Another Muslim doctor and his wife were arrested Friday for their involvement in female genital mutilations (FGM) allegedly committed against children in a Detroit suburb.
A statement by the state Department of Justice reads, "Fakhruddin Attar, M.D., 53, and his wife, Farida Attar, 50, both of Livonia, Michigan, are charged with conspiring to perform female genital mutilations on minor girls out of Fakhruddin Attar's medical clinic in Livonia."
The statement alleges the couple aided Jumana Nagarwala, M.D., who was arrested in Detroit April 12, for allegedly practicing FGM on two seven-year-old girls from Minnesota. The Livonia clinic, where Nagarwala allegedly carried out the mutilations, was owned by Attar. Farida is said to have assisted Nagarwala during the actual cutting.
Attar, who is on the medical staff at St. Mary Mercy Livonia hospital, owns a private clinic in Livonia. Agents reviewed surveillance footage from the clinic taken on February 3, which is the day prosecutors allege that Nagarwala performed FGM on the two Minnesota girls. The footage shows Attar and Farida meeting with Nagarwala at the clinic and going inside. The footage also shows the parents and their daughters entering the clinic. The girls were later examined by doctors and found to have their female genitalia cut.
One girl identified Nagarwala as the doctor who performed the cutting. The other girl identified Farida as the woman who assisted Nagarwala during the mutilations. An agent who questioned the parents related that one of the parents had confirmed they'd brought their daughter to Nagarwala for what they called a "cleansing" of extra skin. Other Muslims familiar with FGM say the surgery is performed to "suppress female sexuality, reduce sexual pleasure and curb promiscuity" in Muslim women.
513,000 women and girls in the United States were at risk for FGM or its consequences in 2012.
This type of abuse of young women has been a problem in the United States for decades and is prevalent in the Muslim community. According to a joint study published last year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "513,000 women and girls in the United States were at risk for FGM or its consequences in 2012."
The World Health Organization claims that "more than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated." This mutilation, performed on girls ranging from infancy to age 15, is a "violation of the human rights of girls and women."
Investigators obtained a court order to analyze calls made on Nagarwala's phone. During one phone call, agents say Farida is heard instructing parents of a Michigan child to tell law enforcement officers that no procedures were performed.
"Farida told the parent to completely deny the allegation and to say that nothing has happened," wrote the agent.
Nagarwala, who was arrested while attempting to fly to Kenya, is being held without bond. Attar and his wife Farida are being held until their hearing on Wednesday. This is the first time anyone in the United States has been charged with FGM, which has been a felony since 1996. A similar crime in Australia resulted in prison sentences for the three Muslims involved.