A Facebook community page is promoting the unnecessary removal of the clitoral hood, a procedure condemned as genital mutilation by international human rights groups.
The Facebook page, "Islamic Female Circumcision," which includes a picture of smiling Muslim women, features a May 19 posting that states, "circumcision is obligatory for males and females" in Islam.
The post goes on to describe the "prepuce of the clitoris" as a "dirty piece of skin covering the clitoris like a hood." It claims removing the clitoral hood reduces "smelly smegma beneath the clitoris," and "prevents urinary tract infections so common in women."
The same post also says this procedure "prevents transmission of HPV virus to male partners who engage in oral sex, thus preventing throat cancers," and "helps women achieve sexual fulfillment by exposing the surface area of the clitoris for greater stimulation."
None of these dubious assertions cite any medical evidence.
Other posts to the Facebook page echo these themes, and even deny that female circumcision and female genital mutilation are the same thing.
Female genital mutilation is defined as "procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons," according to the World Health Organization.
WHO states the "procedure has no health benefits for girls and women," and "can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths."
WHO adds that the procedure is "a violation of the human rights of girls and women."
An estimated 200 million girls and women have been subjected to the procedure, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and Arab States and in parts of Asia, Latin America, Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, according to the United Nations Population Fund.
Complications include, "severe pain, shock, haemorrhage, tetanus or infection, urine retention, ulceration of the genital region and injury to adjacent tissue, wound infection, urinary infection, fever and septicemia," according to the UNPF. "Haemorrhage and infection can be severe enough to cause death."
Numerous negative comments on the Facebook page call for it to be taken down. It's not clear who created the page.