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DETROIT – The case against a Michigan doctor accused of circumcising two 7-year-old girls highlights how the practice is alive and well in parts of the Western world where its adherents have migrated and formed communities.
The practice that is common for girls in parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East is also called female genital mutilation or cutting and has been condemned by the United Nations and outlawed in the U.S.
Dr. Jumana Nagarwala is accused of performing the procedure on two Minnesota girls from her Shiite Muslim sect, the Dawoodi Bohra. Her lawyer says Nagarwala conducted a benign religious ritual that involved no mutilation.
Zehra Patwa, a 46-year-old Bohra from Connecticut who campaigns against the centuries-old practice, says she only learned in recent years that it was done to her at age 7 during a family trip to India.