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According to BBC News, the United Nations has announced that the fanatical Islamist group ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) has ordered female genital mutllation of thousands of girls and women in the large city of Mosul, Iraq.

Here is the lede:

The UN says militant Islamist group Isis has ordered all women and girls in Mosul, northern Iraq, to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM).

UN official Jacqueline Badcock said the fatwa, or religious edict, applied to females between the ages of 11 and 46.

The article also includes this:
The UN General Assembly approved a resolution in December 2012 calling for all member states to ban the practice.

Ms Badcock, the UN's resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, said the practice "is something very new for Iraq... and does need to be addressed", addressing reporters via video link from the Kurdish provincial capital of Irbil.

According to The Guardian, this fatwa could potentially affect four million people.

Words fail.

UPDATE:  There are some indications (see top of this thread) that this story may be some kind of disinformation campaign.  It's a true report from the BBC about a statement known to be actually made by a UN official.  But maybe she got snookered.

Naturally I hope this is a hoax!

I need to get to work, so I can't tend this any more.

UPDATE 2:  This article from the British International Business Times quotes a Mosul police spokesman as confirming the fatwa:  Its source for this is Bas News, the Kurdish news agency.

Key paragraph:  

Speaking to BasNews, a spokesman for Mosul police, Ahmed Obaydi, said: "Baghdadi's decision to have all women circumcised is, as he claims, to prevent immorality and promote Islamic attitudes among Muslims. The decision was made by Baghdadi as a 'gift' for people in Mosul."
I don't think this proves that this story is accurate.  But I think it's much too early to positively assert that the story is a hoax.

UPDATE 3:  Here is today's article about this from Bas News, the Kurdish news agency: .  It discussed interviews with several people in Mosul who confirmed that the fatwa was issued.

Again, this doesn't prove anything.  But it's too soon to positively assert that the story is a hoax (or a mistake).

UPDATE 4:  I always try to be honest, and I must say I'm starting to think I've been had.  Even the BBC is now doubting its own story: .

When I saw a BBC News report on a statement from the UN's highest human rights official in Iraq, I really did think I could take it to the bank.  Maybe part of the story will turn out to be true.  But given today's furor, I would have expected some evidence--or a retraction--from the United Nations.  Hopefully one or the other will be forthcoming.

If this does turn out to be a hoax (or strange mistake), I'll regret this diary, especially since rancor in one subthread contributed to the GBCW of a long-time user, somebody with whom I usually disagree these days, but who I'm sorry to see go.

Originally posted to Timaeus on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 06:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by Sex, Body, and Gender.

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