he was suffering.

“After a few days of circumcision, our child started having complications every time he urinated, with pus coming from the wound where he was operated” the boy’s father said. “He also felt pain in his bladder, then urine started dripping through two small holes from his penis since his urinal valve (urethra) was damaged during surgery.

“When we realised that the problem was worsening and Bungwe Health Centre was no longer able to treat him, we were transferred to Butaro Hospital but they also failed to handle the problem.”

The case was later referred to Rwanda Military Hospital in Kanombe, Kigali. However, the aggrieved family claims the boy did not receive treatment at the hospital. Instead, they were advised to return to the hospital after six months.

“We believe there was carelessness in circumcising our child,” the mother added. “We are worried that our son’s condition may deteriorate in the absence of medicines and develop more complications.”

However, Dr Africa Gasana, a urological surgeon at the military hospital, who received the patient, explained to Rwanda Today why the child was not treated then.

“We gave the child six months to allow the wound to heal because we cannot operate on him when it is still fresh,” Dr Gasana said. “It is not the first time we have treated such ailment.”

On the parents’ fears of the boy developing other complications, the doctor said: “We gave them our phone number so that they can call us in case of another serious problem.

Aggrieved family

However, another aggrieved family claimed that their son died a few weeks after undergoing similar circumcision.

The boy’s father told Rwanda Today that the 19-year-old, who was circumcised using PrePex on October 13 during the same Army Week campaign at the health centre, died suddenly in unclear circumstances.

When he returned to hospital for check-up after a week, he developed medical complications on his way back home.

“On his way home, he felt tired and very sick,” the father said. “That night we took him to Manyagiro Health Centre but he was eventually transferred to Byumba Hospital where he died in the morning.

“When I asked the doctor what killed him, I was told that it was blood pressure.”

He said the boy had not suffered such an ailment before.

Cecile Mujawayezu, the nurse at Bungwe who did the pre-surgery screening on the boy, said he had no pre-existing medical condition.

“I screened the boy but I didn’t find any problem” Ms Mujawayezu said. “A medical autopsy showed he died of blood pressure; maybe he had it before, with low tension, which rose after he was circumcised for unknown reasons.” ["Blood pressure" is only a symptom. Could the boy have died of septic shock?]

However, the Ministry of Health maintains that, going by the procedures and medical examination, the cause of the death is not linked to circumcision.

“All the male procedures that have been undertaken, including outreach and campaigns, have been a success,” said Nathan Mugume, the head of Rwanda Health Communication Centre Division at the Ministry of Health. “They are done by experienced professionals.”


The Counties (Kenya)
December 16, 2014

Police search for 17 FGM initiators

by Fred Kibor

Seventeen suspected Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) initiators have fled for fear of being arrested after they circumcised 31 girls over the weekend.

Deputy County Commissioner Hussein Alaso said they had received the names of the suspects from Tinyar and Kaptabukwo villages in Chugor sub-location.

"The county security team is looking for the suspects and will arrest them when found," he said.

Efforts by law enforcers to rescue the girls and arrest the perpetrators were thwarted on Saturday after local residents attacked police officers with stones while hurling curses at them.

"At the moment, there is little goodwill at the local level to end this outdated practice. However, once these suspects are arrested and charged, then residents will know that the Government is determined to put an end to this dehumanising act," Mr Alaso told The Standard.

The initiates are currently in seclusion in an unknown place after their previous hideout was exposed. Health personnel have urged locals to take them to hospital, saying the girls risked infection from exposure to unhygienic conditions. Health Executive Stephen Biwott said they had deployed health workers to be on standby in the area once the locals brought the initiates for medical attention.

Local MPs said while the incident was a setback in the fight against FGM, they would not relent.


Tanzania Daily News
December 15, 2014

Tanzania: More Than 100 Girls Flee From 'Knife' in Mara

by Mugini Jacob

Mugumu — NEARLY 120 girls have camped at a new safe house in Mugumu Town in Serengeti District after fleeing forced circumcision from different Mara Region villages.

"The number was 117 by Saturday and most of the girls have been badly beaten and injured for refusing to be circumcised", the Coordinator of the Serengeti We Can Live Without HIV/AIDS, Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) project, which is run by the Mara Diocese of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, Ms Rhobi Samweli, said.

The girls started fleeing their homes early this month when the on-going female genital mutilation (FGM) season kicked off in various parts of Mara Region.

"The girls we have here are coming from villages in Tarime, Serengeti and Butiama districts. We are feeding them but some come without even clothes, so we had to buy them clothes", Ms Rhobi said.

Those who were received with injuries were also taken to Mugumu District Designated Hospital for treatment, according to the official.

According to Ms Rhobi , the Police Force, through its gender desk, is showing good cooperation in protecting the girls. Establishment of the new safe house in Mugumu is designed to address the problem of FGM and other forms of GBV acts in Serengeti District.

It is part of the outcome of an ambitious anti-GBV, FGM and HIV/ AIDS implemented in the district under the sponsorship of Rapid Fund Envelope (RFE) in recent years.



Sun Sentinal (Palm Beach, Florida)
December 12, 2014

Appellate court won't halt circumcision for 4-year-old Palm Beach County boy

The Palm Beach County boy celebrated his fourth birthday on Oct. 31, and six days later a state appeals court cleared the way for his long-delayed circumcision.

But the child's foreskin has yet to be surgically removed as his father wishes.

The boy's mother insists it is not medically necessary and asked for the unusual case to be heard by the Florida Supreme Court, but her battle may be nearing the end: the 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach Friday denied that request, meaning the procedure appears to be one step closer to taking place.

An army of special interest groups opposed to circumcision has rallied behind the mom. With websites and local demonstrations, these so-called "intactivists" have closely followed the parents' yearlong battle over the boy, Chase Ryan Nebus-Hironimus.


Jonathan Friedman, head of an organization called Bloodstained Men, has helped organize a legal bills fundraiser for the mom, Heather Hironimus, on a website called SavingChase.org. He says although the court's ruling clears the way, he doesn't think Chase's circumcision is inevitable.

"The medical community could still stand up for the boy and refuse to do it," Friedman said Friday, after hearing the case may have reached a legal dead end.

Another activist, Rebecca Wald, of Fort Lauderdale, cringes at the thought of the boy being circumcised.

"It's unfortunate the court decided the way that it did," Wald said. "Circumcision is bad enough — but when you have a 4-year-old boy who is terrified to lose part of his penis and will remember it for the rest of his life, it's insanity."

Wald has reported the yearlong court struggle on her website, BeyondtheBris.com. She advocates a ceremony called a Brit Shalom, an alternative to the traditional Jewish custom. Neither the boy's mother nor father, Dennis Nebus, are Jewish, but Wald said she felt compelled to get involved because "what's happening here is so egregious."

Attorneys for the mom and for the dad have declined to comment about the case. The dad has said he believes circumcision is "just the normal thing to do."


In an email Tuesday, the father's attorneys told the Sun Sentinel it is "a private family matter." They have previously blasted the mother in court for "parading the child's face and name all over the Internet," granting media interviews, and working with a Facebook page called Chase's Guardians.


Earlier story


Another nail in the coffin of surgery as prophylaxis

US Food and Drug Administration
December 10, 2014

FDA approves Gardasil 9 for prevention of certain cancers caused by five additional types of HPV

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Gardasil 9 (Human Papillomavirus 9-valent Vaccine, Recombinant) for the prevention of certain diseases caused by nine types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Covering nine HPV types, five more HPV types than Gardasil (previously approved by the FDA), Gardasil 9 has the potential to prevent approximately 90 percent of cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers.

Gardasil 9 is a vaccine approved for use in females ages 9 through 26 and males ages 9 through 15. It is approved for the prevention of cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers caused by HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58, and for the prevention of genital warts caused by HPV types 6 or 11. Gardasil 9 adds protection against five additional HPV types—31, 33, 45, 52 and 58— which cause approximately 20 percent of cervical cancers and are not covered by previously FDA-approved HPV vaccines.


The safety of Gardasil 9 was evaluated in approximately 13,000 males and females. The most commonly reported adverse reactions were injection site pain, swelling, redness, and headaches.


the Times (Zimbabwe)
Decenber 10, 2014

Woman attemps to cut son's genitals with a razor blade

by Isaac Mukando


... a two-month-old baby boy has been admitted to Kitwe Central Hospital (KCH) after suffering from excessive bleeding and bruises following a backyard circumcision surgery by its mother.

Both the baby’s grandmother Agness Chalwe and KCH public relations officer Gray Chishimba confirmed the incident which happened in Chambishi Township on Wednesday last week.

Ms Chalwe, who was found at the baby’s bed side in Kafue ward, narrated that her grandson Francis Mubanga was admitted following an attempt to circumcise him by his 29-year-old biological mother.

Her daughter used a razor blade to circumcise the baby from home but that the procedure went wrong leading to excessive bleeding.

Ms Chalwe said she went to the market to buy groceries but upon her return, she found her daughter performing the surgery on her son using a razor blade.

“I found my daughter circumcising her son but she was just slicing the baby’s private parts without removing the foreskin and ended up causing excessive bleeding on the baby,” she said.

Ms Chalwe, however, said her daughter was not mentally stable and suspects that she could not have been well when she was conducting the circumcision process.

She rushed the baby to the hospital where he has been admitted since last week while its mother was detained by the police but later released.

The baby’s mother is also currently admitted at Chambishi clinic.

Mr Chishimba described the baby’s condition as stable and that he was responding well to treatment as the bleeding had been controlled.


South African Government
December 9, 2014

MEC Fikile Xasa on arrest of unlawful circumcision suspects

Three suspects arrested for unlawful circumcision

Cogta - MEC Fikile Xasa yesterday descended to the Mbizana Local Municipal area as part of monitoring the December traditional initiation season.

During his monitoring visit to traditional initiation schools, MEC Xasa pounced on two separate initiation schools and recued a total of 39 initiates in the Elurholweni village. Three suspects were arrested for kidnapping and unlawful circumcision. They are being held at the Mbizana Police Station.

“These were illegal schools that put the lives of our initiates at risk. We had no option rather to close them down and refer the initiates to the rescue centre in Port St Johns for further medical observation. As a caring government we want to save lives and put an end to the death of initiates,” said MEC Xasa.

None of the initiates had the required official documentation including letters from the local traditional leaders, no premedical examination and no parental consent to undergo the traditional initiation ritual. Their amabhoma were destroyed to prevent them being used as other illegal initiation schools.

The MEC was accompanied by members of the Traditional Initiation Forum (TIF), members of the SAPS, traditional leaders and government officials.

Some of the rescued initiates were in critical conditions hence given immediate medical attention by officials from the department of Health.

MEC Xasa encourages the community of Mbizana and other hot spot areas to work together through the establishment of TIF to end the deaths of initiates.


iGroove Radio
December 8, 2014

Brutal as men were forced to undergo circumcisions in western Kenya [sic]

A dozen men were seized and stripped naked before they were forced to undergo circumcisions in western Kenya as part of a ‘ceremony’, it has been reported.

The 12 men, from the Luo, Turkana, Iteso and Luhyia communities, were reportedly subjected to the procedure after their wives revealed they had not had it done previously.

A number of women in the town of Moi’s Bridge, in western Kenya, where the incident took place, said they were pleased the men went through the procedure because it made them cleaner and perform better in bed.

According to Kenyan radio station West FM, the men who underwent the procedure had either previously avoided having it done or had come from a Luhyia sub-tribe which did not carry it out.

A crowd reportedly sung circumcision songs as they gathered the men up before taking them to a nearby medical centre where the operations were carried out.


About 50 men have now reportedly asked police for help to protect them from the forced procedure.



Intact America
December 2, 2014

CDC "out of touch with the rest of the developed world"

TARRYTOWN, NY—Intact America, an organization that opposes the forced genital cutting of babies and children, sharply criticizes today’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) proposed guidelines for circumcision.

The CDC is calling for doctors to tell the parents of male infants, children and adolescents that circumcision has been found to reduce the transmission to men of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The guidelines were released on December 2, 2014, opening a public comment period that will end on January 16, 2015.

“Beyond stating and restating its support for medically unnecessary circumcision, the Centers for Disease Control fails to provide any solid evidence to bolster the case for circumcision as a valid measure for disease prevention,” said Georganne Chapin, an attorney and executive director of Intact America. “The studies cited by the CDC purporting to show that circumcision reduces transmission of STIs were conducted in poor rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa over eight years ago. These studies have never been replicated elsewhere—let alone in the United States—and have no relevance to children or men in the developed world.”

“There have been no systematic studies conducted anywhere about the short-or long-term adverse consequences resulting from circumcision," says director Chapin. "Through thousands of personal stories from boys, men and their parents we know that circumcision causes myriad complications, some requiring surgical correction. Adult consequences include poor body image, painful sex, psychological problems, and erectile dysfunction. The CDC's continued persistence in recommending what they know to be an unnecessary surgery is questionable. It is happening in the face of increased public awareness about circumcision’s harms, declining U.S. circumcision rates, and the growing reluctance of states and insurers to pay for this medically unnecessary surgery.”

Intact America notes that the CDC’s proposed guidelines make no mention of the spontaneous and growing protests around the U.S. and Canada by men who are speaking out angrily about having been forced as children to undergo circumcision.

“As a public health organization, the CDC should be calling for a study of the true risks and complications from circumcision that occur over the lifetime of boys and men,” says Chapin, “before it promotes its evidence-free claim that the benefits of newborn circumcision outweigh its harms.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement in 2012 promoting the benefits of infant circumcision and calling for insurers and state Medicaid programs to pay for the surgery, performed in the U.S. often without anesthesia. This report is at sharp odds with the ethical and medical stance taken by physicians here and in Europe concerning the removal of healthy sexual tissue from children who cannot consent.

In early 2013 in the journal Pediatrics, a large group of physicians, medical organizations, and ethicists from European, Scandinavian, and Commonwealth countries issued a strongly-worded statement , calling American medicine’s support for infant circumcision “culturally biased,” and “different from [the conclusions] reached by physicians in other parts of the Western world, including Europe, Canada and Australia."

In October 2014, Britain’s National Health Service affirmed its previous position stating that, "…most healthcare professionals now agree that the risks associated with routine circumcision, such as infection and excessive bleeding, outweigh any potential benefits."


December 1, 2014

To Cut or Not to Cut: CDC Poised to Offer Circumcision Guidance

by Paul Jenks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday will unveil new guidance on health outcomes relating to elective male circumcision. The agency has been developing counseling guidance for health care providers based upon recent clinical trials and reports that have demonstrated some effectiveness of circumcision in reducing the risk of HIV and several sexually transmitted diseases. The report will also address social, ethical and religious factors relating to circumcision. A notice opening up a 45-day comment period on the looming guidance text will be published on Tuesday.

A recent federal survey indicated 88 percent of non-Hispanic white men and 79 percent of non-Hispanic black men are circumcised but the rates are lower for other ethnicities. [Those are prevelance - proportion of males who are cut - figures, but the incidence - proportion of babies being cut today - is much lower.] However, the study also notes that many of those surveyed did not correctly identify whether they are circumcised.


Genital cutting makes people do strange things

The Star (Kenya)
November 28, 2014

Kenya: Chief in Bomet Struck By Arrow Over FGM Arrests

A man in Bomet county allegedly shot a chief in the shoulder with an arrow on Wednesday morning for leading detectives to his village to arrest a circumciser and his two victims.

Lelaitich location chief, Robinson Rotich, was reportedly struck by the arrow amid a confrontation by rowdy youths after the team of police officers he led to a home in Kabolwo village arrested the initiates. The circumciser escaped.

County police commander Leah Kithei told the press in her office on Thursday that assistant chief Elijah Mutai informed his boss of the circumcision following a tip off from members of the public. The victims, two married women, were reportedly forced to face the cut.

Kithei said the women were escorted to the Legume police post after their arrest but that the chief and his assistant alighted on the way and were afterwards accosted by the youths.

The youths fled after one of them injured the chief who was rushed to the Tenwek mission hospital in Bomet Central division, she said. The arrow in his shoulder was removed and he was treated and discharged.

The women were taken to Longisa County Referral Hospital and will be charged for failing to report a crime after they recover, Kithei also said. [Blaming the victims....]

She reiterated that the ban on FGM is still in effect and warned husbands and parents forcing their wives and daughters to get circumcised that it won't be long before they are arrested and punished.

She appealed to residents to volunteer information that could lead to the arrest of the run-away circumciser, by the police who have launched a search, assuring them that it will be confidential.

Bomet county women's rep Cecilia Ngetich last week told KNA that over 113 girls among them married women had secretly been circumcised.


28 novembre, 2014

Un enfant, admis pour une circoncision, quitte la clinique aveugle et paralysé

Mohamed Amine (2 ans), opéré dans une clinique aux Berges du Lac à Tunis pour une circoncision, perd la vue et l'usage de ses jambes.

Le drame remonte à juillet dernier, au 27e jour du mois de Ramadan. Après une bataille judiciaire avec les responsables de la clinique, Islam et Sami Ghandouri, parents de la victime, ont décidé de médiatiser l’affaire et de la porter devant la justice. Ils crient à l’erreur médicale, justifiant cette affirmation par une absence totale d’analyse préopératoire: «L’équipe médicale n’a effectué aucune analyse avant d'opérer. Et c’est probablement l'anesthésie qui est la cause du drame», a affirmé Sami Ghandouri.

Selon le père de l’enfant, l’opération a duré 3 heures – trop long pour une simple circoncision –, avant qu’un médecin ne le convoque pour l’informer que Mohamed Amine a été admis d'urgence en soins intensifs. «Il semble que votre enfant ait une maladie cardiaque, il a 2% de chance de survivre», a lancé le praticien aux parents.

Le père poursuit son récit: «Mon fils est resté 5 jours dans le coma et, à son réveil, il était incapable de parler ou bouger. Il a été victime d'une erreur médicale, car si les médecins avaient effectué les examens nécessaires, ils auraient pu éviter le drame».

Islam et Sami ont du vendre leurs biens (meubles et bijoux) pour payer 7.000 dinars, une partie des frais de l’hospitalisation. Après 2 mois d’acharnement médical, la clinique a décidé que l’enfant pouvait quitter l’établissement et demandé aux parents de régler 30.000 dinars.

«La facture totale s’élève à 50.000, mais les médecins vous font cadeau de leurs honoraires. Vous nous devez donc 30.000 dinars», leur a indiqué, sans ciller, le responsable financier de la clinique, qui refuse de reconnaitre sa responsabilité dans l’état de l’enfant.

Les parents dénoncent, également, le manque d’hygiène dans l’établissement sanitaire. Ils ont en effet remarqué que, durant l’hospitalisation de Mohamed Amine, des ouvriers peignaient les murs à l’intérieur même de la chambre de la réanimation.

«La peinture dégoulinait de partout, l’odeur était insupportable et notre enfant était alité et sous machine. Le pire c’est qu’un médecin, surpris par notre remarque, a répliqué que la peinture est un antiseptique… Il nous prenait pour des imbéciles. Au manque de professionnalisme s’ajoute l’inconscience. N’ont-ils pas fait le serment d’Hippocrate? Sont-ils là pour amasser de l’argent ou pour soigner des gens», s’est interrogé le père.

M. et Mme Ghandouri sont à bout et appellent à l’aide : «Amine est alité et survit grâce aux médicaments. Il a des crises de douleurs intenses et ne dort plus. S’il faut que nous passions sur un plateau télévisé, nous le ferons, mais de grâce, trouvons une solution pour soigner mon enfant», implore le père.

Machine translation, edited
November 28, 2014

A child admitted for a circumcision left the clinic blind and paralyzed

Mohamed Amine, aged 2, circumcised in a clinic in the Berges du Lac in Tunis, lost his sight and the use of his legs.

The drama began last July, on the 27th day of the month of Ramadan. After a court battle with the leaders of the clinic, Islam and Sami Gaylord, the victim's parents, decided to publicize the case and bring it to justice. They point to medical error, justifying this statement by a total absence of preoperative analysis: "The medical team did no analysis before operating. And it is probably the anaesthesia which is the cause of the drama," said Sami Gaylord.

According to the child's father, the operation lasted 3 hours - too long for a simple circumcision - before a physician would meet him to tell him that Mohamed Amine had been urgently admitted to intensive care. "It seems that your child has heart disease; he has a 2% chance of surviving," the practitioner abruptly told the parents.

The father continues his story: "My son stayed for 5 days in a coma and when he awoke, he was unable to speak or move. He was victim of a medical error, because if doctors had made the necessary examination, they could have avoided the tragedy."

Islam and Sami had to sell their property (furniture and jewelry) to pay 7,000 dinars, a portion of the costs of hospitalization. After 2 months of intensive care, the clinic has decided that the child could leave the facility and asked parents to settle 30,000 dinars more.

"The total bill amounts to 50,000, but doctors make you gift of their fees. "You owe us 30,000 dinars," the clinc's financial manager told them without blinking. It refuses to recognize its responsibility for the child's condition.

Parents also denounced the lack of hygiene in the health facility. They even noticed that, during the hospitalization of Mohamed Amine, workers painted the interior walls, even the resuscitation room.

"Paint dripped everywhere, the smell was unbearable, and our child was bedridden and on a machine. The worst is that a doctor, surprised by our noticing, replied that the painting is an antiseptic... He was taking us for fools. This, added to the lack of professionalism, is unconscionable. Didn't they take the Hippocratic Oath? Are they there to raise money or to treat people," asked the father.

Mr. and Mrs. Ghandouri are at the end of their tether and call for help: "Amine is bedridden and survives thanks to the drugs. He has attacks of intense pain and sleeps more. If we must expose our suffering on TV, we will, but for pity's sake, find a solution to cure my child," begs the father.


So the Swedish taxpayer must pay? This will not last.

November 26, 2014

Swedish lawmakers nix bill requiring parents to pay for circumcision

(JTA) — Swedish lawmakers voted down a bill that would require parents to pay for non-medical circumcision of boys.

The right-wing Sweden Democrats party brought the bill to a vote Tuesday at the regional council of Blekinge County in the country’s south, Sveriges Radio reported. The party claimed that the practice should not be covered by the healthcare system because it is barbaric and compared it to female genital mutilation, according to Swedish media.

But the argument encountered passionate objections during the debate that preceded the voting, including by Anna Ekstrom of the Liberal People’s Party. She rejected the comparison and argued that circumcision was akin to Christian baptism, the Sydostran local newspaper reported.

Dismissing claims that circumcision dulled sexual pleasure, Inga-Lill Siggelsten Blum of Sweden’s Christian Democrats said, “I cannot imagine that there would be billions of men getting circumcised if it did.” [They are not, of course. The vast majority were cut before they could resist.]

The debate is part of a wider discussion across northern Europe on the Jewish and Muslim practice. Interest in the topic renewed in 2012, with left-leaning liberals and secularists calling for a ban for humanitarian reasons, and nationalist anti-immigration parties supporting a prohibition because they feel the custom is foreign and barbaric.

Currently, non-medical circumcision of boys is legal in all of Scandinavia, despite calls to ban it.


Times Live
November 25, 2014

Pay snip threat over circumcision deaths

by Lulamile Feni

The Eastern Cape government is considering docking the salaries of traditional leaders if initiates continue to die from botched circumcisions.

Speaking at the official start of the summer circumcision season at Nyandeni Great Place, near Libode, cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Fikile Xasa said: "I am researching how much power I have [in terms of] enforcing and implementing the idea [of docking salaries]."

Forty-three initiates died during the summer circumcision season in Eastern Cape last year, up from 25 in 2012. Since 2006, 426000 boys have undergone the traditional rite.

Of these, 5586 were hospitalised, 532 died and 233 were so mutilated that penile amputations were necessary. To date, 257 traditional circumcision practitioners have been arrested.

More than 40000 boys are expected to be ritually circumcised during the next few weeks.

Said Xasa: "The government cannot fold its hands while future leaders and innocent souls are dying.

"Although we do not want to impose ourselves as the government, we cannot wait for an invitation to intervene."

Prince Mlamli Ndamase, spokesman for Western Mpondoland's King Ndamase Ndamase, said the MEC faced litigation if he went ahead with his proposal.

Said Ndamase: "No labour law would allow him to do that. There is [no law] saying that he must attend to initiates and be responsible if they die."

King Ndamase said all traditional leaders under his jurisdiction would have to account for initiate deaths.

"Law enforcement agencies must arrest, prosecute and convict those turning the custom into criminality.

"It's a disgrace to us Ama-Mpondo that we are notorious for the high death rates of initiates."

The provincial chairman of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA, Chief Nkosinathi Jezile, said the MEC should focus on prosecuting those who carry out illegal circumcisions.

The CEO of Cecilia Makiwane Hospital, East London, Mthandeki Xamlashe, speaking on behalf of health MEC Phumza Dyantyi, said the health department had spent R20-million on monitoring initiations.

Community Development Foundation for SA director Nkululeko Nxesi said the foundation would increase the number of initiate rescue centres it operated from two to five.


November 21, 2014

Legal battle over child's circumcision prompts protest


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Protesters were near CityPlace at the intersection of Okeechobee Boulevard and Sapodilla Avenue this weekend, making their voices heard over a Florida legal battle.

A father wants to have his 4-year-old named "Chase" circumcised and the boy's mother is against it.

On Nov. 6, a court sided with the father for Chase to undergo the surgery.

“Any surgery on a child is extremely traumatic, and it doesn't make any sense to do on a healthy kid,” said protester Jonathan Friedman.

Earlier story


Madness indeed

Kenya Daly Post
November 24, 2014

This madness of forceful circumcision is back….

45 year old undergoes the cut by force in Bungoma

A 45 year old man from Sirisia, Bungoma County, was ambushed by residents of Mayekwe village yesterday and circumcised by force.

Residents said that Wilson Musa escaped the cut some years back and went to start a new life at Kapcherop village where he married a wife and had come back to his home hoping that they had forgotten.

A resident who requested not to be identified said that the father of five pretended to have been circumcised but unfortunately had a quarrel with his wife, Janet Nanjala, who in the process of hurling insults revealed his secret.

Idle locals quickly called a traditional doctor and forcefully led Musa to the river where he was circumcised.

Musa thanked neighbors saying that for a long time, he had feared the knife adding that he is glad because he is now a real man. [Stockholm syndrome]


November 22, 2014

G.Bissau launches first female genital mutilation prosecutions

Guinea-Bissau will try six people for female circumcision, a judicial source told AFP Friday, in the west African nation's first prosecutions since the practice was outlawed three years ago.

The defendants, all of whom have appeared at preliminary court hearings since Thursday, are said to believe the practice is in keeping with their Islamic faith.

The source said the defendants, two people who carried out the circumcisions and four parents, were accused of mutilating seven young girls.


According to a health ministry report released in 2012, at least 320,000 women and young girls have undergone FGM in the nation of 1.7 million.


The Bissau-Guinean parliament passed a law in June 2011 banning FGM and making it a crime punishable by up to five years imprisonment...and a fine of 50,000 CFA francs ($95, 76 euros).

Aid agency Plan International said earlier this year 50 percent of girls continue to be victims.


New Zimbabwe
November 21, 2014

Cruel dad circumcises son aged 5 with nail clippers

A MUTASA man appeared before a Mutare magistrate this week charged with trying to circumcise his five-year-old son with a set of nail clippers.

Peter Nyashenga, 35, of Tengwe Village under Chief Muparutsa, pleaded guilty to contravening sections of the Children's Act when he appeared before magistrate Anne Ndiraya.

He was remanded in custody to Tuesday next week for sentencing.

The court heard that the abuse occurred on November 11 while the child was in the custody of Nyashenga after he recently divorced his wife.

Prosecutor Brian Goto said on the day in question, Nyashenga called his son into their house and locked the door.

He then instructed the boy to undress and fished nail clippers from his pocket which he used to clip the foreskin of his son's penis.

The case was reported to police by Nyashenga's brother after noticed that the boy was in pain and the minor spilled the beans after being questioned.

The boy was taken to hospital and a medical report was produced in court as an exhibit.

The court also heard that Nyashenga savagely assaulted the boy the day before the attempted circumcision, resulting in his neighbours complaining about his ill-treatment of the child.

Asked why he committed such an offence, Nyashenga said his intention was not to harm the minor.

"Your Worship my intention was not to harm but to circumcise him," he said.


Associated Press
November 20, 2014

Egypt acquits doctor in female genital mutilation

by Maggie Michael

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court on Thursday acquitted a doctor charged with performing female genital mutilation that led to a 13-year-old girl's death in a Nile Delta village, the country's first trial on charges of breaking the ban on the practice.

The verdict surprised activists against the practice, who had been hoping for a conviction and tough sentence to serve as a deterrent for doctors and families. Egypt has one of the highest rates of female genital mutilation in the world and criminalized the practice in 2008, but it remains widespread.

The court in the Nile Delta Province of Dakahliya ruled that the doctor, Raslan Fadl, and the father of Sohair el-Batea, the girl who died, were not guilty on charges of breaking the ban on the practice, said Reda el-Danbouki, a lawyer involved in bringing the case to trial. The judge did not immediately explain the verdict.

The judge also dropped a charge of manslaughter because the family and the doctor had earlier agreed to reconcile, el-Danbouki said. The family was paid 60,000 pounds, or about $8,500, in compensation.

El-Danbouki said he is coordinating with rights groups to appeal the verdict.

Sohair's family initially filed a police report saying she died as a result of female genital mutilation, but changed their story after reconciling with the doctor, said el-Danbouki. The case came to trial only after significant pressure from rights groups, he added.

The lawyer said that the judge ignored all medical reports that proved the girl underwent female genital mutilation, ignored a Health Ministry decision to shut down the doctor's clinic because it violated medical standards, and ignored the law itself.

"On personal level, I am shocked," he said.

Earlier this month the Associated Press visited Fadl's village and found that the doctor was still practicing in the same building.

Atef Aboul Einein, another lawyer who followed the case, said "this opens the door for any doctor to perform the same procedure without fear of being held accountable and in absence of any deterrence."

More than 90 percent of Egyptian women are estimated to have undergone the procedure, which in Egypt generally involves the cutting off of all or part of the clitoris and sometimes the labia. In a conservative society, it is believed to control a young woman's sexual appetite.

It is practiced in 29 countries, most in East and West Africa, but also in Iraq and Yemen. It is practiced among both Muslims and Christians. Rights groups see it as a way to control female sexuality that causes physical and psychological damage.

Earlier story


Evening Standard
November 17, 2014

Fight against FGM suffers a blow as more cases are dropped without charges

by Martin Bentham

Hopes of a landmark first British prosecution for the female genital mutilation of a child were dealt a blow today, after the number of suspected "cutting" cases over which no charges will be brought rose to double figures.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it had decided that "no further action" could be taken in 10 out of 12 cases referred to it by police, and only two files were still being considered for possible criminal charges.

It said that reasons for vetoing prosecution included the reluctance of one victim to testify against a 35-year-old suspect from London. A gap in the 1985 law banning FGM in England and Wales made it impossible to prosecute a Somali woman aged 40 who allegedly subjected her daughter to mutilation during a holiday in her homeland.

Three other women, two of whom were arrested at Heathrow, escaped charges because items they possessed - which police believed were going to be used for cutting - could also be used for other "traditional practices" that were lawful.

A 38-year-old London man who threatened to inflict FGM has been told he will not be charged because police were unable to show that he intended to put his words into action.

News that so many investigations have failed to produce prosecutions will disappoint campaigners, and reinforce concerns that existing measures to combat FGM are inadequate. They will also raise fears about the ability of the Metropolitan police - whose detectives are facing a growing burden from historical child sex abuse cases - to overcome the difficulty of obtaining proof to bring offenders to justice.

Ministers have already responded to the lack of charges by announcing a raft of legal reforms, including anonymity for victims and a new duty on parents to prevent mutilation. These are currently passing through Parliament as part of the Serious Crime Bill.

Today the Crown Prosecution Service and Scotland Yard vowed to do all in their power to charge offenders.

A CPS spokeswoman said FGM had "devastating consequences for girls and women" and it welcomed the government's action to strengthen the law, in response to recommendations from Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders. "The proposed changes [will mean] there will be a positive duty on parents or carers to prevent their child from being mutilated, and a positive duty on medical and healthcare professionals to report FGM and people at risk from it," the spokeswoman said.

"The changes will extend our powers to prosecute for actions committed overseas; enable us to work with police to build stronger cases; and give those that inflict such cruelty on women and girls fewer places to hide."

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said the Met "remains absolutely resolute in its efforts to detect and prevent FGM", and was working with heath, education and other professionals to ensure that girls at risk and victims were identified.

She added: "FGM is a hidden crime. It is a taboo subject within families and practising communities, making it very difficult for police to detect. We are now focusing on trying to secure the information about those committing the offences so there is less of a reliance on the victim giving evidence - often against their loved ones."

Two people, doctor Dhanuson Dharmasena, 32, and another man who cannot be named, have been charged with FGM offences over the alleged mutilation of a woman who had just given birth at The Whittington Hospital in Archway. Both deny the allegations and are due to stand trial in January at Southwark Crown Court.

Anyone who has been subjected to FGM or who is at risk should contact the police on 999 or Project Azure officers on 0207 161 2888. They can also call the NSPCC FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550.


TT online (Triindad & Tobago)
November 19, 2014

Tobago mom wants answers after botched circumcision


A Tobago woman is calling on THA Health Secretary Claudia Groome-Duke and Medical Chief of Staff at the Scarborough General Hospital, Dr. Nathaniel Duke, to provide her with an update on a botched circumcision on her son which took place 17 months ago.

Mrs. Jessica Roberts explained that she and her husband took their then four year old son to the Scarborough General Hospital to have a planned circumcision done.

However, approximately 15 minutes into the surgery, they heard the little boy screaming and went to see what was happening.

"To my surprise, when I pushed the door and went in to ask if they were ready for me, it was shocking to see that my son, apparently came out of the circumcision before time. Apparently the anesthesia wore off and the doctors were trying to dress the area while he was fully awake."

Mrs. Roberts recalled that doctors told her she had to leave the room and when she saw her son 20 minutes later, he was bleeding uncontrollably.

The doctors told her that the boy would have to be sedated again for them to operate further.

Eventually the area was stitched but Mrs. Roberts questioned whether interns or junior doctors operated on her son since the senior doctor was absent.

"When Dr. Bell came in, he told us that the problem was our son, he was not keeping himself still when he was actually supposed to be sedated to do it. [Blame the victim! What four-year-old would keep still for that?] The doctor who stitched up our son came to us and said, you know what, he apologised and he said it was not his fault, an error was made and everyone makes mistakes."

... the boy's parents made a complaint to the THA Secretary of Health and Social Services and the Medical Chief of Staff.

Mrs. Roberts said she was assured by Secretary Groome-Duke that the names of all doctors involved would be revealed and that an investigation would be conducted.

She said she has not heard from either Secretary Groome-Duke or Dr. Duke up to this day.


For now, her son remains traumatised by the incident since no counseling was provided for him. His parents said he is afraid of even using a pair of scissors.

... THA Health and Social Services Secretary Claudia Groome-Duke said ... a Therapeutic Counselor has been called in to provide counseling to the little boy.

Mrs. Groome-Duke promised to keep in close contact ... /p>


Metro Times (Michigan)
November 11, 2014

Circumcision prevention seminar comes to U of M campus

by Alysa Offman

No doubt MT readers already know we have a fascination with circumcision round these parts. Michigan has a startling high rate of non-religious circumcision and we sought to find some reasons why when we wrote a cover story about it a couple months ago.

Of course, the story of why some people are obsessed with the idea that our sons must be circumcised while others are obsessed with the idea what they should absolutely not be is one that never ends. [It never began in most of the developed world, and it has virtually ended in the rest of the English-speaking world.]

NoCirc of Michigan, an anti-circumcision organization, is holding a seminar entitled New Perspectives next month to discuss and extrapolate on what it means to circumcise, including the surgery's history and what it means culturally, socially, medically, and ethically.

“Our goal is to educate the public about this ancient practice that is generating modern controversy worldwide. The practice of circumcision around the world raises many compelling issues for healthcare providers, parents, and the general public," said NoCirc of Michigan head Norm Cohen in a release.

Cohen and NoCirc contend that 83 percent of newborn boys in Michigan are circumcised, which ultimately costs taxpayers $3 million every year when 19,000 surgeries are covered through Medicaid.

New Perspectives is free and takes place on University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus on Sunday, Dec. 7. from 1-4:30 p.m.

The presentation will include speakers like Robert Van Howe, MD, MS, FAAP. He's an anti-circumcision professor and Interim Chairman of Pediatrics at Central Michigan University College of Medicine. He has lectured and been published internationally on the topic of circumcision and has been a consultant to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization, according to the release as well as John V. Geisheker, JD, LL.M, Director and General Counsel, Doctors Opposing Circumcision. He has practiced medico-legal law as an arbitrator, mediator, litigator, and law lecturer for over 30 years.


Chase's Guardians
November 18, 2014

Court Grants Ten-Day Extension For Appeal

by Jonathan Friedman

Chase's mother has been granted a ten-day extension to submit her notice of intent to appeal to the court. She now has until December 1st to file, but still seeks an appellate attorney to sit lead in the proceedings. Three veteran attorneys have volunteered to assist lead counsel in preparation of briefs and other work related to the appeal. This case has several troubling constitutional issues and the standard the court has applied in reaching their decision - whether the parental contract is valid, not whether the circumcision is in the best interest of a healthy 4 year old child - demands scrutiny. Please continue to donate and spread the word so that Chase's right to bodily autonomy can be protected.

Earlier story


Beyond the Bris
November 18, 2014

Upheld: Healthy Florida Boy to be Circumcised Against Mom's Wishes

by Rebecca Wald

The fight to save her four-year-old son from non-medically necessary circumcision recently got a lot tougher for a South Florida mom. On November 6 an appeals court upheld a ruling allowing the boy’s father to have him circumcised despite his mother’s deeply held belief that the procedure will be painful, damaging and emotionally harmful to him.

The mother, Heather Hironimus of Boynton Beach, and the father, Dennis Nebus of Boca Raton, had a brief relationship but never married. In January of 2012 the parents agreed to a court-ordered parenting plan which provided that the father would be responsible for scheduling and paying for the child’s circumcision. Although not initially opposed to the surgery, Hironimus says she later changed her mind after researching the procedure.

There are a number of very strange aspects to this case. The lower court judge Hon. Jeffrey Dana Gillian never appointed a Guardian ad Litem to advocate for the best interests of the child, and testimony by a child mental health professional was not allowed during trial. The lower court also placed a gag order on Hironimus preventing her from speaking about the case to the media or publicly raising funds for an appeal. She was also ordered not to tell her son that she opposes the procedure in any way, and to be separated from him for a period of weeks following the surgery.

Perhaps most disturbing is the age of the child. Circumcision beyond infancy is a more complicated procedure with an arguably greater risk of surgical complications. The boy will need need to be put under general anesthesia and intubated to facilitate ventilation of his lungs. At this age he will also be aware that his foreskin has been removed and will probably remember the event—including the court-mandated prolonged separation from his mother during this traumatic time.

No doubt in part due to the gag order on the mother, this case is not garnering much publicity, although Facebook and Twitter are buzzing and several celebrities have tweeted their support. Given that the case has already reached an appeals court, the chances of the mother prevailing at this point remain slim. Beyond the Bris will continue to follow this story and issue news updates as they happen.

In an interesting side note, an Orthodox Jewish website has condemned the ruling ordering the boy to be circumcised.

Earlier story


Gag-order "probably unconstitutional"

Attorneys for the Rights of the Child
November 17, 2014

Florida Mother Loses Appeal to Rescind Court-Ordered Circumcision of Four-Year-Old Boy

by Steven Svoboda

On November 6, 2014, an appeals court in Florida upheld a ruling ordering the circumcision of Chase, a healthy four-year-old boy. The boy's mother, Heather Hironimus, has been working to protect Chase from circumcision. The judge's original decision includes a remarkable, and probably unconstitutional, provision that his mother is not even allowed to inform Chase of her position on circumcision.

At four years old, Chase is a child who is fully aware of his body. He will experience and remember the pain of a circumcision, and he will be very aware that his body has been drastically changed.

Public figures such as Richard Dawkins, Russel Crowe, Alicia Silverstone and John Leguizamo have tweeted in favor of Chase.

Check our Facebook (www.facebook.com/ARCLAW) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/arclaw) accounts for the latest updates.

Earlier story: Chase, Crowe


news.com.au (Australia)
November 17, 2014

Peddling pages of barbaric savagery: Islamic shops still selling female mutilation books


AN Australian Muslim convert who edited a book advocating female genital mutilation (FGM) has disowned the tome and urged people not to buy it.

Prohibitions That Are Taken Too Lightly was one of several books bought from Sydney bookshops by The Daily Telegraph that advocate FGM, sometimes known as female circumcision. It was edited in 2001 by Islamic convert Shifa Lynette Vivienne Mustapha who lives in Queensland — and who now says she would not “give it to anyone”.

The book was written by Saudi scholar Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid, 54, who ­believes Mickey Mouse should be killed as one of “Satan’s soldiers”. It provides edicts on many behaviours it says are forbidden in Islam.

“If anyone asked if they should read it, I would say ‘don’t bother’,” said Ms Mustapha, who added that she took on editing the book through “naivety or ignorance” and that the section on FGM was added after she finished working on it.

“I’ve done years of study since then and no longer have anything to do with (the book),” she said.

Ms Mustapha has also spoken out strongly against FGM and has received threats as a result.

Another book bought by The Daily Telegraph is called Important Lessons For Muslim Women, which says FGM is “obligatory” if an unmarried woman’s desire is “so great”. NSW minister for women Pru Goward has condemned the promotion of the “abhorrent” practice.

In May the NSW government tripled the sentence for performing FGM to 21 years’ jail and introduced a new ­offence of removing a woman or girl from NSW to have it performed.

But books promoting the barbaric practice remain on sale in the Bukhari House ­Islamic Bookstore in Auburn, and The Islamic Bookstore in Lakemba.

“I am a supporter of freedom of speech, but whether it is from behind a lectern or on a page, the promotion of this inhumane and illegal practice is unacceptable,” Ms Goward said. “I would be calling on booksellers themselves to pull any book ­encouraging female genital mutilation off the shelf.”

Eman Sharobeem, head of the Immigrant Women’s Health Service, said: “To hear that there are books promoting female circumcision is shocking.”

Another book bought by The Daily Telegraph, Instructions Of Shari’ah For Women, wants to ban Western education for women. Others say women should not drive, should not work with men and must have sex if their husbands demand it.

A worker behind the counter at The Islamic Bookstore in Lakemba said he did not agree with FGM but he “could not read all 10,000 books here”.

Sydney Muslim leader Jamal Rifi said FGM did not have a part in the Muslim religion, but added that discussing these issues was better than banning books. “A lot of bullshit is written in these books but it doesn’t mean we are so stupid to follow it,” he said.

FGM involves the removal of parts or all of the external female genitalia.

Originally published as Store’s female genital mutilation shame


Zamboanga Today (Philippines)
November 15, 2014

Boy circumcised against his will

by Nonong Santiago

An 11-year-old boy complained against four jobless invividuals who forcibly circumcised him against his will last November 7, 2014 in Barangay Canelar this city.

The boy, name withheld, identified the four suspects as Tony Carpio, 46; Noel Cabato, 32; Marlon Maceda, 25; and Manuel Mortera, 21.

He said the suspects all are residents of Acapulco Drive, Barangay Canelar.

The victim, a grade 3 pupil of Canelar Elementary School, said two of the four suspects tied the boy’s hands with a towel while Carpio cut his penis with a “Gillete” blade while Mortera was videoing the event using his cellphone. [...for sale to circumfetishists?]

His auntie Jocelyn Paraiso went to complain to kagawad [Counciller] Jesus Balan and immediately the suspects were hauled by the village leaders to the barangay [district] hall for confrontation.

The suspects agreed to pay the medical expenses incurred at the hospital and asked forgiveness to the boy’s auntie.

Paraiso said she is still contemplating whether to file the case in court against the four suspects, who are his neighbors.


Noember 14, 2014

More celebs weigh in over forced genital cutting

by Hugh Young

Two more celebrities have joined Russell Crowe's condemnation of a Florida judge's ruling that a four-year old boy should be circumcised against his mother's wishes.

Russell Crowe, who tweeted against genital cutting in 2011, re-tweeted Caprica is Burning's tweet:

Mom court-ordered to circumcise 4yo is under gag-order. Help needed!

- with the URL of a crowd-sourcing fund. Alicia Silverstone and John Leguizamo also retweeted:

Mom court-ordered to circumcise 4yo is under gag-order. Help needed!
Mom court-ordered to circumcise 4yo is under gag-order. Help needed!

Leguizamo also re-tweeted Caprica's:

Reearch the foreskin, frenulum & ridged band. Circumcision is designed to be harmful.

The crowdfunding site referred to has closed Caprica's account, but another is still accepting donations.

Earlier story


Mobile News (Australia)
Novembr 12, 2014

Russell Crowe tweets in support of mother trying to stop circumcision of son

RUSSELL Crowe looks to have weighed in on the circumcision debate yet again, tweeting in support of a mother trying to stop her son from being circumcised.

The actor re-tweeted a tweet which is trying to raise support and money for the mother who has been given a gag order by the courts.

Heather Hironimus is trying to stop her four-year-old son, Chase, from having a circumcision, an operation she feels is unnecessary and a risk to his health.

A Florida court decided to rule against her and allow the procedure to go ahead[. H]owever she has since been granted an emergency motion to stay by a West Palm Beach court.

YouCaring, a free online fundraising site has taken up Hironimus’s cause, aiming to draw attention to her plight and to provide a place for people to contribute financially for the appeal.

As Hironimus has been prohibited from fundraising for her appeal, the site is doing it for her without her participation they claim.

According to court records, in December 2011, Heather Hironimus signed a parenting agreement which gave Chase’s father, Dennis Nebus, permission to have their (then) baby boy circumcised.

The procedure wasn’t carried out while he was still an infant and Hironimus decided that “as he (Chase) became older the surgery, and anaesthesia, were fraught with additional risks”.

She argues that the surgery is purely cosmetic and the parenting plan no longer pertains to a now older, and more aware, boy.

Paediatric urologist Charles Flack told the judge that circumcision is not medically necessary.

It’s no surprise that Crowe has sided with Hironimus’s case having previously criticised the practice of circumcision.

The gladiator actor got into an angry exchange on Twitter in 2011 telling Jewish people to “stop cutting your babies”.

The debate started when one of his fans called @picknic11 asked him, “My son is due soon. Do you think I should get him circumstanced? [sic]”

Crowe tweeted back “Circumcision is barbaric and stupid. Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that GOD requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect.”

“Many Jewish friends, I love my Jewish friends, I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats but stop cutting yr babies.

“I will always stand for the perfection of babies, I will always believe in God, not man’s interpretation of what God requires.

“Last of it, if u feel it is yr right 2 cut things off yr babies please unfollow and f--- off, I’ll take attentive parenting over barbarism.”

His outburst provoked numerous responses from his followers with one saying, “There’s actually a scientific reason for [circumcision], u should google it.”

In response Crowe tweeted, “My friend, “human” science has caused too much damage, don’t be a moron.”

Another follower told him, “I disagree on Circumcision, It’s more hygienic and nobody remembers it”, to which Crowe responded “Hygienic? Why don’t you sew up your a-- then?”

Crowe also apparently likened circumcision to human sacrifice, when another follower asked, “You are comparing sexual mutilation w/ a jewish ceremonial act?!”

He replied, “Can you actually read the words you just typed “ a ceremonial act” F--- that. The Mayans had ceremonial acts too.”

He later apologised for his comments saying, “I realize that some will interpret this debate as me mocking the rituals and traditions of others”.

“I am very sorry.” And in another post, he declared, “I have a deep and abiding love for all people of all nationalities ...”

Earlier story


Cent News
November 9, 2014

Picketer Arrested for Public Indecency Explains Stand against Circumcision

by James Carvin

Tallahassee, FL, United States (4E) - A man dressed in white with a blood stain painted on his groin was arrested yesterday, interrupting his tour to protest the practice of circumcision. The group he leads claims he was taken into custody because a passerby said he was exposing his genitals in public. Bloodstained Men is touring the Bible Belt picketing on crowded street corners to put an end to a practice it says is harmful, cruel and should be illegal under the 14th amendment.

Brother K wants attention and is dressed for the part. "Take a picture! Take a picture," he yelled to his similarly clad companions yesterday as he was being handcuffed in Tuscaloosa. [No, he wanted a record, in case the police misbehavied.]

They were in Tallahassee on a busy block by Florida's capitol complex the day before. "We protested in Denver last summer. We protested in San Diego at a Doctors' Convention last month. We're gonna be in Texas in March" … "it's all on our website, Bloodstainedmen.org" explained Brother K Saturday in an interview with 4E correspondent, James Carvin.

"The 14th Amendment says that the law has to be applied equally; that you cannot have a law that favors one class of people. Right now we have a Female Genital Mutilation Law (Federal) that favors women. They are protected from birth against any form of genital surgery; even just a pin-prick of blood. Under the 14th Amendment, boys should be - and actually, are; entitled to that same respect of their body that girls are."

Carvin was led to Brother K by fellow picketer David Atkinson who explained, "The 14th Amendment requires equal protection under the law. Female Genital Mutilation is illegal in the United States up until the age of 18. Outlawing male circumcision is a matter of equal rights."

Brother K pointed out, "intent alone to circumcise your daughter outside the United States is a felony." He hopes to see the practice end globally as with FGM.

Doing so will require a head to head clash with three major religions and a battle in the USA over 1st Amendment rights. Both Judaism and Islam practice circumcision. Although the Qur'an does not require it as the Torah does, some Hadith's call it a "fitra" (ideal). Christians have mixed views on adherence to Old Covenant law. Most do not feel obligated but circumcise young boys for medical reasons.

Brother K was graphic in debunking what he believes are medical myths about the health of circumcision.

"Circumcision is a devastating wound, both physically, psychologically, and spiritually to any human being, and it's the same with girl circumcisions. There are several extraordinarily destructive effects of circumcision. Perhaps, if I had to pick the one, at the top of the list, the glans penis by nature is covered with a foreskin whose interior lining is a mucous membrane, like the inside lining of your eyeball, or like the inside lining of your mouth. Imagine that your tongue had to live outside your mouth all your life."


Earlier story


AL.com (Alabama)
November 10, 2014

Anti-circumcision 'intactivist' arrested in Tuscaloosa while wearing 'blood' painted pants

by Stephen Dethrage

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- The leader of a group of protesters wearing white suits with fake blood painted on their groins was arrested in Tuscaloosa Saturday after he allegedly interfered with police trying to issue the group a citation.

The activists were on the corner of 15th Street and McFarland Boulevard, one of the city's busiest intersections, to protest circumcision Saturday afternoon.

Sgt. Brent Blankley, a spokesman for the Tuscaloosa Police Department, said officers responded to the intersection because the group did not have a permit granting them permission to use the city's right of way as the site of their protest.

The group's leader, who legally changed his name to 'Brother K' to cast off the name he associated with his birth and circumcision, began interfering with the officers trying to issue the citation, Blankley said.

The 67-year-old 'intactivist' was ultimately arrested and charged with obstructing governmental operations. He was briefly booked in the Tuscaloosa County Jail, but left on bond and was no longer in police custody Monday afternoon.

The protest drew a lot of attention in the Druid City Saturday, ...

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