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Sweden - Girl tested for circumcision
A girl was forced by Swedish social workers to undergo a gynaecological examination simply because her parents were Somalian, Sweden's Discrimination Ombudsman has ruled.
The social workers forced the girl, 11, to submit to the examination to see whether she had been subjected to genital mutilation (circumcision). The girl was collected by police from school shortly after returning from a visit to relatives in Kenya.
Social workers' suspicions that the girl had been circumcised "were based entirely on the fact that the parents have Somalian heritage," Discrimination Ombudsman Katri Linna said in her ruling.
The decision to examine the girl was taken despite the fact that the parents had told their district nurse and social workers that they were opposed to female circumcision and that they were going to Kenya with the sole purpose of seeing their relatives.
The examination showed that the girl had not been circumcised.
This is an area, like all efforts to protect children from abuse, which will require tact and discretion. Sometimes health professionals walk an incredibly delicate line. If there is no abuse the child will have been upset. But if there has been abuse then something can be done, and more abuse prevented. Maybe these social workers were heavy handed – I don’t know – but I admire their realisation of the evils of FGM. I hope that the criticism of this case does not deter other social workers from acting if they think a girl is about to be mutilated. I hope their actions deter those parents who do support FGM from mutilating their own girls.
Jordan condemned on Monday the publication in Sweden of a cartoon of Islam's prophet, warning it could undermine inter-faith dialogue and co-existence. But a senior Jordanian journalist tells The Local that while many Jordanians are angry, the government there is keen not to step up the rhetoric.
Mahmoud el Abed, Managing Editor of the Jordan Times, told The Local that the government in Jordan was keen to keep its rhetoric on the issue as moderate as possible.
"The government sees it as its duty to protect Islam, but it doesn't want to jeopardize its diplomacy," he said.
Unlike Pakistan and Iran, which made formal protests to Sweden, Jordan is not making any diplomatic representation on the issue.