Female genital mutilation can’t be banned at federal level, judge says

A federal judge struck down a law against female genital mutilation on Tuesday, ruling the statute unconstitutional and dismissing multiple charges against two defendants in the first case ever brought under the 22-year-old law.

US District Court Judge Bernard Friedman argued the Female Genital Mutilation Act of 1996, overreached Congressional powers, violating both the Necessary and Proper Clause and the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Anti-FGM laws, he ruled, should be handled by the states like other laws governing criminal sexual conduct.

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The defendant, Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, isn't entirely off the hook – she still faces 20 years in prison for conspiracy to travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and four co-defendants remain charged with conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.

The "conspiracy" at the center of the case involved up to 100 young girls from multiple states, according to prosecutors, though the charges brought against Nagarwala only reference nine. An Indian Muslim from the Dawoodi Bohra sect, Nagarwala was charged in April 2017 with performing female genital mutilation on the girls at a clinic in Livonia, Michigan, the first person to be prosecuted under the 1996 anti-FGM law.

Along with clinic owner Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, she was also charged with conspiring to transport a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, which carries a life sentence, but Friedman dropped those charges in January. Attar's wife, Farida, was charged with helping to arrange the procedure and later saddled with an additional charge of drugging one of the girls.

Outrage after Twitter allows paid-for ad promoting female genital mutilation to appear on platform

Published time: 20 Sep, 2018 16:48 Edited time: 21 Sep, 2018 10:09Twitter is facing outrage after a sponsored ad promoting a form of female genital mutilation (FGM) for young girls appeared on the social media platform and was viewed more than 30,000 times.

A Muslim women’s activist group called Dawoodi Bohra posted the tweet promoting “khafz” for young girls, which is a kind of female circumcision. One of the group’s members, Arwa Sohangpurwala, is seen in the video saying that her own daughters have undergone the procedure. Her daughters, she says, are “growing up as perfectly as other children of their age” and that as a mother, she would “never do anything to harm them”.

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Perpetrators still subjecting British girls to genital mutilation with impunity, campaigner tells RT

Twitter immediately faced backlash for allowing the practice to be promoted on its platform. The social media giant responded by taking down the promoted post, saying that it had been removed for“violation of our policies” —  but the original non-promoted tweet was not removed and can still be viewed on Twitter.

The Dawoodi Bohra group has since claimed on their website that the Khafz procedure, which they said involves removing a “speck of superficial skin” in a “gentle process” has been “wrongly classified” as female genital mutilation. But that stands in contrast to the opinion of the World Health Organization, which classifies this procedure as a form of FGM.

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