Parents in Singapore are left terrified after what a Muslim doctor did to one couple. The couple had brought their 1-month-old daughter to the hospital for observation, as she was feeling ill. Their muslim doctor convinced them that she must stay overnight.
When the parents returned the next day, the found that their 1-month-old had been mutilated. The muslim doctor decided to perform a female genital mutilation operation, without the parents knowledge or consent.
What’s worse, is that FGM is legal in Singapore.
Most female muslims in Singapore are all mutilated, although the practice is not usually spoken about in public. Most fathers are left out of making this decision.
The parents left their 1-month-old daughter in the care of a Muslim doctor and nurse at the hospital, and returned to learn that the doctor had performed female genital mutilation on her.
FGM is an ancient ritual that is observed by most Muslim Malays in Singapore. Though the practice is legal, it is mostly kept quiet around the country.
“In my own circle of friends who are Malay and Muslim, 100 percent have been cut,” Filzah Sumartono, with the women’s rights group AWARE, told Reuters. “But it is very hidden. Whenever I bring up the subject with non-Malay they’re shocked and can’t believe it happens in Singapore.”
The practice is typically carried out before the age of 2 and often involves cutting the tip of the clitoris.
“Even within the community we don’t discuss this much,” she told the website. “If a male baby gets circumcised there is this big celebration and prayer ritual, but if it is a female baby it’s quite quiet. It’s usually only the mother or grandmother making the decision. Sometimes the father doesn’t even know.”
The cutting, Sumartono added, is generally done only by doctors.
“We know five or six clinics offer the procedure — at around 20-35 Singapore dollars ($15-$26),” she said. “There’s no legislation. It’s done openly. You can just call up to make an appointment.”
In some African countries, FGM is a process that involves completely removing a female’s external genitalia. In Singapore, the practice is generally more mild, though Sumartono still believes it is a violation of women’s rights.