Country: United States
Firstly, I would like to start by telling you how ashamed I feel of being so ignorant about the issue of female khatna and how honored I am to be a part of a family whose women are spearheading the fight against FGM.
I am from an Islamic Dawoodi Bohra family that comprises mainly of women. I have six beautiful sisters. They have all undergone khafd (khatna). Back then, there was no awareness and there was tons of social pressure. Everything was done quietly and no one spoke about it. At least in my community, it was a given that a girl child had to have her khatna done. Not doing it would be condemned.
Women who have gone through FGM have started talking about their experiences. Openly speaking about this issue has done great good for the community as it has helped build awareness and made folks like me, who were ignorant about it, read and learn more about it. I salute the women who have been bold to talk about this. Thank you!
Listening to these experiences makes me really sad. Sad because this has been going on since so long and this practice has absolutely no foundation. It makes me sad that educated people never questioned it and were so socially engrossed that they just did what they were told to do. It makes me sad because it just proves how sexist the world is (which I do not want to believe).
It saddens me because parents are still putting their daughter through this.
For my religious friends: the Quran does not even mention khatna. So please do not put a religious aspect to this practice. This practice only has side effects. For those who are not aware – please please read here.
More importantly – it is her body, please respect it.
This issue is important and it must be dealt with. It needs support from each and every member of the community including the men.