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Half-million U.S. women mutilated in barbaric practice

UNITED NATIONS – A disturbing Population Research Bureau report indicates the number of women in the United States at risk of ritual female genital mutilation has doubled in 10 years, in tandem with the increase in immigration from Muslim countries in Africa.

The practice, also known as female circumcision, is common in Muslim countries in Africa and the Middle East.

The report from the bureau indicates more than half-a-million women in the U.S. may have already been mutilated or could soon have the procedure done to them.

That’s up from 227,000 in 2000. A 1997 NIH report placed the number of women at risk at 168,000, based on 1990 census data.

African immigration to the U.S. has increased every decade since the 1970s. The Census Bureau reports nearly 1.6 million African-born now live in the U.S.

The latest reports on the practice coincide with the United Nations’ International Day of Zero Tolerance. The U.N. estimates 130 million women and girls in the Middle East and Africa have undergone some form of the procedure.

While the U.N. and associated groups are working to end the barbaric practice, none of the official reports and statements mentions the fact that Muslim religious leaders and scholars prescribe it.

The official line is that there is no direct mention of the practice in the Quran and, hence, no link to Islam. However, Islamic websites direct the reader to numerous scholarly references encouraging the practice.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, enshrines the practice in its health laws, and an Islamic foundation sponsors a mass female circumcision ceremony annually.

Many of the women who are being brutalized see a connection to religion, even if those trying to save them from it don’t.

When directly asked about the link between Islam and the practice, U.N. program coordinator Nafissatou Diop admitted 50 percent of the women who have been victimized believe it is a religious requirement.

And many Muslim religious leaders in the U.S. apparently don’t oppose it, even though it is against the law.

Jaha Dukureh, a survivor from Gambia who now lives in Atlanta, told WND: “We are reaching out to [Muslim] religious leaders here in the United States. Some don’t want to talk to us because this is an issue they believe is religious. Some of them won’t even let us into their mosques when they know we’re coming.”