Somaliland Dispatch: ‘I’m a Cutter and I’ll Take a Razor to My Daughter in the Holidays’

Martin Bentham, London Evening Standard, April 17, 2014

The Somali cutter sat with her 10-year-old daughter beside her and explained calmly why she will take a razor blade to her this summer. “I am a circumciser,” she declared. “This young one I haven’t circumcised yet, but my other daughters are circumcised. I will circumcise her in the school holidays in June or July.

“I believe that she will not get married if I don’t circumcise her. At the same time, it is important for me because I’m a circumciser and people will not trust me if I don’t do it with my own daughter. It would be shameful. They would say, ‘you are doing it to our daughters, but you are not doing it to your own’. I will also do it for cultural reasons because people will talk otherwise and say she has not been circumcised.”

The logic of Khadija Geedi, a 50-year-old cutter in Somaliland, appeared flawless but her seeming indifference to the pain she will inflict on her daughter Fihiima was unsettling, as the pair sat together on the floor of their home in the rural village of Baki. As Ms Geedi explained, however, the bloody procedure that she will carry out on Fihiima this summer is a routine task to which she has become inured after a career as a “traditional birth attendant” lasting three decades.

Khadija Geedi and her daughter.

Khadija Geedi and her daughter.

“I started doing this when I was 20 and I can’t calculate how many I have done,” she says, adding that her price for cutting is $15 a time. On average now I do 10-15 a month, but sometimes it can be 30 or 35. In towns I do it mainly during the school holidays. In the rural places it depends when  they have enough girls ready to be  circumcised.

“I use a blade, some material to stop the bleeding and some local anaesthetic. I go to the local health centre to get them. Before I used to remove all the clitoris and all the labia, major and minor, and sew them. Now I only remove the clitoris. I changed about 10 years ago.”

Ms Geedi says her decision to switch to the less extensive type of mutilation, known as “sunna” in Somaliland, followed a move by clerics to revise their religious guidance and declare the alternative “pharaonic” form as  contrary to Islam.

“When I heard the sheikhs say that it is forbidden to do the pharaonic type I stopped, but I still do the sunna one. In Islam, that is okay–it says that we can do that,” she said.

By contrast, efforts by the Somaliland government, local campaigners and aid organisations such as the charity World Vision to emphasise the damaging health consequences of mutilation have had no impact.

Neither does she worry about inflicting pain on her clients’ daughters, insisting that her need to earn a living must prevail.

“The health workers gave us health advice about FGM,” she said, “but I don’t feel any trouble doing it because it is my profession. Although I know the girl is feeling pain, it is my profession and I am doing what the mother wants. I don’t have any choice. I have no other way of earning a living. I need the money to live and pay for my  family. So how can I feel for the girl?”

Ms Geedi says the cutting should take about half an hour but admits that resistance frequently means it can last longer.

“Typically, the girls are aged 10 or 11. The youngest I have done was six years old,” she said. “It usually takes about 30 minutes if the girl doesn’t struggle. If she does then we call lots of people to help the mother and relatives try to force her to be still. Mostly the girls are not accepting this so they start to move around.”

Her determination to continue in her job is clear and with the law in Somaliland still allowing cutting, the main hope of campaigners against mutilation lies with the country’s clerics.

They began reassessing five years ago what Islam says about FGM. Opinion now, while united in opposition to extensive cutting and sewing, is divided between those who advocate supposedly minor “touching” with a blade and a minority who support leaving girls entirely unharmed.

Sheikh Elmi Ismail Mohamed, who preaches in the Somaliland town of Borama, said he believed girls should have only a “small” cut to the clitoris, which he claimed would not amount to FGM, and added he was determined to prevent more severe mutilation.

“FGM was traditional and people used to practise a very bad kind, the pharaonic type, which involves lots of cutting and destroying,” he said.

“Now Islamic scholars are talking about another kind, sunna circumcision, which we can’t call FGM because it involves only a very small cut to the edge of the clitoris. It is very little, it is not mutilation, it is not destroying.”

He added: “It is not painful, it is not harming and it is better religiously. That is what is written in our religious books. Any cutting or destroying is very bad  religiously, but this is not doing that. I preach in the mosque. People think it is shameful to talk about these things, but sometimes I talk about it and give them this message.”

Sheikh Elmi added that some  parents, particularly in rural areas, believed that extensive “pharaonic” mutilation was necessary to “protect” their daughters “from being sexually active”. He said he told them instead that such cutting was “wrong and harmful”.

The small “sunna” cut to the clitoris advocated by Sheikh Elmi would still amount to a crime under British law, however, and is regarded as FGM  by campaigners in Somaliland and elsewhere.

But another cleric, Sheikh Farah Jama, said that while “sunna” cutting was “optional”, he favoured leaving girls untouched.

He added:  “We are starting to reduce the number of FGM cases. We discovered that both in sharia law and culturally it is against what it means to leave a person as Allah created her.”

“I tell parents that as Allah created the woman, every organ is important. If someone has lost an organ it is  important.”

Sheikh Farah said he would not allow any mutilation of his daughter, aged three, and that he and other clerics took part in community meetings at which they used both religious and health arguments to persuade parents and cutters against FGM.

He added: “I’m not refusing sunna, it is optional, but I tell people not to go too far. For my girl I am not doing even sunna.”

In the cutter’s house, though, a mobile phone ring shows how much remains to be done. Ms Geedi laughs after answering, before revealing: “It was someone wanting to hire me.” She adds that her next job is tomorrow. Meanwhile, her own daughter’s genitals will meet the blade soon.

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Luca

    The word “Circumcision” comes from Latin and means to “cut around”. In males, it thought to be a preventative operation for sanitary needs.

    What is being described here is nothing more than a mutilating amputation based upon a brutal, ignorant, primitive culture.

    But we shouldn’t question this practice because after all, it originates from the religion of peace.

    • D.B. Cooper

      As long as they do it to each other, I’m not concerned. Apparently, it’s not working. These girls will still go on to have 8 kids in their lifetimes.

      • borogirl54

        They will also end up with a fistula and be banned by their family because they end up smelling because they cannot control their bladder and bowel functions.

        • IstvanIN

          Not our problem.

          • borogirl54

            Remember, there are thousands of Somalis in this country who do the same thing. This is going to cost us a lot of money in health care costs because when these women give birth, they are going to have difficulty because the FGM narrowed the birth canal, making it harder for them to deliver their babies. Many are going to end up having C-sections because they cannot have vaginal births. These are going to increase medical costs because many of them do not have health insurance or if they do, they are still going to have to pay a deductible.

          • IstvanIN

            Deportation is my wish for those females.

          • Lagerstrom

            No it ain’t. I’m about as bothered by that as I am about ‘breast-reduction’ in Cameroon.

      • evilsandmich

        I thought it was interesting that she was worried about her soon-to-be-chopped daughter being able to land a husband, as if that’s some huge, Jane Austin level undertaking in that backwater.

    • Erasmus

      Someone tell me again how importing 3rd world trash like this woman adds so much to western societies.

  • Puggg

    I’ve heard it said that Somalia has no government. Well, it looks like it does have one, but not the type that any civilized first world person would want to live under.

    • Steven Barr

      Somaliland is a de facto indeoendent part of Somalia which is not recognised internationally. It consists of the parts of Somalia used to be under British as opposed to Italian control.

    • The Final Solution

      I think the very idea of government is antithetical to the African disposition.

  • HJ11

    I don’t care. That’s their business and their problem. They are not my kind. My kind are Whites only.

  • Steven Barr

    Somaliland is actually the best part of Somalia! We British left a better legacy than our Italian counterparts in the north. But there was little difference we could make overall. Colonialists were simply naive to believe we could remake people in our image.

  • Who Me?

    This couldn’t continue without the express desire and permission of the men who rule these areas. If it were reversed, that is to cut the penis off every male child (the male equivalent of FGM) at the age of 10 or so–leaving the testicles and the desires, but no way of fulfilling those desires, this would come to an abrupt and complete halt instantly. However since this is their culture, I will be supportive and say they should practice whatever barbarisms they desire as long as they keep it among themselves.

    • Sounds like a good idea to me; I have a set of bolt-cutters in the basement. When do we start?

      • r j p

        I love the bolt-cutters idea.

        • Sadly, the FBI didn’t like my original use for bolt-cutters, and so kept them; I thus had to buy a new set once I was released.

    • One point those guys are all missing is that the more the lady enjoys it, the more fun the man has. Intercourse with a gal who just lays there like a sack of potatoes doesn’t sound like a very good time to me.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    This is exactly why Somalis should stay in their own country. They are a primitive, ignorant people who cannot function normally in a highly technological urban environment. Import them into the west and they automatically recreate the third world conditions they originally escaped from. Mass immigrating Somalis to the west is not only an extreme instance of white pathological altruism, but also an act of collective suicide as well.

  • David Ashton

    Apparently some parents take their girls on “holidays” from school during term in the former England to get this done, and then bring them back.

    • Pro_Whitey

      I imagine at some point it will become racist to ask a Somali girl what she did on her school holiday.

    • borogirl54

      Not just this but also forced marriages are usually done during the summer break as well.

    • Lagerstrom

      The teachers in England get a bit of an eye-opener these days reading the ‘What we did on our holidays’ homework assignments!

    • r j p

      Who pays for the trip?

  • IstvanIN

    Their culture, their tradition, their people. Not any of our business. TRUE diversity would be every ethnicity in their own nations acting in accordance to their own wishes. Period.

  • So CAL Snowman

    Sounds like one hell of a Holiday

  • These female genitalia stories usually don’t get many comments, probably because it’s not white girls kidnapped off the streets and mutilated. But that day is coming. And probably soon. Expect it to happen first in Britain.

    I assume that this “surgery” is intended to destroy any sexual pleasure the female might experience and thus keep her faithful to her man. Of course, the other part of the story is that if she’s not faithful, she gets stoned to death.

    I’ve watched Texas go critical mass in placating Mexicans due to their numbers. If enough of these Africans arrive on our fair shores, the same will happen here. We can deal with small numbers but large numbers will overwhelm us. Don’t let it happen.

  • I imagine that having your clitoris and labia(s) cut off feels well below average.

  • He nice! Let’s bring this vibrant diversity to Lewiston, Maine and Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota. Just think, they could be transformed from boring, homogeneous white towns into glittering, multicultural wonderlands! And Sweden! Yes, let’s do Sweden, too. The whole country!

    Wait a minute… oh. Never mind.

  • MBlanc46

    I guess I’m sorry for Somali girls. But it’s not my problem and I’m bitterly opposed to bringing these savages to our country.

  • What about male circumcision?
    Smegaphobism is rampant and nobody cares!

    • Jesse James

      Man up Skippy it only stings for a little while.

    • Ahnenerbe

      On Youtube there is videos of rabbis sucking the genitals after circumcision, they have even infected boys with herpes. despicable jews

  • The Final Solution

    Found this one on Youtube today – “The Great Land of Zimbabwe”.

  • “Mostly the girls are not accepting this so they start to move around.”
    –Kadinja Geedi (original article)

    Really? Who’d ever imagine that a little girl would want to get escape from some demented lunatic who went after her clitoris with a razor?

  • It was not that over-regulation that made us prosperous. You are confusing co-incidence with causality.

    • r j p

      He’s also disregarding the fact that the “least economically regulated nations on earth are the least prosperous” because they are populated by the least able, lowest IQ populations. So he obviously didn’t pay much attention when he read Ayn Rand.

  • LACountyRedneck

    “It is done with only local anesthetic.”
    Translation: They poor some home made brew over her genitals.

    • I’m so glad that because of the sanitary conditions that there is NO CHANCE for complications or infection. Uh huh.

      • The term I once read on this site – years ago – about male circumcisions in South Africa was not “razor” but “rusty can lid”. I believe it, too.

    • Or they beg a few Advil from the nearest white medical mission.

  • r j p

    In the cutter’s house, though, a mobile phone ring shows how much remains to be done.

    Is that a BonoPhone or a BillGatesPhone?

  • mobilebay

    Do we need any other reason to understand that these people are savage sub-humans and should not be allowed anywhere near a civilized society? They are still living in the 10th century, The woman does not show any mercy for her own young daughter.

  • Puggg

    I don’t know much about this Ayn Rand. But I know Somalia does have a lot of government, that regulates a whole lot. It’s just low IQ religious extremism combined with the traditional black African warlord form of projecting power, the worst of both worlds. They regulate and govern a whole lot, just the wrong things.

    • Alexandra1973

      Ayn Rand was a Rothschild mistress.

  • IstvanIN

    And shortly 1 to 2 million in a generation.

  • IstvanIN

    This is equivalent to us bring back castratos. It was truly hideous how they castrated those boys. But then we have evolved.

    • Katherine McChesney

      That was a Roman Catholic rite of passage for their church choir boys.

      • IstvanIN

        And terribly wrong.

      • The did it so the tenor boys could reach higher pitches while singing. The reason they didn’t just use girl sopranos is because they were afraid one or two of the priests might want to have sex with a little girl and not a little boy.

        • Lagerstrom

          Much hand-wringing was involved (well, let’s say five minutes worth), but the problem ended up being solved in a most delightful way!

  • blight14

    What utterly primitive savages…..there is not ONE remotely valid reason for these creatures to ever step foot in western/white living spaces.

  • FransSusan

    Just this one thing, this act of total, irredeemable cruelty should announce to the world what low IQs this sub-human species possesses. This is proof positive that these ‘people’ have no business in a productive, civilized society.