Female Genital Mutilation: Many Pakistani women’s painful secret

Published: February 6, 2013

They all know it happens, but they let the thoughts simmer in silence.

“I don’t want my daughter to have to go through it. I have been through it; my mom has been through it and so has my naani (grandmother).

We have been going through this forever.

It’s a custom – the done thing, but I can’t imagine my baby having to go through the same!

I am 34 and I still remember it distinctly. I felt humiliated even as a seven-year-old. It was not very painful, but I felt slighted at how they held me down, how embarrassed I felt. But most of all I feel resentment – even today – over the fact that we never talked about it before or after that. Everyone pretends like it never happened.”

This is the story related by a Pakistani mother whom I talked to today about Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), practiced in her community.

Today, as the world observes the “International Zero Tolerance Day to FGM/C”, many remain blissfully unaware that this custom, often referred to as female circumcision, is also practiced in Pakistan.

According to the World Health Organisation, FGM/C is a procedure that “intentionally alters or injures female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”

The reasons are cultural, traditional and religious. Predominantly, the reason traditionally given for FGM/C is almost inconceivable – that it ensures a woman will remain chaste and guard her against promiscuity, as depending on the degree of the procedure performed, she may not be able to experience sexual pleasure as fully as a woman whose genitalia remain unaltered.

In Pakistan, female circumcision is practiced by a few communities along the Iran-Balochistan border, and a few isolated tribes, as well as the Dawoodi Bohra community. Having said as much, here it is mostly not done very invasively, as opposed to some African countries where FGM/C may involve removal of the entire clitoris and labia.

The Dawoodi Bohra community practices it ceremoniously, as they consider it a religious obligation. Over time, their methods have also improved, and now more and more trained doctors are doing it, as opposed to the untrained women who used to perform it earlier, thereby ensuring the procedure be done hygienically without pain or permanent harm.

Yet, mothers such as the one quoted above, though few in number, are double-minded about meting the same to their daughters. While the “elders” of the families often insist it be done, some women are now questioning the idea, including young women who have not yet gone under the knife. But in most cases, it is performed on them around the age of seven — an age when they are too young and too unaware to protest or speak up for themselves.

Dr Shershah Syed, an obstetrician-gynecologist, said,

“In Pakistan it is not done very invasively, and now with growing awareness, they are doing it merely symbolically with only a bit of skin being removed. But even then, I find it to be in clear violation of human rights!”

Dr Syed stated that there is absolutely no scientific evidence supporting any medical benefit of the procedure. It can lead to health problems like severe pain, hemorrhage, tetanus, infection, infertility, cysts and abscesses, urinary incontinence, and sexual as well as psychological problems.

Estimates say that 100 million to 140 million girls and women worldwide have undergone FGM/C. It is generally performed on girls between ages four and twelve, although in some cultures it may even be performed on babies or just prior to marriage. Some 28 African countries follow this practice, but approximately 17 countries have laws that specifically prohibit FGM, including Egypt.

However, many women of the Bohra community feel it is not a human right violation at all.

“I am an adult and an aware woman. By choice, I have had it performed on two of my daughters, and I don’t regret it. It is our religious custom and I don’t think it has deprived me of sexual pleasure,” said an unnamed member of the community.

While the communities who practice it may have the right to do so, even though FGM/C is considered a human rights violation, it is how the matter is handled that is unacceptable to many who have gone through it.

According to a female member of the Bohra community who requested to remain unnamed,

“Women of our community are generally given a lot of respect and autonomy which is why it is difficult to understand this custom,”

She went on to say, “Maybe I would get it done if I was given a choice, and maybe I would not. I understand that my parents thought this was best for me, and they had the right to make certain decisions for me when I was young. But what is most painful to me how no one ever talks about this. Why are we never allowed to discuss it? How can we ever make sense of it?”

Female genital mutilation is one of the best kept secrets, therefore. They all know it happens, but they let the thoughts simmer in silence. But the time may have come to uncover the unspeakable. The time to talk about it may just have arrived.

Read more by Farahnaz here or follow her on Twitter @FarahnazZahidi

Farahnaz Zahidi

Farahnaz Zahidi

Farahnaz is a writer and editor, and has worked as the Features Editor with The Express Tribune. Her focus is human-centric feature stories. She now writes as a freelancer, and works in the field of marketing and corporate communications. She loves literature and traveling. Her work can be seen at chaaidaani.wordpress.com/

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sidrah Majeed

    It is sad to see mental slaves talking about wanting to mutilate their daughters just to satisfy religion.FGM is very widely practiced in Egypt,indonesia amongst other countries.This is a barbaric practice and shows how religion makes slaves out of seemingly normal people.
    It’s not only the bohra muslim sect which does their barbarism,millions of indonesian and egyptian muslim girls are put through this same barbaric torture.Recommend

  • jehanzeb khan

    Another glorious achievement of religious dogma.ppl should come to their senses and start thinking rationally,instead of blindly following religious customs.This religous insanity must stop.Recommend

  • Mohsin

    Imran khan is doing all this. PTI trolls are responsible for this. AAZ and NS are trying hard to fight this outRecommend

  • Shahid

    It is upto Muslims ourselves to have such horrific religious traditions stopped.What is wrong is wrong,if it’s religious,doesn’t make it right.And this horror is not just restricted to Bohra Muslims but sunnis in indonesia also mutilate their women in their millions.The Bohras must stand up against this barbarity and ask their religious leader to ban this savage practice.Recommend

  • Amer

    I knew this was done in some other countries but never knew it happens in Pakistan as well. As I was reading the headline on this blog, I was thinking who does this in Pakistan and then I read the rest of the article and understood. These stupid practices should be stopped by law and people should be educated about their harmful effects. Recommend

  • Neha Zaidi

    Can we please keep religion out of the equation? This is sheer insanity and a suppression of the higher human morals. Islam or any other religion has absolutely NOTHING to do with how societal pressures wish to inflict sufferring. Recommend


    I have never read in any religious book about doing this odd practice to girls. The reason of this barbaric act appears to be more cultural than religious. It should be discouraged widely.Recommend

  • crap

    “This is the story related by a Pakistani mother who I talked to today about….’ ummmm…..’whom I talked to?’Recommend

  • Tania anwar

    @Neha zaidi, this has everything to do with religion.Religious apologists living in denial should stop trying to cover up for the atrocities done due to religious beliefs.This savagery is widespread in the biggest muslim country on the planet i.e. indonesia.It is also very widespread in egypt.The bohra muslims are a sect of islam,they are a religious entity,not a non-religious one.
    Please stop making excuses for religion and start tackling this sickening practice.Recommend

  • Shoaib

    it is a closed guarded secret, the men do not speak about anything like this happening in their community!! ………..May Allah give Sayedna good sense.Recommend

  • Rai faraz haider

    It is not religious.It is the self interpretation of the religion.Recommend

  • Tamoor R

    human right violation Recommend

  • Umaimah

    I AM SHOCKED. Never knew this practice existed. I am speechless.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    What about male genital mutilation. It is pretty damaging as well but the whole Pakistan practices and you won’t hear a single voice against it. Why?Recommend

  • Rationalist

    @Neha Zaidi: Can we please keep religion out of the equation? This is sheer insanity and a suppression of the higher human morals. Islam or any other religion has absolutely NOTHING to do with how societal pressures wish to inflict sufferring.
    So what’s your take on male circumcision? Last time I checked, this act was performed by myriad people all over the world abiding by the religious indoctrinations.Recommend

  • Procastinator

    Woa…Woa…Woa…Woa. Opened a can of worm there missy!!

    If Circumcision is not considered a human rights violation, why FGM/C?

    If circumcision as a religious compulsion is good why not FGM/C?

    Why do I smell a religious or gender bias in your blog?Recommend

  • Musthaq Ahmed

    @Neha Zaidi:
    How can you keep religion out ? Look at the world map ! You may end up condoning the holy practice when you open your eyes to the simple link . It is denial first , apology later and defiance in the end.Recommend

  • aj

    yuq..its cruel but don’t you think circumcision is also cruel???? isn’t that??Recommend

  • doom

    It is not right to put female circumcision alongside FGM. FGM as practiced in Africa is horrendous. From what I know of female circumcision it is not too different from male circumcision.

    Now if it is true that it is traumatic and humiliating even in its milder form, then why are we doing it to boys? There are now a growing number of people in America and elsewhere who say that circumcising boys is wrong and medically un-necessary and therefore they are no longer doing it. So what is our opinion on that then?Recommend

  • Qasim


  • Hafeez

    FGM needs to be banned. I do not understand why the author becomes apologetic when discussing this practice in the Bohra community: “The Dawoodi Bohra community practices it ceremoniously, as they consider it a religious obligation. Over time, their methods have also improved, and now more and more trained doctors are doing it, as opposed to the untrained women who used to perform it earlier, thereby ensuring the procedure be done hygienically without pain or permanent harm”Recommend

  • hmmm

    so being male you have not gone through it..????Recommend

  • Max

    It is more prevalent in African countries, while in Pakistan it is limited to the Bohri community, which the author conveniently forgets to mention. Don’t make it an issue unless you are willing to bring to light all the facts. Recommend

  • umar

    It is just male domination of female sexual rights and animal instinct given legal cover by religion.Recommend

  • Umar

    Yaar kasmay kitna jahil kaum hai hamaraRecommend

  • Uzma Afzal

    @ Procastinator Circumcision is just the removal of the skin and scientifically proven good for the sexual health of a man and besides it does not impair with the pleasure, the man experiences during the sexual act. On the other hand, FGM/C is the removal of the Clitoris, which only recently been discovered a whole organ and bears almost 4000 sensory nerves and it is as small as the pencil rubber but extremely sensitive and gives extreme sexual pleasure to a woman. Removing Clitoris means depriving a woman of sexual pleasure.
    I ask a question do sexual pleasure is only the right of men?Recommend

  • John B

    Your argument is valid and recently the German court considered circumcision in boys is a child abuse but Jewry and Muslim community marched against the court decision and later some exception was made.

    But here is a reason why it is called FGM and not circumcision in women. In many cases, the clitoris is cut and even labia minor is cut-the organs of pleasure in women and in in PAK it may be different but I doubt it. There is nothing “free hanging” to cut in women. In men of course everyone knows what is cut and how much.

    By the way, circumcision was practiced in Egypt even before Abraham, mainly in Priestly men to keep them away from hanky-panky, more like a chastity belt of monks of later times. In Indian subcontinent, the ancient Hindu and Buddhist men monks literally pulled their “organ” to rupture the vessel and damage the nerves and I even read a report about 25 years ago that it was practiced in Benares area free monks.

    If it is considered as a religious right in men and women (in certain communities), is it not a violation of religious rights in banning them ?

    I will accept this argument, if all men of these communities also cut their “organ” voluntarily as they do it in women. All the advantages of circumcision in men are post effect studies and have no real scientific and medical basis or advantage.

    The Jewish Talmudic discussions do not have any reference to circumcision/FGM in women, so it must have been an later adoption in communities as they spread.


  • Fizza

    Almost all religious figures in Africa has clearly mentioned that this is not a religious practice. It’s more communal, if you understand it well. Recommend

  • Sterry

    @Amer: Female genital mutilation is not practiced in Pakistan by any native ethnic group. It may well be this practice was brought to Pakistan by the Gujrati Bohra community when they came from India but nowhere will you see it in KPK, Punjab, Baluchistan or Sind outside Karachi. I would say you are dramatizing something that is a very rare thing. I agree that it should be banned in the strongest way but the majority of people in Pakistan have no idea it even exists!Recommend

  • hj

    I agree with Tania Anwar. Of course it has to do with religion, you silly people. Don’t blind yourself whenever religion is concerned.
    I also agree with the people who are against MALE genital mutilation (aka khatma/circumcision). Although it doesn’t impair a man as much as FGM impairs women, it still does considerable damage and takes away a considerable amount of pleasure that may have been experienced otherwise.

  • Sayyed Mehdi

    Read the article. FGM is much more damaging than male circumcision. In addition to other issues mentioned, women cannot experience sexual pleasure after this kind of circumcision. Male circumcision (if done on a new-born) doesn’t have any such consequences and in fact has health benefits.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Ahmed: What about male genital mutilation. It is pretty damaging as well but the whole Pakistan practices and you won’t hear a single voice against it. Why?

    What happens to males in nothing compared to what is done to females.
    Read what Wikipedia says about…….. It is clear this procedure is done to make girls asexual and keep them moral ……It is a shame that women are very eager to get it done to their daughters.

    The WHO has offered four classifications of FGM. The main three are Type I, removal of the clitoral hood, almost invariably accompanied by removal of the clitoris itself (clitoridectomy); Type II, removal of the clitoris and inner labia; and Type III (infibulation), removal of all or part of the inner and outer labia, and usually the clitoris, and the fusion of the wound, leaving a small hole for the passage of urine and menstrual blood—the fused wound is opened for intercourse and childbirth. Around 85 percent of women who undergo FGM experience Types I and II, and 15 percent Type III, though Type III is the most common procedure in several countries, including Sudan, Somalia, and Djibouti. Several miscellaneous acts are categorized as Type IV. These range from a symbolic pricking or piercing of the clitoris or labia, to cauterization of the clitoris, cutting into the vagina to widen it (gishiri cutting), and introducing corrosive substances to tighten it.Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/britishmuslims Mohammed Abbasi

    Never knew this existed in Pakistan, certainly nothing to do with Islam – and it would be kufr if those who support this say its IslamicRecommend

  • hoohoohoo

    tells a lot about your knowledge. for yfi this has got nothing to do with Islam so go blow your hate-filled trumpet elsewhereRecommend

  • Hi Hi hey hey

    @Tania anwar:
    You are plain ignorant!Recommend

  • http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/1695142/ayesha_pervez.html Ayesha Pervez

    I dont want to live on this planet anymoreRecommend

  • Insaan

    @Fizza: Almost all religious figures in Africa has clearly mentioned that this is not a religious practice. It’s more communal, if you understand it well

    That is not true. There are scholars who say female circumcision is Islamic thing to do. Muslims don’t agree on many things. Most muslims don’t agree on Hijab, if it is required or what is proper hijab. Same thing with this female genital cutting, millions of Muslims do it. Recommend

  • Noise

    There are hadiths which indicate that this is sunnah and that the practise was common in arabia and that the prophet (pbuh) even encouraged it. The Bohris probably follow those hadith.Recommend

  • mehar ali

    Its different than male circumcision which is done to every male baby after birth in USA. Its practiced in both Jewish and Muslim religions and has proven medical /health benefits.Recommend

  • Karen

    Thank you for sharing this information. I was aware of female genital mutilation but your article showed another side to the story. I did not realize women might feel ambivalent about the procedure or that it was never discussed within the family. I was also unaware of the procedure now being performed by healthcare professionals. It seems this is an issue that is more complex than it first appears. Thank you for showing the complexity of fgmc.Recommend

  • John B

    @Sayyed Mehdi:
    Most complications of male circumcision occurs when done in infant boys outside of hospitals, as the prepuce(foreskin) and glands are naturally adhered and separated by force and eventual scaring and healing leaves behind permanent complications. the ideal age for circumcision in male is between 10-14 as it is typically done in Sunni sects, where natural separation of foreskin occurs. Only Jewish customs practice (as also Shia ) infant/child circumcision, even though there is no godly reason , commandment , law etc to do so in infant.

    There is no medical and health benefit in circumcision. On the contrary, circumcision in male leaves behind several undesired sexual experiences in both male and female as the natural lubricant of foreskin movement is lost, requiring lubricants as women age. Recommend

  • Yousuf Raza Gilani

    @Ayesha Pervez:
    Who is stopping you?Recommend

  • Braveheart

    Bohri community is mentioned clearly. Read it first please @Max: Recommend

  • Critical

    If muslim women have to undergo Genital mutilation,so that they might not turn into adulteress

    We should perform lobotomy on all muslim men to make sure they may not turn into terrorists Recommend

  • Amer

    @Sterry: I think you might have misunderstood my comment. I didn’t even know it existed in Pakistan and that’s why it came as a bit of a surprise to me. My point was that it should be discouraged however small or limited the problem might be. I know that it doesn’t exist in majority of Pakistan and might be limited to a small community and the people who live in Pakistan whereever they might have come from are our own society, can’t be ignored. Recommend

  • Yasir Hashmi

    What a shame for those who always start howling on such pathetic articles. All those who are trying to satisfy their egos by bashing “Islam” please provide any reference if Islam allows this?


    Please exclude me from the mailing list for sending the follow up comments to this article.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    Every time I read about this topic, I cringe. I really really hope this is not a practice in India among Muslims.

    Why are the 3 Religions of the book against pleasure?

    No wine, no genitals, women in burqa, no music.. I know I am generalising way too much the factors are true more or less in all the 3 Religions.

    India is the complete opposite. Kamasutra was a document on Love and Sex! The only major culture which treated Sex for what it is and should be. Music and the Arts in general are intrinsic to the Indian culture.

    Ah well.. I will end with saying that mutilation of women is a ghastly act. Even among young boys, its not fair. You have to wait till the boy turns into an adult and decide on his own.Recommend

  • Nobody

    Male genital “mutilation” (although not categorized as such because it, in fact, isn’t mutilation, it’s circumcision) doesn’t prevent, affect or inhibit male sexual performance or pleasure in any way. It’s simply considered hygienic. It’s not performed to make sure men don’t stray or gasp God forbid have any sexual feelings or enjoy sex. FGM is actual mutilation. That’s why. Cheers. Recommend

  • Braveheart

    @Anoop: Dont wanna get into an argument but Sati? Cast-based prostitution? Domestic Violence? Concept of Daasi? No rights of inheritance religiously in Hinduism? How is India better?

    It is not about better or worse. Why talk in these comparative terms in any case? You handle your problems, let us handle ours. And yes, most of us agree that this is unfair to the women which is why the writer wrote this in the first place.Recommend

  • Maulana Yahoodii

    Bohat drama baazi ker li sab ne ye Hoga aur hota rahay ga , Male and Female Both have to suffer Recommend

  • Bohragirl

    Hey! Im really happy to read this article written by you.. i belong to the bohra community as well, and female circumcision is very common. Although never spoken about, as mentioned in your blog.
    I am glad i was lucky to not be circumcised. I am glad my parents took a stand and went against this custom.
    Even thinking about it gives me shivers. However, most of my frnds are circumcised till date, whenever we have a conversation, they share their experiences. and according to them, it makes a woman less ‘wild’ while making love.
    Although, i have not been circumcised, as taboo may it sound in other customs, in the bohra community it is a taboo to speak up against it. Nevertheless, i hope more ppl become educated about the issue and something positive can be taken up from it…..
    Kudos! Recommend

  • Adnan

    female genital mutilation (FGM) was really new issue to know after reading this artical. I am trying to figure out the origin of this practice in islam. Have any one some references of Islamic teaching on such issue. Please share with with me. Its baseless to chastise female in such a way. Recommend

  • Zafar

    Farha I appreciate your efforts. But before blaming any religion one must go through a deep research. In your article you have mentioned this shameful act as a religious custom. Will you can share any verse or a Islamic scholar’s point of view about its significance in religion. At the bottom you stated it as a ritual in Bohra’s community. You must know when you write anything religious in Pakistan it represents Islam as it is an Islamic state. So stop spreading ambiguity about Islam!
    I can provide you with fatwa by Islamic scholars against FGM.Recommend

  • Nitish

    Muslims treat their women like third class human being.All types of sanctions r put upon them under islamic sharia law.Thats what i dont like.Recommend

  • Hatter

    Thank you. this article is very informative Farahnaz. While i was aware that FGM is carried out in African countries i did not know that this inhumane practice takes place in some areas of Pakistan as well. I am surpirsed that health care professionals carry out this procedure as well. I was under the wrongful impression that FGM is carried out by ‘dais’ and elder women in the family.
    My first exposure to this barbaric procedure came when i read an article about the ordeal of a female genital mutiliation victim in Readers Digest in the 90s. I remember as a twelve year old i was very shocked. FGM is a human rights violation.
    Cutting a womens external genitalia for the fear that she may go astray is another way of exerting male dominance in an already chauvinistic society. Its a horrendous practice which needs to be stopped in these remote areas. Perhaps volunteers need to be sent in these far flung areas to educate the people there that its a barbaric custom that needs to be stopped. The people need to be made to realize that FGM is a major human rights violation and it can cause health problems for the women who go through it especially the type II and type III that insaan mentioned. dont believe that FGM has any roots in the religion, Islam. Awareness is the key to put an end to this horrendous procedure and perhaps fatwas by the local Mullahs declaring this practice against islam would help reduce its occurrences.Recommend

  • Jai

    @mehar ali:
    No it is not done compulsorily in the US. Male circumcision is equally bad as female circumcision as it affects men’s ability to have sexual pleasure. The health benefits are overstated by religiously motivated people. Many men have reconstruction surgeries to be able to have pleasure again. It’s a barbaric practice from desert cultures where lack of water caused hygiene problems. There is no need for it where people can bathe daily easily. Infact male circumcision also causes psychological problems. It is a barbaric practice to destroy a healthy God given body.Recommend

  • Historian 1

    @ Yasir Hashmi: FGM is a pre-islamic practice. Can you provide any reference whereby Islam (religion of change) tried to stop this practice?Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop


    “Dont wanna get into an argument but Sati? Cast-based prostitution? Domestic Violence? Concept of Daasi? No rights of inheritance religiously in Hinduism? How is India better?”

    If you tell me the last known incident of Sati, I’ll be greatly obliged. That last time I heard an incident was recorded 40 years ago.

    Most of the other things you mentioned are present in most Muslim societies too. You just have different names for it.

    Are you saying Dalit’s in India face greater threat in India than Ahmadis in Pakistan?

    A OBC(Other Backward Caste) Chief Minister is Pakistan’s favourite Narendra Modi. Can a Ahmadi ever become a Chief Minister of any province in Pakistan? Forget about being a Prime Minister candidate?

    You are talking about injustices but of differing degrees. In your mind they are equal because admitting the truth means admitting inferiority in your mind.

    Yes, there are problems in the Hindu ideology, but unlike Islam its not strictly codified. It can change with times. In Malaysia, a modern country in every way, Shias are considered criminals by law, like Ahmadis in Pakistan. I can give several examples where Holy Texts are used to justify one crime and institutionalised.

    “Why talk in these comparative terms in any case? You handle your problems, let us handle ours. “

    In spite of what I appear to be, I am an agnostic at heart. I compare because ideologies need to be compared, even criticised. Religion is just an other ideology for me.

    I don’t understand why many people in this forum are of the opinion that Religions should not be criticised. I don’t get it.. Why not?

    There is something wrong with the Muslim world. There are 1.3 Billion Indians in this Universe, 1.4 Billion Muslims. How many Terrorist attacks have taken place by Indians in this world and how many by Muslims in, say, 2012?

    There are even more Christians in this world than Muslims – 2.5 Billion. Again, they are infinitely more peaceful and democratic. They were not so before, I concede, but their ideology changed as per modern times. Their interpretation of the Texts changed too. Jesus not carrying a sword and preaching Love and Sacrifice greatly helped..

    Some ideologies are better than others, can adapt quicker, some cannot, some are political and inspire violence, some emphasise on non-violence.

    Have you ever heard of a Buddhist or a Jain Terrorist? Their ideologies talk of strict non-violence, of course nobody can interpret the Texts to claim otherwise..

    Are you understanding what I am implying? Because if I say more I might be censored. Recommend

  • John B

    There are two Hadith regarding Female circumcision which I have quoted in previous comments but they were selectively edited out. Both of them condone the practices, and in my view, one actually encourages while the other asks for leniency (moderate) but does not prohibit it. The practice must have been in vogue in early Arabia and north African tribes predating Islam and the Hadith must have given religious legitimacy in Islam. It must be emphasized however, only a small sect of Islam practices female circumcision, but of late the emerging Islamist movement is trying to bring it into all sects of Sunnism. The practice is more common in Egypt in modern times. Quran never talks about circumcision in both male and female however. The practice is sunnah, in both male and female. Recommend

  • ee

    This is not the Muslims CommunityRecommend

  • MK

    FGM is practiced some parts of the world, mainly in Africa where it is a tradition. And both Muslims and others in Africa practice it. Bohra community (Islam > Shiaism > Ismailism > Bohras) is only sect in Islam that practice it as part of their faith. They make less than 1% of Muslim population in the world. So exaggerating and comments calling it an Islamic practice all across the board is plain ignorance in most cases (And directed by hate of Muslims and Pakistan in case of Indians trolls here).

    Male Circumcision is however a religious practice for Muslims, Jews and some Christian groups.It is practiced by others as well for traditional or health reasons. Recently World Health Organization (WHO) recommended male circumcision as a defense against HIV.


    Please keep facts straight. Recommend

  • Ahmed

    All the people who are advocating male circumcision are being highly hypocritical. How can you be disgusted by pricking or taking off of small skin from females and at the same time defend cutting off of entire foreskin, a large part of male genitalia? The reason these people are for it is religious and nothing else.

    While some forms of female mutilation may be more damaging, and I have no intention of starting a competition of misery here, but male circumcision is also very damaging and for exactly the same reasons as in females. Actually it was introduced precisely to reduce sexual pleasure and making masturbation painful, just like female mutilation. It causes sexual dysfunctions for three main reasons. 1- Foreskin is one of the most sensitive part of penis with lots of nerves directly contributing to sexual pleasure. 2- Foreskin keeps the glans covered and moist, which in the absence of it get hardened and desensitized to touch causing less of stimulation. This is a major cause of dysfunction. Nature put it there for a purpose. 3- Foreskin provides natural smooth movement and retains lubrication during intercourse or manual stimulation. Without foreskin, manual foreplay is practically painful, unless aided by a towel or lubricant. No wonder the ancients used it as a means to stop masturbation, but it also ends up ruining the natural simulations that are needed at times to perform sexual activity. ( I wonder is it because of this that our walls are filled with chalking advertising cures for male sexual dysfunction?)

    There are also psychological effects. Can people objectively tell me what is the difference between FGM, as practiced by Bohra community, and male circumcision? Why is one horrific while the other benign? It is pure hypocrisy and classic gender bias.

    Finally, are you people suggesting God did not know how to create men? Doesn’t he say in his book to do not deform God’s creation in reference to Arab practice of animal body mutilation. Aren’t male bodies God’s creation?Recommend

  • TrollyMcTrollton

    First time I heard of FGM in Pakistan. I suppose the Makrani doing it makes some sense, but the Bohras? Who was to know…Recommend

  • Faheem

    This is barbaric, and people must stop following religion blindly. I never knew about this practice before, and by knowing that this happens in Pakistan only saddens me. Recommend

  • lily

    what ahadith are u talking about?would u plz like to share thm here so ppl cn soon conclude if it is a matter of reliiogn or not.and such practices would havebeen common in arab in the period of ignorance.there is no such evidence of Holy Prophet s.a.w.w supporting such barbarious acts.get ur facts right before u say something so big!Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    The circumciion practice on males is nt related to religion, but practiced by the pagans in ancient times. The jewish, christian and muslim communities follow this practice and for hygenic reasons, though muslims and jews associate this prctice(due to ignorance) to religion.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Rex Minor

    The author of the article should take the lead and report to the police against the parents of the girl who was subjected to this barbarian practice. This could be one of the reason of inter community rights in the land. What is the total number of Bohras and others who follow this practice?

    Rex Minore Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Nobody: Male genital “mutilation” (although not categorized as such because it, in fact, isn’t mutilation, it’s circumcision) doesn’t prevent, affect or inhibit male sexual performance or pleasure in any way. It’s simply considered hygienic.

    well cut made during the procedure is close to the most sensitive part and could lead to change in feelings. Some people in medical community believe some nerve damage happens when male circumcision is done, leading to reduced feelings affecting the pleasure.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Bohragirl: However, most of my frnds are circumcised till date, whenever we have a conversation, they share their experiences. and according to them, it makes a woman less ‘wild’ while making love.

    Well that is what women have been told for generations that if this is not done to a girl she will go wild and do things.

    It is not done to make a woman less wild after marriage.

    How can your friends know that circumcision makes women less “wild” unless they had a normal experience?

    The worst kind of FGM is infibulation where a woman needs a surgery to make love to her husband.Recommend

  • Insaan

    Go watch “Egyptian Women Discuss Female Genital Mutilation” on youtube. You can even find Islamic scholars who support FMG on the Internet. Now in many countries well educated Muslim doctors do this procedure.Recommend

  • Critical

    To All those muslims who defend circumcison

    If Allah wanted men to cut their foreskins and females to cut their clitoris ,then why did he give us one at the first place???

    We’re designed in such a way that there is a certain aspect of pleasure involved in sex,…..Its nature’s mechanism to keep the species sustain on planet earth…..Recommend

  • Something Clever

    For those bringing up male circumcision, speaking as a circumcised male…
    No, it’s not traumatizing.
    I have absolutely zero memory of it.
    It was actually news to me when I first found out it happened.
    It was actually news to me that it was not how things looked at the time a male is born.
    …and if we want to get weird, knowing all the facts, I don’t think anything negative about it happening and that belief of mine is not linked to anything remotely religious.Recommend

  • Something Clever

    “Female genital mutilation is not practiced in Pakistan by any native ethnic group. It may well be this practice was brought to Pakistan by the Gujrati Bohra community when they came from India”
    …Pakistanis are native Indians in origin. So if they came from India, they are in fact, a native ethnic group to Pakistan.Recommend

  • Akif A Khan

    We still haven’t come out of the dark age! This is appallingly shameful.Recommend

  • Akif A Khan

    We still haven’t come out of the Dark Age. Appallingly shameful this is.Recommend

  • http://None Robin Michael Panjwaneey

    Are we still living in stone age? Very sad I must say.Recommend

  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

    Can someone explain to me why some men have “aposthia”? – I mean when having the foreskin on the penis is THE way God intended to create men.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    This is neither a religious nor poitical issue, nor should be up for discussions, but a straight criminal occurance every time a child girl genitals come under attack. I would report such incidence to the ext police station for registration and for the immediate arrest of the child guardians.

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • MK

    @Something Clever:

    “Pakistanis are native Indians in origin. So if they came from India, they are in fact, a native ethnic group to Pakistan.:

    Baluchis and Pashtoons are not Native Indians along with many others. There are over 200 ethnicities in Pakistan, some are same as Indians (Indo Aryans or Dravidian) while others are not.
    Even amongst Indo Aryan and Dravidian population of Subcontinent many are native to certain regions. Gujratis are not native to what makes Pakistan in present day.

    This is to keep facts straight. Gujratis who chose to migrate to Pakistan are as Pakistani today as any Pakistani native to the land that makes Pakistan. Recommend

  • MK

    @Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy:

    Same logic can be applied to hair and nail growth. Ever Wondered why people cut those off when God intended them to grow. Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    @John B:

    Please tell us what is a Hadith?

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Nobody

    People in most eastern cultures in general treat their women like 2nd class citizens. This is NOT a Pakistan only or Islam only problem. You’re delusional. Only difference is Islam is used as an excuse in Pakistan, Hinduism in India, and a plethora of other religious and/or cultural BS excuses are used in parts of China Japan Nepal Bhutan Sri Lanka etc etc…. get the point? This is most certainly not treatment originating with Islam. It existed before, it’ll unfortunately continue to exist until and unless people are educated and taught to treat women as equals as opposed to secondary. Only with increased education does the tide change at all, as it is slowly but surely in Japan China and other fast developing/urbanizing countries. Recommend

  • Nobody

    Are you joking? While I don’t know the stats in European countries, I know circumcision among males in the US )while not at all compulsory) is still done more often than not and there have been NO reports of reduced sexual pleasure or no pleasure at all. Where did you get that?? If there ever was such an issue, it’d presumably be because it was done WRONG. Do some primary research and ask guys in the US (or anywhere) who were circumcised and I bet they won’t tell you they’re having issues with performance. Why is it so hard for people to accept that FGM and male circumcision never was and never will be the same thing….? female CIRCUMCISION is a separate issue and while not quite as intense or heinous, it’s senseless and has no use, hygiene or otherwise. Recommend

  • Nobody

    I don’t know where people find this crap but I said it before and I’ll say it again, FGM and male circumcision is NOT in the same category. If it were, more than half the guys in the US would be in agony during sex and/or would get nothing out of it, AND it’d be called male mutilation, not circumcision. FGM, particularly in cases where the ENTIRE external genitalia is removed means women will never enjoy sex, they will never climax as a result and in most cases (note: when entirely removed) it’s incredibly painful to even have sex at all. Does every circumcised guy experience intense pain during intercourse? I think not. Does every snipped guy lose the experience of pleasure during sex? Do they lose the ability to perform? I don’t know about female circumcision to be honest so I won’t comment on that at all at the moment. And to think, some men say women play the victim card……Recommend

  • insaan

    @Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: “aposthia”……..

    possibly a genetic mutationRecommend

  • Anonymous

    ” I am an adult and an aware woman. By choice, I have had it performed on two of my daughters, and I don’t regret it ”

    really ? Did she tell her kids what it meant ? Did she give them a choice ?Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Sher Ahmed Khan

    art of it is sociological ,nothing can be done because this practice takes place before they are allowed into urbanias..But in urbania same is practiced by the dictatorship of the masses that then reward them with lifting ban ban of thier professions … They must consult with thier religious chapters like Ahmadiya,Ismailia,Deoband Shia leaders locally instead of exploiting this privacy ..They can perhaps reconsider how much of a human is prepared to adapt modern urbanias in both regards to health and anime’ …. ‘ Recommend

  • stevenson

    @Something Clever: What is native Indian? Are all Indians same ? No; Tamil is different than Bihari in culture .Pakistanis too are a mix of different races and cultures – Go tell a Pashtun or Baluchi he comes from India and he will slap you. Even Sindi and Punjabi have own history too. I think you have not understood female genital mutilation is not practiced by any region in Pakistan but by migrants from Bohra community.Recommend

  • karens twin

    copy & paste

    “I am an adult and an aware woman. By choice, I
    have had it performed on two of my daughters, and
    I don’t regret it. It is our religious custom and I
    don’t think it has deprived me of sexual pleasure,”
    said an unnamed member of the community.”

    Did anyone notice the irony of the mother’s comment? She had FGM performed on her daughters by choice. What about her daughters’ rights to choose?


  • Historian 1

    @ Karens Twin: in religion there is no choice. One must follow or will go to hell. Allah u Akbar.Recommend

  • Floridan

    it is an extremely disgusting act but wow what i find appalling by most of the comments is that no one knows this practice is abhorrent in islam and NOT allowed. certain people really need to go read the Quran and Sunnah before they start bashing religionRecommend

  • zubair

    @Sidrah Majeed:

    May be Doing this is not a compulsion in Islam
    but your words are not accurate to pity of female rights,
    when the Boy is born , he is also circumsized , now that part everybody knows
    ( Why your father,brother, son and husband ) had that coz it was obligation in Islam
    so saying that for the sake of Islam , doing this act with women is stupid,is not correct
    you must say , having no accurate knowledge about Islam makes them do that

    its a Blog dont represent the sense for Those people who dont know about Islam.
    so watch your words before writing,Recommend

  • zubair

    @Sidrah Majeed:

    Dont Put the Religion in it if you dont have knowlage about it , i wonder those morons who liked your comment , plenty of them,Recommend

  • ali

    @Neha Zaidi:
    Dear, one cant keep religion out of it, if any part of islam or islamic region is following it, they should be made mindful that their ideology is wrong. When customes are so, the underlying beliefs are questionable for sure!
    When Max Weber gave sociology of religion where were the european? Yes, they were accepting religion as a big social force. and the fact is still alive!Recommend

  • A. Khan

    @Mohsin: I find your comment crude and inappropriate for what is a very serious topic. What I find even more amazing is that 12 (at the time of my viewing) people have recommended it.Recommend

  • Ahsan

    Yet another example of Using Religion to defy logic.

    This time though in a educated community.Recommend

  • ifty

    99.9% of Pakistani have never heard of such a practice let alone practice it themselves, so its not even an issue worth discussing on a national scale, though the minority groups who conduct such practices should be stopped. Thirdly Male circumcision benefits outweigh its negatives by a long stretch, I am referring you guys to the NHS (United Kingdom Health Organisation) on what they have to say about circumcision, bearing in mind that this is a country where 99% of the indigenous population have uncircumcised penises:
    Advantages and disadvantages of circumcision
    There are several potential advantages and disadvantages associated with circumcising boys shortly after they are born.
    Circumcision reduces the risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI), such as a bladder infection.
    Circumcision reduces the risk of getting some types of sexually transmitted infections such as HIV.
    Circumcision reduces the risk of developing cancer of the penis.

    The only argument that critics have is that it reduces sensativity but thats absolutely subjectively based, given that my penis is just as sensative as it was before I circumcised.

    Hears another reputable site:
    Circumcision: medical pros and cons facts
    Inability to retract the foreskin fully at birth is not a medical reason for a circumcision.
    Circumcision prevents phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin at an age when it should normally be retractable), paraphimosis (the painful inability to return the foreskin to its original location), and balanoposthitis (inflammation of the glans and foreskin).
    Circumcision may result in a decreased incidence of urinary tract infections.
    Circumcision may result in a lower incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and may reduce HIV transmission.
    Circumcision may lower the risk for cancer of the cervix in sexual partners.
    Circumcision may decrease the risk for cancer of the penis.

    Male Circumcision Is Medically Beneficial, Experts Say:
    In the United States, approximately 75-90% of newborn males are circumcised as of 2011:
    Jones, S. Infant circumcision: Procedures complications, and indications. Continuing Education, 833-845.