The mother of a boy who was circumcised against her wishes is seeking to challenge a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decision taken last November not to prosecute the doctor who carried out the procedure.
According to this National Secular Society report, via the Sunday Times, the boy was in such pain after he was ritually mutilated that he could not wear a nappy.
The CPS challenge is being mounted by the mother’s solicitor, Saimo Chahal QC, a partner at the London law firm Bindmans.
The baby was reportedly conceived after the mother had casual affair with a Muslim man. The baby was with the family during the Eid festival when the grandmother took him to be circumcised with the consent of the father but not the mother.
The mother, who has sole parental responsibility, said the boy was mutilated to make her son identify as Muslim:
His dad said he’s going to know he’s one of us and he’s going to hate you for the way you bring him up if I don’t bring him up a Muslim.
Female genital mutilation has been a criminal offence in the UK since 1985, but “nobody really gets” the problem with male circumcision, the mother said.
The CPS had reportedly previously written to her to say:
I have had to lay my son on a towel and not even been able to put him in a nappy because he is scratching away. Somebody needs to be held accountable for what they are doing to little boys.
Had it been the case that [the doctor] had performed the operation knowing that you did not consent, then potentially his actions would have amounted to assault.
Infant male circumcision is increasingly under the spotlight largely due to an international community of medics, lawyers and human rights workers challenging the practice. A draft bill to end non-therapeutic male genital cutting currently before the Icelandic parliament says circumcision without consent is a violation of children’s human rights.
The National Secular Society has long campaigned for an end to all forms of forced genital cutting.
Stephen Evans, NSS CEO, commented:
For too long, the most basic rights of young boys have been ignored due to an unwillingness to question this particular religious and cultural practice. The time has surely come to prioritise child safeguarding over parents’ wishes to express their religious beliefs through the cutting of their child’s genitals. Parent shouldn’t be entitled to demand surgical procedures that are contrary to the child’s best interests.