Two more charges in genital mutilation investigation

Jumana Nagarwala

Fakhruddin Attar and his wife, Farida Attar were charged with conspiring to perform female genital mutilations (FGM) at Fakhruddin medical clinic in Livonia. The investigation is connected to the case of Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, of Northville, charged with performing genital mutilation on two young girls from Minnesota.

Nagarwala claims she only removed mucous from each girl's genitals using gauze, and gave the gauze to their mothers to bury as part of a religious act, according to the court document.

All of this was disclosed at a detention hearing for Nagarwala, who was ordered locked up pending the outcome of her case.

"Dr. Attar is not aware of any crimes committed at his clinic", his attorney told the Detroit News".

Sect members locally belong to the Anjuman-e-Najmi mosque on Orchard Lake Road in Farmington Hills.

Matt Newburg, a lawyer for Farida Attar, declined to comment.

"The Dawoodi Bohras do not support the violation of any US law, local, state or federal". She faces five years to life in prison.

Investigators also say that Nagarwala and the Attars are members of the same religious community.

The community was later identified as Dawoodi Bohra, a small, insular Islamic group with mosques in several major US cities. He said Nagarwala only saw the patients at BMC when the clinic was closed and that Farida used to be present in the examining room while Nagarwala treated the minor girls.

The federal complaint against Nagarwala alleges she communicated with two mothers from Minnesota and made arrangements to bring their 7-year-old daughters to the Livonia clinic on February 3 to perform the procedures. Her parents told investigators they had taken the girl to see Nagarwala in MI for a "cleansing". Shannon Smith said in federal court in MI that her client removed the girls' genital membrane as part of a custom practiced by the Dawoodi Bohra, a small sect of Indian Muslims of which Nagarwala is a part, the Detroit Free-Press reported. While the majority of members live in Pakistan and India, where the group has its administrative headquarters, large numbers of Bohras have moved to the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America in recent decades.

Carried out mostly on girls between infancy and age 15, the ritual is meant to reduce sexual pleasure and promiscuity and to prepare for marriage. For example, UNICEF estimates that 98% of Somali girls and 87% of Egyptians have endured the procedure. It's widely recognized as a human rights violation against girls and women, and human rights advocates have long advocated against the practice.

The video also shows two young girls with two adult women entering the clinic at separate times the same evening.



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