Twitter has approved and promoted an advertisement for female genital mutilation or female circumcision. The Dawoodi Bohra Women for Religious Freedom had posted a tweet on September 9 promoting the practise of khafz or genital mutilation of women. The tweet was allowed by Twitter ads to become a sponsored tweet which kept on popping in people’s feeds till September 13. The women group from the Shiite Muslim community of the Dawoodi Bohra group contested that the female circumcision it practices has been “wrongly classified as female genital mutilation (FGM).” Twitter Communications had pulled down the ad and had also released an exclusive statement which said, “These self-promoted Tweets were found to be violation of our ads policies. We took action and suspended the campaign immediately.” The Dawoodi Bohra community in India has been promoting its members to speak out against the practice of female genital mutilation.
— Ingrid Srinath (@ingridsrinath) September 10, 2018
There are a few fringe groups in the country which have been trying hard to preserve this barbaric practice which the World Health Organization has classified as type 4 FGM. Twitter sending out ads related to such a practice therefore is not just shocking but also endorsement of a barbaric practice. It took five days for Twitter to realize its mistake just because it is a practice carried out by a minority group of Muslims. The left dominated Twitter space has once again proved its biasness in banning and releasing content through its action.
The Supreme Court of India had already taken a stand for woman’s right and dignity by opposing the petition filed by the counsel for a group of Dawoodi Bohra in support of female genital mutilation earlier this year. The counsel for the group of Dawoodi Bohra was none other than Congress leader and senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi. Singhvi had argued that female genital mutilation was an essential practice of the religion of the Dawoodi Bohras community. He had also contended that it was not right for the court to interfere with a community’s religion. Attorney General KK Venugopal strongly opposed this view of the Congress leader and senior lawyer by stating, “The practice is banned in the US, Australia, UK and several African countries. It ought to be prohibited by law.”
The three-judge bench, hearing the matter is led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud. Congress leader and Counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi further stated that a “prejudicial image” was being brought to the court of the practice and it was in reality an essential part of the religion of the Dawoodi Bohra sect. The Attorney General quickly followed this with a rebuttal, “Sati was also banned. As also thuggery… which was banned by William Bentinck. Can they be said to be essential practices now?”
The central government has already been pushing for a ban on the ghastly practice which mutilates the private parts of a woman. The petition filed by the Dawoodi Bohra Women’s Association for Religious Freedom was an appeal against the decision of centre which has pushed to end this torment for the women belonging to the Dawoodi Bohra community. There is an urgent need to end practices like Nikah Halala, polygamy, triple talaq and female genital mutilation which are brutal and horrific to say the least for the women who are forced to abide by them.