Another doctor arrested in Detroit area genital mutilation case

The FBI has arrested a doctor and his wife who ran a medical clinic where another doctor mutilated the genitals of little girls. 

 Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, offered the use of his medical clinic to Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, the Detroit emergency room doctor who was charged last week with carrying out the procedure on two 7-year-old girls.

In a complaint unsealed Friday charging the couple in the conspiracy, prosecutors offered new details about how they say the procedures were arranged and carried out.

To help set them up, the complaint said, Attar exchanged more than 50 phone calls with a Minnesota number in the four months leading up to the evening of Feb. 3, when surveillance cameras captured him, his wife and Nagarwala arriving at Burhani Medical Clinic in Livonia, Mich.

Details of how the mutilations were carried out are sickening:

The girls were brought to Detroit from Minnesota for a “special girls trip,” one of them told investigators. After arriving at a hotel, the girls were taken to the doctor “to get the germs out” because “our tummies hurt,” she said, according to court filings.

Both girls were instructed to keep what happened a secret, the complaint said.

One girl told authorities that she was given a pad to wear in her underwear. The other said that after the procedure she could barely walk and felt pain down to her ankle. Her parents told investigators that they took their daughter to Nagarwala for a “cleansing” of extra skin.

Attar told authorities that he opens his medical clinic after hours five or six times a year, on Friday evenings or Saturdays, so that Nagarwala can see girls between the ages of 6 and 9 for “problems with their genitals,” including treatment of genital rashes.

He said his wife, 50-year-old Farida Attar, who works as the clinic’s office manager, stays in the examining room to hold their hands, according to court records.

Since Nagarwala's arrest, other girls have come forward to accuse the doctor - and their parents - of performing the mutilation.

That this unspeakable mutilation could take place in the heartland of the country under the noses of local authorities is incredible. That there's a very good chance that there is a network of doctors and clinics that carry out this barbaric "ritual" is frightening.

Are we to believe these local communities are completely unaware that these services are offered? My guess is that it's an open secret where parents can take their female children to be mutilated. That makes the denial by the local Muslim community ring hollow:

The Detroit Free Press reported that Shannon Smith, an attorney representing Nagarwala, said that the doctor removed the membrane from the girls’ vaginal parts as part of a custom practiced by a small sect of Indian Muslims known as the Dawoodi Bohra.

Bohra clergy have banned genital mutilation of young girls, according to Jonah Blank, author of "Mullahs on the Mainframe: Islam and Modernity Among the Daudi Bohras."

An organization representing the Dawoodi Bohra community in Detroit released a statement Friday saying that “any violation of U.S. law is counter to instructions to our community members.”

These revelations demand a nationwide investigation. It seems safe to say that this crime has not been a high priority for federal law enforcement. But robbing these little girls of their womanhood is not only a federal crime, but a crime against humanity. Whether the tragedy has happened to only a few dozen girls or - more likely - several hundred, the laws are already on the books to prevent it. It's past time to enforce those laws and stamp out this primitive and barbaric "custom."

The FBI has arrested a doctor and his wife who ran a medical clinic where another doctor mutilated the genitals of little girls. 

 Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, offered the use of his medical clinic to Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, the Detroit emergency room doctor who was charged last week with carrying out the procedure on two 7-year-old girls.

In a complaint unsealed Friday charging the couple in the conspiracy, prosecutors offered new details about how they say the procedures were arranged and carried out.

To help set them up, the complaint said, Attar exchanged more than 50 phone calls with a Minnesota number in the four months leading up to the evening of Feb. 3, when surveillance cameras captured him, his wife and Nagarwala arriving at Burhani Medical Clinic in Livonia, Mich.

Details of how the mutilations were carried out are sickening:

The girls were brought to Detroit from Minnesota for a “special girls trip,” one of them told investigators. After arriving at a hotel, the girls were taken to the doctor “to get the germs out” because “our tummies hurt,” she said, according to court filings.

Both girls were instructed to keep what happened a secret, the complaint said.

One girl told authorities that she was given a pad to wear in her underwear. The other said that after the procedure she could barely walk and felt pain down to her ankle. Her parents told investigators that they took their daughter to Nagarwala for a “cleansing” of extra skin.

Attar told authorities that he opens his medical clinic after hours five or six times a year, on Friday evenings or Saturdays, so that Nagarwala can see girls between the ages of 6 and 9 for “problems with their genitals,” including treatment of genital rashes.

He said his wife, 50-year-old Farida Attar, who works as the clinic’s office manager, stays in the examining room to hold their hands, according to court records.

Since Nagarwala's arrest, other girls have come forward to accuse the doctor - and their parents - of performing the mutilation.

That this unspeakable mutilation could take place in the heartland of the country under the noses of local authorities is incredible. That there's a very good chance that there is a network of doctors and clinics that carry out this barbaric "ritual" is frightening.

Are we to believe these local communities are completely unaware that these services are offered? My guess is that it's an open secret where parents can take their female children to be mutilated. That makes the denial by the local Muslim community ring hollow:

The Detroit Free Press reported that Shannon Smith, an attorney representing Nagarwala, said that the doctor removed the membrane from the girls’ vaginal parts as part of a custom practiced by a small sect of Indian Muslims known as the Dawoodi Bohra.

Bohra clergy have banned genital mutilation of young girls, according to Jonah Blank, author of "Mullahs on the Mainframe: Islam and Modernity Among the Daudi Bohras."

An organization representing the Dawoodi Bohra community in Detroit released a statement Friday saying that “any violation of U.S. law is counter to instructions to our community members.”

These revelations demand a nationwide investigation. It seems safe to say that this crime has not been a high priority for federal law enforcement. But robbing these little girls of their womanhood is not only a federal crime, but a crime against humanity. Whether the tragedy has happened to only a few dozen girls or - more likely - several hundred, the laws are already on the books to prevent it. It's past time to enforce those laws and stamp out this primitive and barbaric "custom."

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