Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Egyptian girl dies after undergoing female circumcision.

Courtesy of Al Arabiya:

Suhair al-Bata’a, a 13-year-old Egyptian girl, has died undergoing circumcision at a village in the Daqahliya governorate northeast of Cairo, Egyptian media reported on Sunday. 

“We left our daughter with the doctor and the nurse. 15 minutes later, the nurse took my daughter out of the operation room to a nearby room, along with three other girls whom the doctor was circumcising,” Mohammed Ibrahim, a farmer, told Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm. 

“I waited half an hour, hoping that my daughter would wake up, but, unfortunately, unlike the rest of the girls, she did not,” he said. 

The doctor who circumcised Suhair had previously circumcised her elder sister two years ago. 

“I want nothing but to hold the doctor accountable and to have justice for my daughter,” Suhair’s mother, Hasanat Naeem Fawzy, told the newspaper. 

The police ordered an autopsy and summoned the doctor to find the cause of the young girl’s death. 

A health inspector report said the cause of the death was due to “a sharp drop in blood pressure resulting from shock trauma,” the family’s lawyer, Abdel Salam, told al-Masry al-Youm. 

Egypt's National Council for Women condemned the deadly incident of female circumcision as a criminal act that reflects “extreme savagery,” calling on the government to investigate the issue and punish the culprits. 

UNICEF Egypt has also condemned the incident, saying female circumcision has neither medical nor religious justification.

Genital mutilation in the name of God. 

Only ONE of the shameful iron age rituals left over from a time of ignorance which lives on only because of superstition and a lack of education. 

While I support the idea of the doctor being prosecuted for this, I also don't believe the parents should be given a pass. There was NO reason for this little girl to die, and her parents should be charged with whatever passes for Egypt's version of manslaughter or negligent homicide.


  1. Leland3:02 AM

    If ANYTHING is done - even to the doctor - I would be surprised. Genital mutilation is too embedded in many people's minds (including here!) and is looked upon as having religious significance even when it doesn't and can't be proven as having such!

    FGM is even considered a violation of human rights by the UN.

    Ignorance. It shows up everywhere!

  2. Anonymous3:03 AM

    And yet in the USA we still do this to boys. There is a certain risk involved in any surgery, so I am giving the Dr a pass. The parents and their culture wanted this done. One or two boys DIE every yr in the USA after circumcision, many more lose a good share of their penis all because their parents want a barbaric religious based unnecessary surgery.
    So don't think this is any different than the majority of US parents that have done this to their own infants without a thought.

    1. Leland5:51 AM

      It is done in almost(?) all european type cultures! And when Germany made it illegal the religions (primarily jewish, though) went berserk! Claimed the state was dictating to them and taking away their own culture. Something they had been doing for thousands of years.

      Yeah. And the lemmings have been charging to the sea for thousands of years, too. Want to join them? PLEASE?


    2. Leland5:52 AM

      Just to make myself clear, I was asking the PERPETRATORS to join the lemmings, not anon 3:03!

    3. Anonymous6:21 PM

      While this is called "female circumcision," it is not the same as the removal of the foreskin. They cut off the clitoris because they don't want women to experience sexual pleasure. That is the only reason. Not for hygiene. If the same was done to little boys, they would cut off the ends of their penises.

    4. Anonymous10:20 PM

      There is no reason to ever circumcize a boy. The cleanliness thing has long been thrown out the window(little boys can be taught to wash their penis like every other body part. BTW I do know what female circumcision. entails. But you seem okay with butchering just part of a males genitals, sorry, but there is NO excuse in todays day and age to mutilate a child of either sex for just "cultural" reasons. BTW male circumcisions are usually done with NO pain meds, I watched one and would never participate again as a nurse. As a Native American no one in my tribe does this barbaric act and thank goodness my husbands white parents kept him whole. And there is some research showing that the removal of the foreskin does lessen sexual pleasure, but hey, lop part of your childs penis off without their permission.

  3. Anonymous3:12 AM

    Female circumcision is to prevent women from experiencing pleasure. Male circumcision is to prevent anger from a sky god. Both are violent acts against children.

    Insurance companies used to cover male circumcision in the US. A big fundraiser for them. I hope that has changed! When my son was born, the hospital constantly harassed me about it. No one offered any medical reason, but constantly assured me that it was "free".

    They freaked me out so much that I immediately insisted that my child be in my room and I would care for him. No one was going to slice and dice my child!

  4. Anonymous3:27 AM

    The Clergy will probably say she died because she was not worthy........

    1. Anonymous9:24 PM

      The clergy should be punished along with the parents and doctor!

  5. angela4:22 AM

    Many young girls die of this horrific ritual every day. If they don't die like Suhair, they die slowly of infections and associated issues. Many women live in constant pain with infections and reproductive problems. Female circumcision in my opinion is barbaric---but it is not religious like many people think. It is cultural and is practiced by many in more places than people think and not just by muslims. Christians get in on it too. The practice is supported sadly enough by many women in the different cultures as much as it is by the men. But whats a little life long pain and no sexual enjoyment for tens of millions of women?

  6. LisaB25955:03 AM

    First, female genital mutilation has nothing to do with religion. Sorry. There is no religious reason for this procedure. It is, however, connected a culture that prizes female "purity," and there are plenty of people who exploit that from a religious viewpoint.

    It's no less abhorrent for that. If that mother wanted justice, she should have left her unmutilated.

  7. Anonymous5:09 AM

    I think the parents are as responsible as the medical people involved are. Female circumcision is barbaric, no other word for it, and should not be allowed in any culture.

  8. Anonymous5:26 AM

    I've lived in Egypt for a couple years and wanted to share a perspective--the parents, while not entirely blameless, most likely acted out of well-intentioned ignorance. If they're from a village, they're most likely barely educated/literate and not exposed to other points of view that would help them see female circumcision as the medieval, misogynistic practice that it is. They likely get most of their decision-making info from the mosque and the social pressure to control female sexuality is immense. I mean, look at the picture--she's a child but already swaddled up in a stupid veil like a grown woman. It seems that they actually took their daughter to a hospital rather than to the village midwife, so they probably thought they were doing this the "right", responsible way.

    The party that bears the heavier burden of guilt and blame is the government, which for years has "condemned" the practice but not taken steps to ensure that it doesn't happen. The Mubarak government tolerated it as a sop to the fundamentalists (at one point, IIRC, the government limited the days of the week that circumcision could be performed, so it could say it was doing something about the practice but not arouse the ire of the fundies who are terrified of the female big O), and don't think for a minute that the Muslim Brotherhood in power now is going to do anything about it.

    Some statistics indicate that a majority of females have been circumcised. Personally I have been shocked to learn that a few women I know, who are themselves from educated families and quite modern, were subjected to it as children.

    Because the practice is so widespread, there is no way in hell the police or government are going to go after the parents, that would be too hypocritical even by the pathetic standards of the current government. And using US aid as a carrot won't help either, because it will be seen as the US imposing its values. It will take a hero-leader who's not afraid of/economically indebted to the fundamentalists to close this down once and for all by prosecuting the living shit out of any parent who facilitates it and any doctor or midwife or village crone who performs it. Publicly and without mercy. The very thought of Egyptian prison is the one thing that will put fear in everyone's hearts.

    I'm not excusing the parents and I do appreciate your anger and passion, Gryphen. It's just that in Egypt, female circumcision is so common that punishing the parents would be like prosecuting American parents because their infant son's circumcision went badly. Most people circumcise their boys, they don't think hard about why, it's supposedly a straightforward procedure that no one expects to go badly and so it's more reflex than actual decision.

    1. Leland7:24 AM

      This is definitely NOT limit this to Egypt! There are a tremendous number of other African countries that do this, as well. And a lot of cultures around the equator to the east of Africa as well.

      The UN estimates over 3 million a year in Africa alone! They further estimate that currently there are 140 million women who suffer today due to having undergone some form of FGM.

      You are right, however. Totally and incontrovertibly about the rest of it. Complete and utter ignorance that will, unfortunately, take generations to eliminate - if ever.

      Hell, it wasn't until the past 150 years or so that the people who did male circumcision were forced to recognize that, YES, the babies DO feel pain! What the hell did they THINK the baby was screaming

      Sheer, unadulterated, hateful IGNORANCE!

  9. Shameful parent.9:51 AM

    Do circumcised men feel less pleasure from sex than non-circumcised men?
    Wow! I'll have to apologize to my two sons for doing that to them as day-old infants. I was too stupid to ask questions, I guess.

  10. Anonymous6:06 PM

    While the middle east is filled with such misogyny, it's to their own detriment.
    If a woman enjoys sex, she'll make her husband happier.
    Instead we have men with raging testosterone, unhappy marriages and more rapes, which are then blamed on the woman.

    I can't imagine being a middle eastern woman in some of these countries.
    Can't drive in some, can't be outside unescorted or after hours, no voting in some, often no choice in who you marry, a requirement to cover one's face in public and if that's not bad enough, let's cut off your clit before you ever get past puberty.
    Ok, now just live your life as a baby maker and keep your mouth shut.

    They remove everything a woman cherishes (beauty, love, sex, expression and equality), then they wonder why most of east Africa is always at war.

  11. Anita Winecooler6:13 PM

    We didn't have our son circumcised, and we got inundated with outrage, stupid questions and "shamed", but we did investigate the topic thoroughly, and there's a miniscule percentage of "protection from penile cancer" and urinary tract infections. Many religions saw it as necessary because of the nomadic nature of the civilizations that existed at the time. The lack of availability to clean water and soap pretty much was the cause of the popularity of the procedure. That, and proof of a covenant with God and fear of being ostracized for "looking different" than other males.

    Our main reason for not having it done was because we felt the decision should be his when he reaches the age of majority. Teaching him a few extra steps when showering or bathing was a small price to pay.
    Female "circumcision" is a misnomer. The barbaric act purposely causes pain and sexual dysfunction to keep women in their place. There is no medical benefit whatsoever. If it's done for religious purposes or out of just plain ignorance doesn't excuse it. In many cultures, it's a "rite of passage" done with crude instruments in unsanitary surroundings, with no anesthesia and the young woman has no say whatsoever.

    What I don't understand is some religions look down on tattoos because the body is a temple and marking it would be like grafitti. Why is circumcision/mutilation given a pass? Does "God" do inferior work? And why would "God" want someone to endure the pain of these procedures to prove they "belong"? What "God" would want a girl to die for the same reason?

  12. DetroitSam10:09 AM

    “I want nothing but to hold the doctor accountable and to have justice for my daughter"

    The one person who should be held accountable is the idiot mother. Also, too, the father.


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