Female genital mutilation case: 2 Oakland County women now charged

6 people face charges in Metro Detroit FGM case

DETROIT – A total of six people have been indicted in the female genital mutilation case out of Livonia.

Two Oakland County women, Fatema Dahodwala and Farida Arif, now are charged with subjecting young girls to female genital mutilation procedures allegedly performed by Metro Detroit doctors. 

Dahodwala and Arif are charged with multiple counts of female genital mutilation, conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.

According to an unsealed indictment, the six people charged include:

  • Dr. Jumana Nagarwala
  • Dr. Fakhruddin Attar
  • Farida Attar
  • Taherea Shafiq
  • Farida Arif
  • Fatema Dahodwala

Details of case

The Burhani Medical Clinic in Livonia is owned by Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, who is accused of conspiring with the other defendants to perform female genital mutilations on young girls. Federal authorities believe the couple has performed the surgery on more than 100 girls.

READWhat is female genital mutilation?

Genital mutilation, also known as cutting, has been condemned by the United Nations and outlawed in the U.S.

Nagarwala and the Attars belong to a Muslim sect known as Dawoodi Bohra.

All six defendants allegedly conspired to make false statements to law enforcement and other investigating agencies. 

Unprecedented charges

This case is unprecedented in the U.S. According to the United States code, "whoever knowingly circumcises, excises, or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minora or clitoris of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both."

Here are the Congressional Findings

“(1) the practice of female genital mutilation is carried out by members of certain cultural and religious groups within the United States;
“(2) the practice of female genital mutilation often results in the occurrence of physical and psychological health effects that harm the women involved;
“(3) such mutilation infringes upon the guarantees of rights secured by Federal and State law, both statutory and constitutional;
“(4) the unique circumstances surrounding the practice of female genital mutilation place it beyond the ability of any single State or local jurisdiction to control;
“(5) the practice of female genital mutilation can be prohibited without abridging the exercise of any rights guaranteed under the first amendment to the Constitution or under any other law; and
“(6) Congress has the affirmative power under section 8 of article I, the necessary and proper clause, section 5 of the fourteenth Amendment, as well as under the treaty clause, to the Constitution to enact such legislation.”

MORE: Female genital mutilation a serious problem in United States

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