Khatna is not a topic discussed very often amongst Bohras. Maybe because there is no reason to ever bring it up. However, since the case in Sydney, Australia, in which the aamil, Shabbir Mohammed Vaziri was sentenced to jail for being an accessory to Female Genital Mutilation, the topic has been brought up now and then amongst the ladies. Mostly, the conversation consists of a general curiosity as to what has happened in the Sydney jammat concerning the aamil saab and the midwife who was also found guilty in this case.
I have realized that in the Melbourne jammat, people do not necessarily take the law as seriously as the people in the Sydney jammat do – mainly because the people in Melbourne have no idea about the severity of the case and its effects on the Sydney jammat.
Even in Sydney, the entire ordeal was all very hushed up. People were reluctant to talk about it or even discuss anything regarding the case. So it makes sense and seems natural that people in other cities in Australia would not have much idea of what took place during the trial.
As far as most non Sydney-siders are concerned, khatna is still a religious requirement that needs to be fulfilled.
Most people in the Melbourne jammat have children who are still pretty young. They are not yet of age to have khatna performed. I do not know what parents will do when the time comes for them to decide if their daughters undergo it. I do not know whether they will abide by the legal laws of Australia or if they will still go ahead and have it carried out on their daughters.
There is no way of knowing whether they will have this ‘cut’ carried out on them. You do not ask such questions in the jammat.
The only positive outcome I can think of with regards to the case in Sydney is that it reflects the law of the land and shows that khatna should no longer take place within Australia.
But if people still want to go ahead with it for their daughters, they will still travel elsewhere to have it done. Unfortunately, I feel that unless it comes from the Syedna himself that khatna should end, this practice may still be carried on by those who do not know to question it.
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