Revised: Female genital mutilation Fatwa in Northern Iraq

Correction: Isis have denied issuing the Fatwa, describing it as a hoax, and one document circulated on social media purporting to be a copy of the edict, turns out to be a photo-shopped Syrian document dated 2013. The Guardian and BBC both reported growing doubts, rather than accepting the hoax verdict. To do more than reserve judgement, at this point, seems like accepting the word of a violent and extremist group over that of a (female) UN official.


As if things weren’t bad enough in Northern Iraq, ISIS has issued a Fatwa ordering the genital mutilation of all girls and women in and around Mosul, the city they took in early June. Until now, genital mutilation in Northern Iraq affected 8% of girls aged 15-29, compared to 36% in the 29 African and Middle East countries in which it is most common. According to the UN co-ordinator in Irak, Jacqueline Badcock, 4 million girls and women are at risk if the Fatwa is carried out.

8 thoughts on “Revised: Female genital mutilation Fatwa in Northern Iraq

  1. I agree that relying on denials from ISIS would not be wise. But NPR’s Cairo bureau chief says it’s a hoax, relying on testimony from respected residents of Mosul. Does the female UN official have any evidence other than the faked document? If so, that would be very interesting to know about.

  2. She hasn’t responded as far as I know to ISIS’ denial. Maybe that’s a bad sign, but it’s still worth waiting a bit before deciding it was a hoax.

  3. out of (genuine) curiosity, why the use of an alternate transliteration/spelling for Iraq in this post? is there a set of issues around transliteration from Arabic that I’m unaware of?

  4. Just a mistake – which I’m correcting now. Two out of the three languages I read about it in spell it that way.

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