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July 26, 2014 / 28 Tammuz, 5774
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US Pediatric Doctor Favors Female Circumcision


Dr. Hatem al-Haj says circumcision is "an honor" for women.

Dr. Hatem al-Haj says circumcision is "an honor" for women.
Photo Credit: Screen shot

Dr. Hatem al-Haj, PhD, MD, a senior committee member of the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), has recently published a 41-page Arabic-language paper titled “Circumcision of Girls: Jurisprudence and Medicine.”

According to the “Translating Jihad” blog, Dr. al-Haj explains why female circumcision is recommended and even “an honor” for women. This is the practice known as female genital mutilation (FGM).

According to the UN World Health Organization (WHO), FGM ” has no health benefits for women,” and causes “severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, infertility, as well as complications in childbirth.”

The Translating Jihad blog was established in 2010 to provide translations of Arabic-language news, opinion, and fatwas related to Islamic intolerance, totalitarianism, and jihad.

According to TJ, Dr. al-Haj, a medical doctor and fellow at the American Academy of Pediatrics, justifies his position by referring repeatedly to the words of classical Islamic scholars from the four schools of mainstream Sunni Islamic thought, all of which attest to FGM’s legitimacy under Islam. He also refers to the words of the Prophet Muhammad himself, who reportedly counseled people in his day on how to perform FGM in a way that would be “more beautiful to behold and better for [the woman's] husband.”

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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147 Responses to “US Pediatric Doctor Favors Female Circumcision”

  1. because they ain't got nothin' to cut other than the clit, i thought. so, please clarify

  2. Jason Maas says:

    Circumcision, male or female does not prevent HIV. The United States has the highest rate of HIV in the developed world. It has also been practicing near universal circumcision for generations. If there was anyplace where circumcision might have worked to lower HIV, it would be the US. Instead, just the opposite has happened. In Europe, meanwhile, where circumcision is rare, HIV is also far lower than in the US. It is no coincidence that those in the WHO are much like the Muslim cleric in this article, using bad science to prop up their superstitious belief in favor of male circumcision.

  3. completely superstitious….has nothing to do with islam – AT ALL.

  4. Aman Wardak says:

    I'm trying to read the original text of Dr. Hatem's paper and it does include the limits of what is allowed to be cut right after where the translator stops in his "excerpted translation". However there are some words there that I can't fathom. In the video, he mentions the clitoris hood only.

  5. funny……removing the clitoris hood will make it easier to excite the clitoris. what's his point, basically? what does he want to accomplish by his idea of circumcision….and….if it's to curb desires, his version, the removal of the clitoris hood, the EXACT opposite of curbing excitement will be accomplished. pretty much, female circumcision has nothing to do with islam……so, if somebody wants to promote it, let them promote it, but not connect it with islam…because there is no connection.

  6. Aman Wardak says:

    Jason Maas Can you point us to your references please?

  7. Aman Wardak says:

    Michael Davis Dr. Hatem has his references in his paper and those show the possible connections.

  8. Aman Wardak says:

    More clarification on the subject:

  9. Aman Wardak says:

    "I don't care what your religion is or why you do it."

    What if the religion says it's for the health of the person? And we have evidence like this to support it:
    http://www.who.int/hiv/topics/malecircumcision/en/index.html

    What do you say then?

  10. Jonathon Conte : Roman Catholicism does not approve of circumcision for non-Jews, but turns a blind eye towards the routine circumcisions of the English speaking world. Catholicism does recognise the book of Genesis as the word of God, and therefore acknowledges that Jewish ritual circumcision is a valid religious imperative. Roman Catholicism for centuries turned a blind towards the antisemites in their midst, which resulted in many Catholics playing a part in the Holocaust. The Church now feels obligated to bend over backwards to curry favour with Jews, and so will defend brit milah. More generally, intactivism won't get much support from religious figures in the USA, for fear of being branded antisemitic. Intactivists in practice range from evangelical Christians to atheists and neopagans.

  11. IT is ghastly and weird that a fellow like this was invited to join the inner circle of the AAP. His involvement in the AAP, along with Edgar Schoen and Douglas Diekema, destroys the AAP's credibility on the subject of routine infant circumcision.

  12. Hugh Intactive says:

    The Who policy was decided at a closed door meeting of unknown participants, but it seems to have included a number of people with some very dodgy associations. In any case, even if its claims are true, circumcision protects only MEN and only from infection by women and then only a little better than tossing a coin to decide whether to have sex. Condoms are still essential in any encounter with a person of unknown HIV status. So unless you expect your son to have a lot of unprotected sex with strange women 15+ years from now, circumcising him now to prevent him getting HIV is a bad policy.

  13. Joseph Lewis says:

    How is this any different than Jewish doctors and/or rabbis claiming "medical benefits" for male circumcision? Funny how the "medical benefits = not mutilation" equation only works for boys but not girls. Let it be clear; this isn't about "medical benefits." There would not be enough "medical benefits" in the world to justify female circumcision. Somehow, circumcision advocates seem to think that the more "studies" and "proof of benefits" they churn out, the more the forced genital cutting of boys is justified. This isn't about "medicine," and it's not about "severity." It's about self-serving willful blindness.

  14. Joseph Lewis says:

    Are babies having crazy sex with multiple sex partners without condoms? 'Fraid even the WHO must admit that circumcision is so ineffective that condoms cannot be overstated. Bottom line is, it should be up to a grown man to decide whether he wants to get cut and risk going bareback, or wear a condom.

  15. Joseph Lewis says:

    First of all, what religion says circumcision is "for the health of the child?" Since when does religion have any relevance in medicine?

    What if a religion says female circumcision is "for her health" too? What would you say then?

    Why does an already healthy child need an operation? Is health simply impossible without it?

    I'm afraid you're seeking a problem for your "solution." For most other surgery, medicine dictates that there must be a medical necessity where surgery is the only option after other solutions have been tried and failed. Your logic is backwards.

  16. Joseph Lewis says:

    Genital mutilation, whether it be wrapped in culture, religion or “research” is still genital mutilation.

    It is mistaken, the belief that the right amount of “science” can be used to legitimize the deliberate violation of basic human rights.

    I'm sure if scientists dig hard enough, if they fooled around with the numbers long enough, they'd be able to produce "studies" in favor of female circumcision, as they have with male circumcision.

    There will never ever be enough "medical benefits" to legitimize any degree of genital cutting in girls; the same should apply to boys.

    This isn't about "medical benefits." This is about insulating cultural practice from scrutiny.

    "It's my religion, it's my culture, I'm the parent" fail as alibis.

    Ergo the feigned interest in public health.

  17. According to Dr Pierre Foldès, the inventor of the restoration of the clitoris, complicatiopns of excision inlcude a 20% DEATH RATE!

  18. Liz Matthews says:

    @Aman, that 'evidence' is faulty…but even if it was true, we can't just chop off children's body parts because it might prevent something later on…where would it end? Should we start removing baby girl's ovaries to prevent the chance of them getting ovarian cancer? Joseph is right, it should be up to a grown man to decide. It is completely wrong to do this to a helpless baby.

  19. Karen Goldis says:

    Aman Wardak whether or not there are health benefits is irrelevent. No surgery should be performed on healthy body parts of individuals unable to consent.

  20. Karen Goldis says:

    Aman Wardak should we assume all our male children will grow up to be irresponsible man-whores? If you reallly want to prevent HIV, just amputate the whole penis and get the rate down to 0%

  21. Hinda Blas says:

    Michael apparently you know nothing about circumcision on boys. In Jewish law it is done at the age of 8 days and there are many studies that proves that the nerves are not connected at that age unlike others who have had it done at much older ages which can cause problems. Since you want to attack a Jewish paper for bringing an article that exposes a "member of the American Pediatric Society" who wants to push a barbarity ideology on our children – I think you should try to find something else to do – like being a Human sheild or something more appeasing to this ideology.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Certainly not if it was done in USA by trained surgeons in proper medical setting.
    Can you imagine promoters of female circumcision going all "but it's done by trained professionals, in hygienic conditions, and only take 2 minutes", like they say about male circ to make it look more acceptable?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Aman Wardak
    "What if the religion says it's for the health of the person?"
    What is your basis for saying that RELIGION says it's for health?
    Maimonides about circumcision ( disclamer : the following opinions are Maimonides' and are in no way endorsed by the author of this message :D ) :
    "one of the reasons for it is, in my opinion, the wish to bring about a decrease in sexual intercourse and a weakening of the organ in question, so that this activity be diminished and the organ be in as quiet a state as possible."
    "It is hard for a woman with whom an uncircumcised man has had sexual intercourse to separate from him. In my opinion this is the strongest of the reasons for circumcision."

    I'm not aware he said anything about hygiene and diseases, but I may be wrong?

  24. Nate Thomas says:

    Hinda Blas — WTF does "the nerves are not connected at that age" even mean? Are they just floating around like piss in the bladder? Of course, they're attached! They have nowhere else to go! Why do you think babies scream with the blade hits the flesh? Coincidence? Why do pathologists find those nerves working properly (and can count them with a high percent of accuracy) when they study them? Coincidence? Boy, you're stupid.

  25. Hinda Blas is obviously uneducated about nature, choosing to live in a world of biased ideology.

  26. Jason Maas says:

    Hinda Blas : Please stay away from children. If you actually believe that a baby's nerves "aren't connected" then there's no limit to the amount of harm you might cause a newborn. You are as ignorant and dangerous as the doctor promoting female circumcision in this article.

  27. Hinda Blas Someone told you babies don't feel pain so, instead of recognizing the screams of babies being tortured and mutilated, you deny there are any. This is not an issue of competitive suffering. The screams of babies and children having the tender flesh of their genitals cut are genderless. Both genders die from these harmful traditional practices. This issue should not be seen as an attack on parents, religions, cultures, or physicians in general, it is not. It is a human rights issue meant to protect infants and children. The rights of a child trump personal, religious, and cultural preferences. The body belongs to the person who inhabits it. Those who care for an infant or a child have a responsibility and obligation to protect the child until the child is old enough to protect himself and make personal choices about his or her own body.

  28. Jimmy Whispers says:

    Aman Wardak because of its invasiveness, you can present that information to the boy when he is old enough to consent to the intervention. In the case of nearly all countries outside places like sub-Saharan Africa, the low prevalence of HIV and the very small benefit it would confer in that setting, they'd opt for something a little better. I know I would. That is of course if you wanted to perform circumcisions ethically, something not too common here in the US.

  29. Zabi Wardak says:

    Is this guy for real???

  30. It's about the lowest scum of perverts getting off on it.

  31. coincidentally I just read an article about 'masculinists', ie men who profess a need to protect men from gender discrimination. logically they should ally with feminists as opponents of gender discrimination. but they don't, because theyre not opposed to gender discrimination, theyre opposed to feminism: they are anti-feminists. similarly this article doesn't appear to be opposed to genital mutilation, just to muslims. no mention is made of the mutilation of children's genitals outside of the muslim faith. for example, I was under the impression that many US pediatric doctors favour circumcision. but no broader issues are touched upon beyond the opinion of the single american pediatrician quoted in some obscure part of the blogosphere.

  32. Aman Wardak reductio ad absurdum: if removal of a hand or an eye was found to reduce the risk of STIs, would it be legitimate? condom use is what prevents the spread of STIs, so genital mutilation is unnecessary, but even if it was necessary, shouldnt that be the choice of the person who owns the genitals? when they reach the age at which their society deems them capable of making a rational decision about their own body (age of majority/manhood, etc)?

  33. Rob Clemons says:

    Aman Wardak You're a ****ing moron. It's well documented that the methodology of that experiment was flawed. The reason circumcised males appeared to contract HIV less than uncircumcised males is because they did not allow for the penis to heal properly before documenting any findings, i.e., circumcised males didn't go out and have sex during the time frame because their penis had yet to heal. You're a disgusting, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breather if you're here trying to justify male or female genital mutilation.

  34. Aman Wardak says:

    Rob Clemons You're a great genius. Thank you very much for clearing that up for us.

  35. truly fascinating place for the article, would be interesting to see if they do a follow up series on the subject

  36. As a masculist myself, I say we ARE opposed to all forms of sexism, including sexism against women. However, we cannot ally with feminists because they are not for equality; they are anti-male. Moreover, they get angry when we mention that sexism against men exists, as they deny that it exists. If our big cause is fighting against sexism then how can we align with thise who deny its existence?

  37. Carl Augustsson I was referring just to the masculinists in the article: I wouldnt like to make a sweeping statement about all masculinists, especially since gender discrimination against men is a real and upsetting phenomenon. sorry if it came across that way. but equally, not all feminists are anti-male, and feminism as a system of thought or belief is not an anti-male. neither should be used as a cover term for mysogeny or mysandry (not sure of the spelling of either, or even if the 2nd is the correct term!) and Id like to think that all sensible maculinists and feminists could agree on opposing gender discrimination, tyrannical gender essentialism, inequality, etc

  38. Aman Wardak says:

    wow you're really cool, can I be your facebook friend?

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