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New York vs. Islamic Custom

by Andrea Szalanski

The following article is from Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 18, Number 1.

The Fall 1997 issue of Free Inquiry examined "Islam and Women's Rights" in a series of articles that called for equal rights for women and an end to cruel and backward customs. These practices, including female genital mutilation (FGM), are followed not only in Islamic countries but among Islamic immigrants who make their home in the United States.

Now New York has made it a felony to perform FGM, or circumcision, on females younger than 18, even with their parents' permission. The penalty is a year in prison. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, 27,000 girls and women have had or were expected to undergo the procedure in the state.

Andrea Szalanski is the Managing Editor of Free Inquiry magazine.

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This page was last updated 02/13/2004

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