Muslim Doctor Denies Conducting Female Genital Mutilation, Says It Was Basic Religious Practice
By Katie Pavlich
April 19, 2017
Detroit emergency room Dr. Jumana Nagarwala was arrested and charged last week for allegedly conducting female genital mutilation [FGM] on girls as young as six-years-old.
As previously reported, the details are horrifying.
According to the criminal complaint, Nagarwala performed the illegal and severe procedure in a “medical clinic” outside of the hospital, but did not receive payment and did not bill patients. The FBI classified her as a member of a specific religious community. Girls from neighboring Minnesota, at least one who was seven-years-old, were brought by their parents to Nagarwala for the procedure. They were also interviewed by the FBI and could face charges.
The minors were told they were being taken on a “girls trip.” Once they arrived at the hotel, they were told they needed to go the doctor for a “stomach ache” and FGM was performed to “get the germs out.”
During her court hearing this week, Nagarwala defended the practice as a “religious removal” and denied it was mutilation at all. From Fox 2:
Inside a federal courtroom, 44-year-old Dr. Jumana Nargarwala, a mother of four, stood before a judge handcuffed, dressed in an orange jumpsuit and a long hijab draped down her arms and shoulders, appearing emotionless as the prosecution and defense divulged gruesome details of what allegedly went on in her Livonia clinic after hours.
The defense argued, claiming no female genital mutilation took place, instead, a religious removal of a mucus membrane from the genitals which was wrapped up and given to the parents to bury — a practice they say is performed by a small sect of Indian-based Islam called Dawoodi Bohra.
Their mosque is located in Farmington Hills.
In the criminal complaint, the FBI classified the doctor as a member of a specific religious community. They did not name or mention Islam. For more detail on how the World Health Organization defines FGM, please read the affidavit.
Nagarwala is being held without bond due to being a flight risk. She is facing life in prison if convicted. This is the first federal FGM case in American history.