1This Convention came into effect on September 2, 1990.

2Rapport sur les pratiques traditionnelles , Dakar, 1984, p. 85. The full name of this specific committee: Comité inter-africain sur les pratiques traditionnelles ayant effet sur la santé des femmes et des enfants .In 1984, its denomination was: Groupe de travail ONG sur les pratiques traditionnelles ayant effet sur la santé des femmes et des enfants..

3Rapport sur les pratiques traditionnelles , Addis Abeba, 1987, p. 77.

4The term female circumcision is used by the WHO (World Health Organization). Its "position relative to female circumcision" was submitted in June 1982 to the United Nations Sub-Committee for Prevention of Discrimination against and Protection of Minorities, Workshop on Slavery. At the Conference on Traditional Practices, Addis Abeba, 1990, the delegates considered that the terms "female circumcision and excision could lead to confusion and possibly could not fully describe the different methods used for the practice". They recommended that they be replaced by female genital mutilations (Report on Traditional Practices, Addis Abeba, 1990, p. 8).

5Amin, Ahmad: Qamus al-'adat wal-taqalid wal-ta'abir al-masriyyah, Maktabat al-nahdah al-masriyyah, Cairo, 1992, p. 188.

6Here are the most important organizations:

-Sentinelles, 10 chemin du Languedoc, Lausanne, Switzerland, Tel. (021) 6173838. Founded in 1980 by Edmond Kaiser, founder of Terre des Hommes. This former organization inaugurated a campaign against female genital mutilations with a press conference held in Geneva on April 25, 1977. This campaign is being kept alive by Sentinelles.

-Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices affecting Women's and Children's Health. President: Mrs. Berhane Ras-Work, 147 rue de Lausanne, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, Tel: (022) 7312420. Founded in 1984, this committee represents 23 African national committees.

-WHO , Dr. Leila Mehra, Chief Family Planning and Population, Division of Family Health, 20, avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland, Tel: (022) 7913357.

-Center for Human Rights, Service for Legislation and Prevention of Discrimination, Mr. Doglo Daniel Atchebro, Bureau D 416, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, Tel: (022) 9173410.

-UNICEF, Mrs. Marie-Pierre Poirier, Public Affairs Officer NGO, 16 avenue de Tremblay, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland, Tel: (022) 7910823.

I wish to express my gratitude to these organizations for their support and encouragement in the preparation of this study.

7One should take note here that neither Rifa`ah Al-Tahtawi (1801-1873) nor Qassim Amin (1863-1908), two prominent personalities in the 19th-century fight for women's liberation, ever mentioned the issue of female circumcision.

8I have studied many juridical works in Arabic relative to the penal code and to the protection of the child. Some of those papers devote a few lines to the phenomenon, drawing a line between excessive circumcision and minimal circumcision, the latter being considered a part of the prophetical sunnah (see for example Muhammad, Muhammad `Abd-al-Gawwad: Himayat al-umumah wal-tufulah fil-mawathiq al-duwaliyyah wal-shari`ah al-islamiyyah, Mansha'at al-ma`arif, Alexandria, 1991, pp. 92 and 136-137). As customary in the Arab world, those works compare public international law to the Muslim law, stating that Muslim law preceded international documents in regard to the protection of the child (Ibid, pp. 15 and 251).

9El-Saadawi, Nawal: The hidden face of Eve, Women in the Arab World, translated and edited by Sherif Hetata, Zed Press, London, 1980, p. 36.

10Let us point out the three following associations which oppose male (and female) circumcision:

-Association contre la Mutilation des Enfants , 50 boulevard Jean Jaurès, 92100 Boulogne (P.O.Box 220, 92108 Boulogne Cedex), France, Tel: 33 (1) 48 25 79 56. In line with organizations opposed to female circumcision, this organization has produced a video cassette on this form of child abuse by means of this unjustified surgical procedure.

-National Organization of Circumcision Centers (NOCIRC), P.O.Box 2512, San Anselmo, CA 94979-2512, U.S.A., Tel: (415) 488 9883.

-End the Horror of Infant Circumcision (E.T.H.I.C.): founder: Bettie Malofie, 1989. P.O.Box 42526, 1005 Columbia Street, New Westminster, B.C., V3M 6H5, Canada.

11The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, a guide to the "Travaux préparatoires", Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht, Boston, London, 1992, p. 351.

12Zenie Ziegler, Wedad: La face voilée des femmes d'Egypte,, Mercure de France, Paris, 1985, pp. 139-140. See also Farah, Nadyah Ramsis (dir.): Hayat al-mar'ah wa-sihhatuha, Sina lil-nashr, Cairo, and Al-Saqr al-`arabi lil-ibda`, Limassol, 1991, p. 37.

13Report of the United Nations Seminar related to Traditional Practices affecting the Health of Women and Children, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Apr.29-May 3, 1991, E/CN.4/Sub.2/1991/48, Jun.12, 1991, p. 9.

14El-Khayat-Bennai, Ghita: Le monde arabe au féminin, L'Harmattan, Paris, 1985, p. 39.

15Guidicelli-Delage, Geneviève: Excision et droit pénal, in Droit et Culture, Vol. 20, 1990, p. 203.

16Conversation by phone on Jan.7, 1993.

17On April 9,1981, the Belgian Department of Public Prosecutions declared male and female circumcision an assault on physical integrity and consequently contrary to the Belgian International Public Order; thus male circumcision should not be protected under the guarantee of freedom of religion. This decision was rejected by the Court of Appeal in Liege, which considered excision and infibulation to be of a different nature than male circumcision (without explaining how). Any physician who would practiced circumcision would be guaranteed medical immunity. However, the Court rejected a request from an Algerian father who wanted his son circumcised. The son, a minor, whose Belgian mother had been granted custody, had been baptised in the Catholic faith. In this specific case, the respect of the rights of the child demanded respect for his right to chose which ideology, religious or non-denominational, to embrace once he becomes an adult. (Revue trimestrielle de droit familial, 1982, pp. 331-334; Foblets, M.C.: Salem's circumcision, the encounter of cultures in a civil law action, a Belgian case-study, in Living Law in the Low Countries, special issue of the Dutch and Belgian Law and Society Journal, [1990?], pp. 42-56).

18Gaudio, Attilio and Pelletier, Renée: Femmes d'Islam ou le sexe interdit, Denoël/Gonthier, Paris, 1980, pp. 53-54.

19Zenie-Ziegler: La face voilée, op. cit., pp. 62 and 140.

20Leslau, Wolf: Coutumes et croyances des Falachas (Juifs d'Abyssinie), Institut d'Ethnographie, Paris, 1957, p. 93.

21El-Saadawi: The hidden, op. cit., p. 34.

22Rapport sur les pratiques traditionnelles, Addis Abeba, 1990, p. 56; UNO, Economical and Social Council, E/CN.4/1986/42, Feb.4, 1986, p. 19.

23Gaudio and Pelletier: Femmes, op. cit., p. 53. For other testimonies, see El-Saadawi: The hidden, op. cit., pp. 7-8 (She describes her own circumcision) and El-Masry, Youssef: Le drame sexuel de la femme dans l'Orient arabe, Laffont, Paris, 1962, pp. 39-44.

24If one can trust unverified information, the Guards of the Holy Shrine of Islam in Saudi Arabia are said to be eunuchs. Where do they come from? Also the Israeli army in its repression of Palestinians often aims at their genitals. In a letter dated November 29, 1988, received by a priest in Jerusalem, one reads: "Witnesses often see the Army beating up boys on their private parts (lately in Ramallah and all around). The victims do not dare to talk too much about it, but they are not men any more, their mothers say. Isn't this a form of genocide ?" (Aldeeb Abu-Sahlieh, Sami A.: Discriminations contre les non-Juifs tant Chrétiens que Musulmans en Israël, Pax Christi, Lausanne, 1992, p. 28).

25El-Masry: Le drame sexuel, op. cit., pp. 46-47.

26Ghawabi, Hamid Al-: Khitan al-banat bayn al-tib wal-islam, in Abd-al-Raziq, Abu-Bakr: Al-Khitan, ra'y al-din wal-`ilm fi khitan al-awlad wal-banat, Dar al-i`tissam, Cairo, 1989, p. 55.

27Mahran, Maher: Les risques médicaux de l'excision (circoncision médicale), reprint of a paper published in Bulletin Médical de l'IPPF, Vol.15, No.2, April 1981, p. 1.

28Ibid., p. 1. See also the report of the WHO regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean, in Terre des Hommes: Les mutilations sexuelles féminines infligées aux enfants , Press Conference of Terre des Hommes, Geneva, April 25, 1977, p. 9.

29El-Saadawi: The hidden, op. cit., p. 40.

30Report on Traditional Practices, Dakar, 1984, p. 61.

31Terre des Hommes: les mutilations sexuelles, op. cit (intervention of Dr. Ahmad Abu-el-Futuh), p. 45.

32Gaudio and Pelletier: Femmes, op. cit., p. 59.

33It is by a fatwa of February 13, 1989, that Imam Khomeini sentenced Salman Rushdie to the death penalty.

34Concerning this institution, see Aldeeb Abu-Sahlieh, Sami A.: L'institution du mufti et de sa fatwa/décision en Islam, in Praxis juridique et religion, 7.2.1990, pp. 125-148.

35Sukkari, `Abd-al-Salam `Abd-al-Rahim Al-: Khitan al-dhakar wa-khifad al-untha min manzur islami, Dar al-manar, Heliopolis, 1988, pp. 13-17 and 21-22.

36Genesis 17:9-14. Talking of alliance, Doctor Gérard Zwang writes: "After their circumcision, some Africans wear their foreskin around a finger, it is a ring symbolically vulvar, worn on the ring fingers of married civilized persons. It is an alliance that Jehovah has established with the circumcised". (Zwang, Gérard: La fonction érotique , Editions Robert Laffont, Paris, 3rd edition, Vol. 3, Supplement, 1978, p. 271, note 2).

37Exodus 12:44; Leviticus 12:3. In other passages, circumcision is a rite of initiation to marriage and to life in a group (Genesis 34:14; Exodus 4:24-26; Leviticus 19:23). See comment about Genesis 17:10 in the Bible de Jérusalem, Editions du Cerf, Paris, 1986, p. 46.

38First Book of Samuel 18:24-28.

39Shaltut, Mahmud: Al-fatawi, Dar al-shuruq, Cairo & Beirut, 10th edition, 1980, p. 332.

40Sukkari: Khitan, op. cit., p. 97.

41Ibid., pp. 11-12. `Abd-al-Razzaq quotes comments by Christ out of the Gospel according to Barnabe: Adam, after his sin, swore to cut his body. The Archangel Gabriel is said to have reprimanded him. As he was unwilling to commit perjury, the Archangel is said to have shown him the foreskin which he then cut off. Therefore, according to `Abd-al-Razzaq, "each of Adam's descendant must fulfil Adam's oath and be circumcised". (`Abd-al-Raziq, Abu-Bakr: Al-khitan, ra'y ad-din wal-`ilm fi khitan al-awlad wal-banat, Dar Al-i`tissam, Cairo, 1989, p. 16).

42Gamri, `Abd-al-Amir Mansur Al-: Al-mar'ah fi zil al-islam, Dar al-hilal, Beirut, 4th edition, 1986, pp. 170-171.

43Sukkari: Khitan, op. cit., pp. 103-107.

44Shaltut: Al-fatawi, op. cit., p. 331.

45Excerpt from a text read during an undated broadcast of Resistance and forwarded by the Muslim Institute of the Mosque of Paris to Mr. Edmond Kaiser, founder of Terre des Hommes.

46Sukkari: Khitan, op. cit., pp. 99-100.

47Ibid., pp. 103-106.

48El-Saadawi: The hidden, op. cit., p. 42.

49Ibid., pp. 41-42.

50Saurel, Renée: L'enterrée vive, in Les Temps modernes, No. 393, April 1979, Paris, p. 1659, cited by El-Khayat-Bennai: Le monde arabe, op. cit., p. 43.

51Buti, Muhammad Sa`id Ramadan Al-: Mas'alat tahdid al-nasl wiqayatan wa-`ilagan, Matba`at Al-Farabi, 2nd edition, Damascus, [1982?], pp. 33-34; Khatib, Um Kulthum Yahya Mustafa Al-: Qadiyyat tahdid al-nasl fil-shari`ah al-islamiyyah, Al-Dar al-su`udiyyah, 2nd edition, Jeddah, 1982, pp. 143-146. In one of the narrations, some of Mohammed's companions were taking part in a razzia. As they were experiencing deprivation, they asked Mohammed if they could castrate themselves. Mohammed forbade it. Commenting on the narration, Ibn-Hagar wrote: "Emasculation brings among other damage much suffering and deformity as well as a probability of death; it deprives someone of his manhood and transforms God's creation. It is ungratefulness toward God's blessings because to be created a man is one of God's supreme blessings. Without it, the man looks like a woman and in fact chooses imperfection versus perfection". According to other commentators, the interdiction comes from the fact that castration changes the creation and brings an end to having progeny (Ibn-al-Dardir, Abd-al-`Aziz: Li-maslahat man tahdid al-nasl wa-tanzimuh, Maktabat al-Qur'an, Cairo, 1990, pp. 52, 54-55).

52Rapport sur les pratiques traditionnelles, Addis Abeba, 1987, p. 83. This verse can also be read on the cover of a Sudanese pamphlet against circumcision (Al-Darir, Asma' `Abd-al-Rahman: Murshid muharabat al-khifad, [Khartoum, 1982]).

53Unabridged arab text on the issue in Report on Traditional Practices, Dakar, 1984, pp. 247-250; basic french translation, pp. 72-73.

54Gaza`iri, Abu-Bakr Gabir Al-: Ya `ulama' al-islam iftuna, Matabi' al-Rashid, Medina, 1992, p. 28.

55Exodus 12:7-13.

56He refers here to verse 86:14: "It is not vain talk".

57Mahdawi Mustafa Kamal Al-: Al-Bayan bil-Qur'an, 2 Volumes, Al-dar al-gamahiriyyah, Misratah and Dar al-afaq al-gadidah, Casablanca, 1990, Vol. 1, pp. 348-350.

58Sukkari: Khitan, Op. cit., p. 45.

59Ibid., pp. 47-54.

60Shaltut: Al-fatawi, op. cit., p. 332.

61Sukkari: Khitan, op. cit., p. 46.

62Ibid., pp. 55-61

63Ibid., pp. 46, 62-63.

64Khallaf, `Abd-al-Wahhab: Khitan al-banat, in `Abd-al-Raziq: Al-khitan, op. cit. p. 76.

65Shaltut: Al-fatawi, op. cit., pp. 333-334.

66Birri, Zakariyya Al-: Ma hukm khitan al-bint wa-hal huwa daruri, in `Abd-al-Raziq: Al-khitan, op. cit., pp. 95-96.

67Qaradawi, Youssef Al-: Huda al-islam, fatawi mu'assirah, Dar al-qalam, Kuwait, 3rd edition, 1987, p. 443.

68Makhluf, Hassanayn Muhammad: Hukm al-khitan, in Al-fatawi al-islamiyyah min dar al-ifta' al-masriyyah, Wazarat al-awqaf, Cairo, Vol. 2, 1981, p. 449.

69Nassar, `Allam: Khitan al-banat, in Al-fatawi al-islamiyyah min dar al-ifta' al-masriyyah, Wazarat al-awqaf, Cairo, Vol. 6, 1982, p. 1986.

70Gad-al-Haq, Gad-al-Haq `Ali: Khitan al-banat, in Al-fatawi al-islamiyyah min dar al-ifta' al-masriyyah, Wazarat al-awqaf, Cairo, Vol. 9, 1983, pp. 3119-3125.

71This author contradicts himself as he earlier relied upon the circumcision of Jewish women as a basis for the circumcision of Muslim women.

72Sukkari: Khitan, op. cit., pp. 63-66; Shaltut, Mahmud: Khitan al-banat, in `Abd-al-Raziq: Al-Khitan, op. cit., pp. 89-90.

73Ibid, pp. 70-77.

74Amin: Qamus, op. cit., 1992, p. 187.

75Bousquet, G.-H.: L'éthique sexuelle de l'Islam, Desclée de Brouwer, Paris, 1990, pp. 102-103.

76See the two Saudi fatwas in Magallat al-buhuth al-islamiyyah, Riyadh, No. 20, 1987, p. 161, and No. 25, 1989, p. 62.

77Zenie-Ziegler: La face voilée, op. cit., pp. 66-67.

78Ibid., pp. 64-65.

79El-Masry: Le drame sexuel, op. cit., p. 3.

80Ibid., p. 62.

81Sukkari: Khitan, op. cit., pp. 65-67. Some jurists believe that Mohammed was born circumcised. Others insist that he was circumcised on the seventh day.

82Ibid., p. 86.

83Gad-al-Haq: Khitan al-banat, op. cit., p. 3121.

84Sha`rawi, Muhammad Mitwalli Al-: Al-fatawi, Maktabat al-Qur'an, Cairo, 1981, Vol. 1, p. 27.

85Report on Traditional Practices, Addis Abeba, 1990, p. 64.

86According to Muslim law, a girl's share of an inheritance is half the size of her brother's. If a person is hermaphrodite, this person will inherit according to which sex can pass urine.

87Sukkari: Khitan, op. cit., pp. 87-89.

88Ibid., pp. 86 and 90-95.

89Zenie-Ziegler: La face voilée, op. cit., p. 62.

90El-Saadawi: The hidden, op. cit., pp. 33-34.

91Sukkari: Khitan, op. cit., pp. 78-81.

92Hadidi, Muhammad Sa`id Al-: Khitan al-awlad bayn al-tib wal-islam, in `Abd-al-Raziq: Al-khitan, op. cit., pp. 65-66. On the advantages of male circumcision also, consult Salih, Muhammad Ibn-Ahmad Al-: Al-tifil fil-shari`ah al-islamiyyah, Matba`at nahdat Masr, Cairo, 1980, pp. 84-85.

93Fangari, Ahmad Shawqi Al-: Al-tib al-wiqa'i fil-islam, Al-hay'ah al-masriyyah al-`ammah lil-kitab, Cairo, 1980, p. 143.

94Epistle to the Romans 2:29.

95Shaltut: Al-fatawi, op. cit., pp. 333-334.

96Jewish male circumcision was banned on several occasions through the centuries. Closer to us, it was banned in Strasbourg, France, in 1793 after the establishment of the Cult of Reason. In Russia, Jewish and Moslem circumcision was fought against by the Bolshevist Revolution, but for the same reason as any other religious practice. Tendencies can be found favouring exemption from this practice for converts to Judaism in order to help proselytism (already during the 2nd Century). In the middle of the 19th Century, the Judaic German Reform urged the abolition of mandatory circumcision for new-born Jews. In spite of the failure of this attempt in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1843, the American Reformed Judaism, some 40 years later, adopted the official policy that non-circumcised converts be accepted (Erlich, Michel: Les mutilations sexuelles, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1991, pp. 110-113).

97Zwang, Gérard: La fonction érotique, op. cit., p. 271.

98Zwang, Gérard: Prépuce et érotisme, in Union, revue internationale des rapports humains, No 44, Nouvelle série, May 1992, p. 41.

99Zwang, Gérard: Le prépuce: une erreur de la nature?, (bibliographical note), in Contraception-fertilité-sexualité, 1989, Vol. 17, No. 12, p. 1162.

100Zwang, Gérard: La fonction érotique, op. cit., p. 271.

101Ibid., pp. 271-275.

102Ibid., pp. 275-277.

103Ibid., pp. 277-279.

104Ibid., pp. 279.

105We refer the reader to Elisabeth Badinter's thoughts: XY de l'identité masculine , Editions Odile Jacob, Paris, 1992, pp. 86-89.

106Birri: Ma hukm, op. cit., pp. 95-96. See also Salim, Muhammad Ibrahim: Khitan al-banat, in `Abd-al-Raziq: Al-khitan, op. cit., pp. 81-82.

107Rapport sur les pratiques traditionnelles, Addis Abeba, 1990, pp. 63-68.

108Al-I`tissam, Dec. 1980, No. 1, cited by Soual, No. 4, 1983, Women in the Arab world, pp. 73-74.

109Ghawabi: Khitan, op. cit., p. 55.

110Ibid., p. 57.

111Salih: Al-tifil, op. cit., p. 85.

112Ghawabi: Khitan, op. cit., p. 62.

113Ibid., p. 51.

114Sukkari: Khitan, op. cit., p. 64. See also Shaltut: Khitan al-banat, op. cit., pp. 89-90.

115Salim: Khitan al-banat, op. cit., pp. 81-82.

116Ghawabi: Khitan, op. cit., p. 57.

117`Adawi, `Abd-al-Rahman: Khitan al-banat, in `Abd-al-Raziq: Al-khitan, op. cit., pp. 97-98.

118`Arnus, Mahmud: Khitan al-banat, in `Abd-al-Raziq: Al-khitan, op. cit., pp. 93-94.

119Salim: Khitan al-banat, op. cit., pp. 81-82.

120Gad-al-Haq: Khitan al-banat, op. cit., p. 3124.

121For more about those complications, see Mahran: Les risques, op. cit., pp. 1-2; Rapport sur les pratiques traditionnelles, Addis Abeba, 1990, pp. 56-57; Terre des Hommes: Les mutilations sexuelles, op. cit., (presentation by Doctor Gérard Zwang), p. 25.

122Terre des Hommes: Les mutilations sexuelles, op. cit. (presentation by Doctor Gérard Zwang), p. 25.

123Sukkari: Khitan, op. cit., p. 106.

124For the link between drugs and female circumcision, see Amin: Qamus, op. cit., p. 188; Morsy, Soheir A.: Sex differences and folk illness in an Egyptian village, in Women in the Muslim world, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Massachussetts) & London, 1978, p. 611; Hadidi: Khitan al-awlad, op. cit., pp. 67-70.

125El-Masry: Le drame sexuel, op. cit., pp. 56-69.

126Ibid., p. 31. Doctor Al-Fangari presents remarks in the same vein: "Without banning female circumcision, we shall never be able to stop the use of drugs in the Arab and Moslem world" (Fangari: Al-tib, op. cit., p. 144). Doctor Mahran writes: "Excision is one of the causes of the ever increasing use of hashish among men who believe, albeit wrongly, that smoking it delays ejaculation, giving men their orgasms at the same time as their excised wives: 16% of excised women admit that their husbands smoke hashish for sexual reasons". (Mahran: Les risques, op. cit., p. 2).

127El-Masry: Le drame sexuel, op. cit., pp. 61-62.

128Hadidi: Khitan al-awlad, op. cit., pp. 67-70.

129Ibid., pp. 67-70.

130El-Saadawi: The hidden, op. cit., p. 38.

131Hamrush, Ibrahim: Khitan al-banat, in `Abd-al-Raziq: Al-khitan, op. cit., p. 75.

132Reference is made here to Verse 23:115: "Did you think that we created you in vain?"

133Reference is made here to Verse 53:3: "Neither does he speak out of whim"; alternatively, "And neither does he speak out of his own desire".

134Labban, Muhammad Muhammad Al-: Khitan al-banat, in `Abd-al-Raziq: Al-khitan, op. cit., pp. 85-86.

135Nassar: Khitan al-banat, op. cit., p. 1986.

136Sukkari: Khitan, op. cit., pp. 33-37.

137Ibid., pp. 39-40.

138Ibid., p. 99.

139Shaltut: Al-fatawi, op. cit., pp. 333-334.

140Shaltut: Khitan al-banat, op. cit., pp. 89-90.

141Nawawi, `Abd-Allah Al-: Sa'aluni `an al-mar'ah, Dhat al-salassil, Kuwait, 1986, p. 103.

142Banna, Muhammad Al-: Khitan al-banat, in `Abd-al-Raziq: Al-khitan, op. cit., pp. 79-80.

143Khallaf: Khitan al-banat, op. cit., p. 76. Also see Hamrush: Khitan al-banat, op. cit., p. 75.

144`Abd-al-Wahid, Nigm `Abd-Allah: Nazrat al-islam hawl tabi`at al-gins wal-tanassul, Matabi` al-manar, Kuwait, 1986, pp. 109-116.

145For further details, refer back to Chapter II, Paragraph II, Point 3.

146Sukkari: Khitan, op. cit., p. 41.

147Shaltut: Khitan al-banat, op. cit., p. 89.

148Gaudio and Pelletier: Femmes, op. cit., p. 59. See Kenyatta, Jomo: Au pied du mont Kenya, Maspero, Paris, !967, pp. 96-110. Page 98, one reads: "...clitoridectomy - as indeed circumcision among Jews -is a bodily mutilation, viewed somehow as the condition sine qua non for receiving a complete religious and moral education".

149Cited by Gaudio and Pelletier: Femmes, op. cit., p. 60.

150United Nations, 26th Session of the Economic and Social Committee, 1029th Plenary Meeting, July 10, 1958.

151WHO, 12th World Health Assembly, 11th Plenary Meeting, May 28, 1959.

152Text of this Report in Terre des Hommes: Les mutilations sexuelles, op. cit., pp. 9-12.

153UNICEF, Department of Information, Position of UNICEF on Female Excision, Sept. 23, 1980, p. 1.

154Rapport sur les pratiques traditionnelles, Dakar, 1984, p. 67.

155Ibid., p. 71.

156Ibid., p. 7.

157Vernier, Dominique: Le traitement pénal de l'excision en France: historique, in Droit et Culture, Vol. 20, 1990, p. 193.

158Ibid., pp. 193-194.

159Giudicelli-Delage: Excision, op. cit., p. 211.

160Traditional Practices affecting the Health of Women and Children, Report of a Seminar, Khartoum, February 10-15, 1979, p. 4.

161WHO's position relative to female circumcision, op. cit.

162WHO, Resolution of the Regional Committee for Africa, Thirty-ninth session, AFR/RC39/R9, Sep. 13, 1989.

163Report on Traditional Practices, Addis Abeba, p. 77.

164Ibid., pp. 8-9.

165Law No. 316 (May 27, 1982) forbidding female circumcision, in Recueil International de la Législation sanitaire , 1982, p. 770.

166Law of July 16, 1985, forbidding female circumcision, in Recueil international de la Législation sanitaire, 1985, pp. 1043-1044.

167This declaration, formulated after Mr. Edmond Kaiser's intervention, states:

We ask every physician in a hospital or private practice to be very attentive to the content of the following Declaration.

The Central Committee for Medical Ethics of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences,

- attentive to the fact that some parents coming from countries where ritual practices of sexual mutilation are performed on women, are trying to get their children admitted into our hospitals or day surgery clinics in order to have those types of surgery performed,

- preoccupied by the fact that one might be tempted to accede to such demands for reasons of misconceived compassion or other badly thought out reasons,

- convinced that such procedures, performed according to customs in opposition to our ethical principles concerning minors unable to judge by themselves, are cruel and degrading, and convinced that they contradict the eminently personal right to physical integrity and as such constitute an infraction automatically prosecuted as serious bodily assault according to article 122, numeral 1, paragraph 2 of the Swiss Penal Code,


- Anyone, be it a physician and practicing in clinical conditions beyond reproach, who performs sexual mutilations on children and teenagers of the female gender, is guilty of serious deliberate bodily assault according to article 122 of the Swiss Penal Code. This person therefore must be prosecuted automatically.

- Moreover, this person violates the fundamental rights of a human being in performing a degrading and cruel procedure on a minor incapable of judgement and who is unable to enforce her own claim to the right to physical integrity.

- Whoever collaborates in such a procedure becomes an accomplice under the criminal law and, generally speaking, is guilty of the violation of human rights.

- The guilty parties and their accomplices, doctors and auxiliary nursing staff, are moreover violating in the most serious way, the moral principles applicable to the exercise of their duties.

(Declaration published in Bulletin des médecins suisses, Vol. 64, 1983, notebook 34, 24.8.1983, p. 1275).

168Document provided by Dr. Leila Mehra of the WHO.

169The U.N. Convention on the rights of the Child, a guide, op. cit., p. 351.

170Meeting of January 12, 1982.

171Rapport sur les pratiques traditionnelles, Addis Abeba, 1990, pp. 63-68.

172Al-khifad al-far`uni, ma lahu, wa ma `alayh , Al-Maglis al-qawmi lil-ri`ayah al-igtima`iyyah & UNICEF-Khartoum, May 1979, pp. 10-11. One can see the same problem in another document against circumcision: Al-Dareer, Asma' `Abd-al-Rahman: Murshid muharabat al-khifad, Khartoum, 1982, p. 5.

173According to another source, a decree from the Ministry of Health on June 24, 1959, created a committee in charge of studying female circumcision in Egypt as well as its religious, sanitary and social aspects. This committee then took the decision mentioned above, but the first paragraph should be read as: "It is forbidden for anyone but a physician to practice excision". . . . A fourth paragraph is added: "Excision as it is practiced in Egypt today has harmful consequences for women before and after marriage. As the religious authorities have decided that it is contrary to Islamic dogma to practice total excision of sexual organs, it is not therefore a ritual of Islam" (Report on Traditional Practices, Dakar, 1984, p. 88).

174Farah: Hayat al-mar`rah, op. cit., p. 39.

175Magmu`at al-qawa`id al-qanuniyyah 1931-1955, Penal Division, March 28, 1938 Session, vol. 2, p. 824.

176Qararat Mahkamat al-naqd, Penal Division, March 11, 1974 Session, Judicial Year 25, p. 263.

177The U.N. Convention on the rights of the Child, a guide, op. cit., p. 351.

178Vernier: Le traitement pénal, op. cit., pp. 198-199.

179Rapport du Séminaire des Nations Unies relatif aux pratiques traditionnelles, op. cit., pp. 7 and 10.

180Gaudio et Pelletier: Femmes, op. cit., p. 53.

181Ibid., p. 57.

182El-Saadawi: The hidden, op. cit., p. 33.

183Ibid., pp. 40-41.

184Zwang, Gérard: La fonction érotique, op. cit., p. 275.

185El-Saadawi: The hidden, op. cit., p. 41.

186Rapport du Séminaire des Nations Unies relatif aux pratiques traditionnelles, op. cit., pp. 10-11.

187NOCIRC Newsletter, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1991, p. 3.

188Rapport du Séminaire des Nations Unies relatif aux pratiques traditionnelles, op. cit., p. 9.

189El-Saadawi: The hidden, op. cit., pp. 34-35.

190Zenie-Ziegler: La face voilée, op. cit., pp. 62-63, 72.

191Ibid., p. 137.

192Ibid., pp. 137-138. 193The title of my speech: "To mutilate in the name of Jehovah or Allah: Legitimization of Male and Female circumcision".

194National organization of circumcision information resource centers, P.O.Box 2512, San Anselmo, CA 94979-2512, USA, tel. (415) 488-9883, fax (415) 488-9883. This is the most important organization in the fight against male and female circumcision. It was founded and is presided over by Marilyn Fayre Milos, a nurse who was fired for her views on this subject.

195The tray on which an infant is strained while a doctor performs a circumcision on him.

196Contact: Nurses of St. Vincent Hospital, c/o Ann Lown, R.N., P.O.Box 8824, Santa Fe, NM 87504, USA.

197Address: Mr. Jim Bigelow, P.O.Box 52138, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, USA. Tel/Fax (408) 315-4326.

198Jim Bigelow: The Joy of Uncircumcising, restore your birthright and maximize sexual pleasure, published by Hourglass, Book publishing, P.O.Box 171, Aptos, CA 95001, USA.

199Address: Mr. R. Wayne Griffiths, RECAP - UNCIRC, 3205 Northwood Drive, Suite 209, Concord, CA 94520-4506, USA. Tel. (510) 827-4077, Fax (510) 827-4119.

200National organization to halt the abuse and routine mutilation of males (NOHARMM), P.O.Box 460795, San Francisco, CA 94146-0795, USA, Tel/Fax 415-826-9351. This organization was found and is presided over by Mr. Tim Hammond. 201Conversation by phone on January 7, 1993.

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