Leaving Islam and Confronting FGM

 

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Sara at 17, USA, her first time being in school

 

This article is shared from Circanada.
Please take the time to read the whole article. It’s the story of a young woman from Somalia, her journey out of Islam and her experience with Female Genital Mutilation. You can read the entire article here.

Sara’s  bravery in telling this story is a testament to her survivor spirit.

“I was beaten for questioning since I was a small girl. Beating of women happens all the time in the Somali community, even here in America, because it is written in the Quran. “

“I was looked down on as bad girl! (Removal of hijab) It was very difficult to take off my hijab and speak out and challenge the old narrative!”

“I remember that back in Kenya especially in the camp where I grew up,  girls got married (arranged and forced) at very young ages between 14- 15. In Somali culture and community, it’s common practice.”

“I discovered that it’s a lie that Allah will strike you down if you remove your hijab in public. When I first  removed my headcover here in the United States, , it was the first time since I was six or seven.”

“My co-worker said to me,  “Do you know that I can kill you (meaning me)  if you leave Islam and remove your headcover?” (hijab). That day I was terrified and so heartbroken that my coworker told me she can kill me and Ayana because her book  (Quran) allowed her to do so!”

“Between the ages of 5 to 6, I and many other innocent little girls including one of my cousins were forced to undergo female genital mutilation.”

“Girls must be purified so they can be clean and to make sure they’re virgins until their marriage.”

“The girl is held down, everything is scraped off, the girls’ legs are tied together so the skin will fuse together. After several weeks, if the fusion did not take place, the whole procedure is repeated. There is only a small hole left for urination and menses.”

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“I would say places where I grew up in the Kenya camp, I can swear that it was done 100% to little girls and every girl I know has gone through FGM! “ 

FGM has been revealed to be practiced in Canada and the United States as well. Often, girls are sent to their country of origin to have the procedure, but it is also performed here in secrecy. 

In 1997, the Parliament of Canada passed an amendment to the Criminal Code of Canada expressly prohibiting all forms of female genital mutilation in Canada. Under the code, it is prohibited to aid, abet or counsel such assault and to interfere with genitalia for nonmedical reasons. Moreover, the amendment expressly prohibits the transport of a child outside of Canada for the purpose of obtaining female genital mutilation. Anyone found to have carried out these offences faces up to 14 years in prison and/or a fine. 

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