From July 3 to July 7, Sahiyo co-founder Aarefa Johari was invited to curate @MuslimVoicesIN, a Twitter handle run by a group of progressive Indian Muslims. The handle celebrates the plurality of Muslim identities in India and discusses different topics relevant to Indian Muslims each week.
Aarefa was invited to curate a discussion on Female Genital Cutting among Bohra Muslims. Since Bohras are a small minority sub-sect, the topic came as a shock to many of the other Indian Sunnis and Shias who participated in the week-long discussion.
In the span of five days, Aarefa curated eight threads discussing various aspects of FGC: an explanation of what FGC is, the relevance of the clitoris, the reasons given for performing FGC, its health consequences, the alarming trend of medicalisation, the debates surrounding FGC-related terminology and laws on FGC, and the contentious issue of parental rights.
The Twitter discussions elicited a mixed response. Many Muslims were upset that FGC was being misinterpreted as an “Islamic” practice by Bohras, and dismissed it as a topic irrelevant to “mainstream Muslims”. However, many others were eager to learn more about a topic they had little knowledge of.
To read Aarefa’s discussion on FGC on @MuslimVoicesIN, click here.