YONI BASHAN BRENDEN HILLS
The Sunday Telegraph
February 14 2016
Multicultural Sydney: Auburn genital mutilation: Guilty women, sheik fail to show remorse or speak out says judge
Trustees of the Dawoodi Bohra Shia Muslim community issued an edict last week ordering its followers not to perform the ritual known as “khafd” or “khatna”, either in Australia or overseas.
The order follows the conviction of a mother, a retired nurse and a spiritual leader, who were prosecuted in Australia’s first female genital mutilation trial on two sisters last year.
In both cases, the girls’ clitorises were cut with a silver tool, but medical examinations were inconclusive about what types of injuries had been caused.
The trio were found guilty of mutilating the two sisters and are yet to be sentenced.
A meeting was held in Auburn on Monday about the practice and on Tuesday a letter signed by 12 trustees of the Dawoodi Bohra community, a small religious order, told followers to abide by the law of the land.
The letter cited the convictions handed down by the Supreme Court and said, consequently, the practice of “khafd” was illegal.
“All parents and guardians are hereby directed in the strictest terms not to carry out khafd under any circumstances,” the letter said.
It also directed people not to take any child or other person outside Australia for the same purpose.
Lawyer John Sutton, representing the Dawoodi Bohra sect, said the move to ban the cultural practice was an unequivocal signal that the community wanted to adhere to Australian laws.
Even though medical examinations of the two victims in the court case were unable to prove conclusively what took place, he said the resolution was clear.