Excision Case Opens in Haarlem

A 30 year old Dutch man of Moroccan is on trial for genitally cutting his six year old daughter. The public prosecution has requested the sentence saying that the girl has been permanently mutilated by the man. The charges came after the girl told foster parents that her father cut her. Female circumcision is a criminal offence in the Netherlands, but victims often remain hidden, because the cutting takes place in a closed family setting.
The accused man denies the charges and pleads not guilty. His defense lawyer sees the five-year-old daughter’s statement as highly questionable and has applied for a second opinion from a legal psychologist. The girl and her sister have been taken into care.

In coverage of the case Radio Netherlands Worldwide includes a discussion with cultural anthropologist and midwife Dineke Korfker, who says that female circumcision is not originally a Muslim practice. “People often see it as being Islamic and think it’s prescribed by the religion, but the highest Islamic body, the Al-Azhar University in Egypt, has officially distanced itself from the practice and calls on people not to do it.” Korfker also notes that the practice is not found in Morocco.

A verdict for the case, and possible sentencing, is due on September 17