THE POSITION OF THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD ON CHILDREN
Egyptian girls (photograph taken by Ernest Albert Buckton in Egypt during WW2)
– what do the Muslim Brotherhood have in store for innocent and poverty stricken Egyptian girls except female genital mutilation?
THE POSITION OF THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD ON THE RIGHTS OF EGYPTIAN CHILDREN
What do Muslim Brotherhood think of the rights of children? Do they have any policies directed towards improving the miserable conditions of Egypt’s nearly 31 million children? Egypt’s problems are enormous, and the problems of its children are some of its worst; including childhood poverty, poor education and high illiteracy rate, poor school attendance, high education dropouts, poor nutrition and health care, relatively high maternity, perinatal, neonatal, infant and childhood mortality rates, child labour, high polygamy rate, high divorce rate, child marriage, child neglect, physical and sexual abuse, high prevalence of street children, drug and substance abuse, institutionalisation of children, and the extremely high rate of female genital mutilation (FGM).
In a previous article, “The Position of the Muslim Brotherhood on Women and Children – Analysis and Critique of the Freedom and Justice Party’s Parliamentary Election Program 2011”, I spoke about what the Muslim Brotherhood had in store for the women of Egypt. I did also talk in it about the Islamists’ position on children, but the focus was on women rights. Here, I would like to limit myself to the social policy of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, on Egypt’s children, based on their 2011 Election Program.
In their hunger for power, the Muslim Brotherhood try desperately to represent themselves as a moderate Islamist party, ready to amend their ways and political thinking which is based on political Islam, so that they may be seen as in agreement with the dictates of modernity, and in order to deceive others, particularly the West. This is characteristic of most Islamists, and is rooted in their tenet ‘taqiyya’, or subterfuge, a device by which they play the wolf in sheep clothing until they seize actual power. So, they open all their pamphlets with nice sentences like this, which one finds in their Election Program, Part IV, under “The family as the child’s first incubator”:
“The family is the oldest institution on earth. It’s also the first incubator for breeding and upbringing of humans.”
But their real intentions are revealed as soon as they allow themselves to expand, for their subterfuge is only exceeded by their incompetence. So immediately after the above sentence, they add:
“To realise the importance of focusing on the construction of the family unit as a means for making and shaping the good Egyptian citizen, let’s look at the outcome of the previous decades of exposure systematic corruption implemented by several parties, especially the National Council for women, the National Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and a whole list of civil society organisations that receive foreign funds from suspicious sources. Those were helped along down that slimy slope with a package of corrupt laws passed not due to public demand, but were the result of international dictates imposed on us by international conventions signed under the previous regime.”
Then their characteristic Islamist demagoguery takes hold of them, and reaches its highest pitch when they next reveal their hatred of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC):
“Do any members of our great public know that Egypt is a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which allows a child to choose the family to live with? Do Egyptians realise that they are obliged to accept homosexuals and treat them in the best and kindest way possible, in compliance with those agreements?? Not to mention the legalisation of adoption in ways strictly forbidden in Islamic law?!”
The whole subsection is characterised by demagoguery, cheap shots and allegations of international conspiracy and treachery by the Egyptian advocates of women and human rights. That was all in the Muslim Brotherhood’s parliament election program. They target the National Council for Motherhood and Childhood and the National Council for women, two Egyptian organisations created by the state to oversee and guard the rights of children and women. But their main targets are the two great pieces of international law which form part of the International Bill of Human Rights: the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which was adopted by the United Nation General Assembly in 1989 and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which was adopted in 1979. Their entire program in relation to children and women focus on these two; and they consider their adoption by Egypt as a conspiracy by the previous regime in collaboration with a ‘whole list of civil society organisations that receive foreign funds from suspicious sources’, and who issued ‘a package of corrupt laws’ that have caused ‘systematic corruption’ of the family institution in Egypt.
The Muslim Brotherhood do not see anything good in the great articles of the CRC and the noble objectives it tries to achieve in order to improve the miserable conditions of children worldwide. Instead, they seem to be rather concerned about three matters, which represent for them the ‘corrupting’ effects of the CRC on families:
- Egyptians, they say, will be “obliged to accept homosexuals and treat them in the best and kindest way possible, in compliance with those agreements”;
- It will enforce “the legalisation of adoption in ways strictly forbidden in Islamic law”;
- It will “[allow] a child to choose the family to live with”.
So let us try to study these concerns of the Muslim Brotherhood one by one and try to make heads or tails of them:
First, that Egyptians will be “obliged to accept homosexuals and treat them in the best and kindest way possible, in compliance with those agreements”. One cannot but observe that this is just a cheap shot used by the Islamists to scare off the conservative Egyptian society, and to represent to them the CRC as an international instrument that promotes homosexuality. There is nothing whatsoever in the CRC that is related in any way to homosexuality. Treating gay and lesbian people “in the best and kindest way possible” is a legitimate cause; however, the place for that is certainly not the CRC.
Second, that the CRC will enforce “the legalisation of adoption in ways strictly forbidden in Islamic law”. This is again scaremongering by the Muslim Brotherhood, for the CRC does not force State Parties to legalise adoption of children, as we shall see in a moment. But, first, to understand (if understanding is ever the right word in such situations) why the Muslim Brotherhood vehemently object to such a noble social device such as adoption of vulnerable children, either because they are orphaned, abandoned by their parents, or abused by them, one has to acquaint himself with the history of early Islam. Adoption was accepted by pre-Islam Arabs, and even into Islam up to a certain fateful date, when it was prohibited by the Koran. Prophet Muhammad himself adopted a child, Zaid ibn Harithah; and when Zaid became a man, he married Zainab bint Jahsh. According to the prevailing Arab culture, an adopted child was like a biological one – the adopting father could not marry the ex-wife of his adopted son, as that was prohibited on grounds of consanguinity (she being his ex-daughter-in-law). Muhammad, however, as Muslim sources themselves tell us, fell in love with Zainab while she was still married to Zaid, when he saw her by chance nearly naked. Without going into detail of what some regard as a scandalous affair while others defend, the story ended with Zaid divorcing Zainab and Muhammad marrying her with the assistance of a Koranic verse that was revealed then. Muhammad declared that Allah had prohibited adoption, and that he could not be regarded as father of Zaid (and consequently, he could marry Zainab, as she could not be his daughter-in-law). Thus the noble device of adoption of vulnerable children in Arabia, and all later Islamic societies, came to an end. It is a divine order in the religion of Islam that adoption must not exist; and this is what the Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood, who see themselves as guardians of Allah’s law (Sharia), are determined to ensure in Egypt.
The Egyptian government of Mubarak’s regime was aware of the sensitivities which the CRC, particularly Article 20, would raise in a predominantly conservative Muslim society as Egypt. Egypt did sign the CRC on 5 February 1990 and later ratified it on 6 July 1990; however, it expressed a reservation in respect of Articles 20, which it made upon signature, and confirmed upon ratification.
Article 20, is in fact one of the greatest articles in the CRC, as it is concerned with the child who is “temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment, or in whose own best interests cannot be allowed to remain in that environment”. Such a child, it says, “shall be entitled to special protection and assistance provided by the State,” which shall “in accordance with [its] national laws ensure alternative care for such a child.” Muslim sensitivities were unreasonably triggered because the article adds that the ‘alternative care’ that could give protection and assistance to such vulnerable children “could include, inter alia, foster placement, kafalah of Islamic law, adoption or if necessary placement in suitable institutions for the care of children.” Furthermore, “When considering solutions, due regard shall be paid to the desirability of continuity in a child’s upbringing and to the child’s ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic background.” It is clear that Article 20 mentions adoption only as one of many various systems of alternative care that include also the Islamic kafalah, and does not make it compulsory on State Parties to legalise adoption or force it on Muslim communities.
In its reservation in respect of Article 20, the Egyptian government explained its position in the following way:
“Islamic Shariah, (which) is one of the fundamental sources of legislation in Egyptian positive law, does not include among those ways and means (that provide protection and care for children) the system of adoption existing in certain other bodies of positive law.”
By making such a reservation, Egypt’s rulers of the time displayed weak leadership in the face of irrational Islamic opposition. The reservation as we have seen was totally unnecessary, misplaced and disingenuous as there is nothing in the CRC that would make adoption compulsory on state parties or obligatory on the Muslims of Egypt. One has to remember, here, that Egypt is not all Muslim; that not all its Muslims would like to be governed by the dictates of Sharia; and that the Copts, estimated to be at least 10 million, for sure do not want the injunction of Sharia on adoption to apply to them. Egypt’s reservation was, however, withdrawn on 31 July 2003, which outraged Islamist demagogues. And this is what the Muslim Brotherhood are determined to reverse.
Third, that the CRC will “allow a child to choose the family to live with”.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s reason behind their objection to allowing “a child to choose the family to live with” does not appear to be instantly clear. However, they must be referring to Articles 9.3, 12 and 14.1 of the CPC; which I reproduce below (italics mine):
3. States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child’s best interests.
1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.
1. States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
The Muslim Brotherhood object to the child, any child, having the right to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on regular basis, the right to express his or her own views freely in all matters affecting him or her, the right to be provided the opportunity to be heard in judicial and administrative proceedings that affect him or her, and the right to choose or not choose a certain religion and have freedom of thought and conscience. Now, it is important to note that the CRC defines a child as “every human being below the age of eighteen years” (Article 1). It also stresses the importance of assessing the child’s age and maturity before giving the views of the child due weight (Article 12.1).
The objections of the Muslim Brotherhood will not be fully understood until one gets to know about their position vis-à-vis what I call the Camilia Latif v. Medhat Ramsis legalcase, which had caused quite a stir in Egyptian society in the recent years. In fact, I do think that the Muslim Brotherhood’s objections were mainly voiced in response to that case, which to them undermined Sharia.
The famous case revolved around the custody and the religious identity of the two Coptic twins Mario and Andrew, who were born on 24 June 1994 to sea captain Medhat Ramsis and tax inspector Camilia Lutfi. Both parents were then Christian; however, in 2000, Medhat, their father, converted to Islam to marry a Muslim woman he had fallen in love with (under Sharia law, Christian men are banned from marrying Muslim women, but Muslim men can marry Christian women – if a Christian man wants to marry a Muslim woman, he must abandon Christianity and convert to Islam first). When one of Christian parents converts to Islam, their children are automatically considered by the Muslim authorities as Muslim, notwithstanding the personal preferences of the children, since ‘Islam is the best of religions’, and children of a Muslim parent must follow that religion. Now, Muslims in the books of the state, Medhat was able in 2005 to get a renewed birth certificate for Mario and Andrew stating that their religion was Islam, thus obliterating their Christian identity in the original document.
Mario and Andrew, however, rejected Islam, and insisted they were, regardless of what the new birth certificate said, Christians. “Faith is not by force,” they were reported to have said; adding, “We want to remain Christians and we do not wish to become Muslims.” This position they maintained and announced, privately and publically, until, at last, the authorities capitulated on 11 October 2011, when they were 17 years old, and recognised them as Christians, issuing them with new ID cards that stated their chosen religion. This, however, did not happen without much fighting by their mother, Camilia Lutfi, who maintained a constant campaign and legal battle against the state authorities, angering in the process the Islamists of Egypt.
The Islamists’ fury was particularly directed at a ruling by the Court of Cessation on 20 June 2009 that gave Camilia, and not her ex-husband who converted to Islam, the right to keep custody of her two sons until they were 15 years old. This was against Sharia law which would have ended her right to keep custody of her children at their earlier age of 7 years, and transferred it to the father. Although described by some as a landmark ruling, the concession given by the court to the Coptic woman was hallow since she was denied custody of her children for several years, and now they were almost 15 years old, she was allowed to keep custody of them (until they are 15 years old on 24 June)! Furthermore, the ruling of the Court of Cessation was not all favourable to Camilia (and her twin sons, Mario and Andrew), as it confirmed that both Mario and Andrew must remain Muslim, and that their birth certificates, which were altered in 2005, must stay as they were, identifying them as Muslims.
The Court of Cessation ruling in 2009 was not entirely satisfactory as Camilia was particularly anxious to revert back the religious identity of her two sons to Christianity before they reached the age of 16, when they would be required to apply for an adult identity card (ID), which would have sealed their fate for ever in the eyes of the state, by regarding them as Muslim adults. If that were to happen, Mario and Andrew would experience many untoward effects; however, the most serious outcome could be their labelling by the Muslim society and authorities as apostates (murtad’een) if they insisted on being Christians, with the potential of being exposed to the death sentence, according to Sharia, by the state or the extremists. As it happened, after sustained internal and external pressure, the Egyptian authorities eventually recognised both Mario and Andrew as Christians on 11 October 2011.
The whole case of Camilia Latif v. Medhat Ramsis, the way it was conducted, its outcomes which undermined the dictates of Sharia law, and the victories which Camilia Lutfi has secured, by her courage, indefatigability and love for her children, infuriated the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt and all the Islamists. They viewed the rulings as concessions and capitulations by the Egyptian authorities in response to international pressure, and influenced by the articles of the CRC.
To the Muslim Brotherhood, despite their continuous protestation to the contrary, and against the views of Mario and Andrew which they publically expressed, “faith is indeed by force”. The truth is that there is no such thing as freedom of religion in Sharia – children of Copts must be forced to adopt Islam if one of their parents converted to it, notwithstanding their expressed personal preferences. Furthermore, they cannot choose which parent they want to live with, or have contact with, or, indeed, express their views in any judicial or administrative proceedings in matters affecting them. Sharia says so, and once Sharia says so, no human being must say or act differently. That is what lies at the heart of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Parliamentary Election Program, 2011; and determines their position on children (and women).
Having set their limited, restrictive and regressive vision for the children (and women) of Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood tell us of their intended actions if they were to be elected:
- They will abolish the National Council for Childhood (and Motherhood and the National Council for Women), which they accuse of acting as “the intelligence arm of the international players in Egypt”.
- They will withdraw from the CRC (and the CEDAW), to achieve “complete independence for the Egyptian state”, and so that Egyptian policy “stems from the inherent pure values of the Egyptian people, not from some international agenda”. By these “inherent pure values of the Egyptian people” they of course mean the Islamic Sharia only, which will apply to all.
This is the Muslim Brotherhood promise for Egypt and the world: let us have less and less of children (and women) rights, and more and more of Sharia – letus withdraw from international conventions that form part of the International Bill of Human Rights. Now they have not only won the Parliamentary elections, but also the Presidential elections (with Mohamed Morsi being President of Egypt), some liberals may choose to continue to fool themselves, and hope that the Muslim Brotherhood will disappoint their critics. We remind them of two recent positions of the Muslim Brotherhood, which tell more about who they are:
- In 2008, the Egyptian Parliament, under Mubarak, passed a Child Protection Law. The Muslim Brotherhood vehemently opposed it, particularly in its stipulations to:
- Allow children of unwed mothers to have the right to be issued with birth certificates;
- Ban corporal punishment of children, child marriage, trial of children as adults, and female circumcision.
Mr Katany, a Muslim Brotherhood senior leader, who is now Speaker of the current Islamist-dominated Egyptian Parliament, opposed making female circumcision illegal, stating that it was a “tradition” that should remain an option for medical reasons and “beautification” purposes.
- After the 25 January Revolution, the only thing which the Islamists have shown interest in, in relation to children, is the encouragement of mutilation of the genitalia of Egyptian girls. In the Minya Governorate, Upper Egypt, and during the presidential campaign, the Muslim Brotherhood organised mobile FGM convoys, offering the illegal procedure to village girls free of charge, which was condemned by the National Council for Women and several human rights groups.
Now, female genital mutilation must not be treated as a ‘tradition’ or ‘beautification’ as the Muslim Brotherhood claim – it is, in truth, child physical and sexual abuse, with serious short and long term effects on the girl, her future sexual and maternity health, her potential partner, and the whole family. The problem of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Egypt is huge: 91% of all women aged 15-49 have been cut, with only Sierra Leone in the whole African continent competing with it, and Djibouti, Guinea and Somalia being worse. Although there is an overall decline in the prevalence of FGM all over the African continent, as testified by lower rates in younger women, the prevalence is still very high. 50.3% of Egyptian schoolgirls, aged 10-18 years, have had their genitalia mutilated, with higher prevalence in state schools, rural areas, and Upper Egypt. Many studies have cited religion as the most important reason for performing FGM in Egypt.
And, so, this is the Muslim Brotherhood vision and social policy on children, and what they have in store for them! The lack of any comprehensive program to address Egypt’s huge childhood problems is indicative of their poverty in ideology and policies; their opposition to the CRC (and the CEDAW) is a tell-tale sign of what they have in store for Egypt’s children (and women), and what kind of regard they have for the International Bill of Human Rights; but the one thing which really reveals their backwardness is their obsession, and passion, with female genital mutilation of children.
But are we surprised? Should we be surprised? Only nincompoops do, when it comes to the Muslim Brotherhood. The reader must understand that the sole purpose for the existence of this religious group is to revert Egypt back to the seventh century, where their whole being rests; and to put a stop to any human rights gains, however limited, that the children (and women) of Egypt might have secured in the modern age.
 In this article I use Muslim Brotherhood in the plural form, referring to ‘them’ rather than ‘it’.
 Unicef – Egypt – Statistics (2010). The definition of a child here is 18 and below.
 Ibid. Also see several reports including: International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Cairo, Street children in Egypt: Key findings of a study conducted by the National Center for Social and Criminological Research, 1999; Unicef: Street children, issues and impact; Unicef: A new approach to Egypt’s street children; Los Angeles Times: Egypt: 3 million children live on the streets, study says (11 August 2011); Ashraf Sadek in The Egyptian Gazette: Egypt street kids victims, not criminals (1 September 2011).
 See: Dioscorus Boles (15 December 2011), THE POSITION OF THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD ON WOMEN AND CHILDREN – ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUE OF THE FJP’S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION PROGRAM 2011, http://copticliterature.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/the-position-of-the-muslim-brotherhood-on-women-and-children-analysis-and-critique-of-the-fjps-parilamentary-election-programe-2011/
 Election Program: The Freedom and Justice Party: Egypt: Parliamentary Elections (2011): Freedom … Justice … Development … Leadership). The reader can get a copy of that program at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/73955131/FJP-Program-En An Arabic copy of the program is to be found at: http://www.hurryh.com/Party_Program.aspx
 Election Program; p. 24.
 The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood was established in 1988 (via Presidential Decree no. 54, 1988; and was amended via Presidential Decree no. 273, 1989). You can read its constitution, including mandate and objectives, here: http://www.nccm-egypt.org/e3/index_eng.html
 Election Program; p. 24. I have quoted the program as it is, despite its poor English.
 Election Program; p. 24.
 You can find the full text of the CEDAW here: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/cedaw.htm (English) and http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/text/0360793A.pdf (Arabic)
 Amnesty International says that, in general, the CRC calls for:
- Freedom from violence, abuse, hazardous employment, exploitation, abduction or sale
- Adequate nutrition
- Free compulsory primary education
- Adequate health care
- Equal treatment regardless of gender, race, or cultural background
- The right to express opinions and freedom of though in matters affecting them
- Safe exposure/access to leisure, play, culture, and art.
 By which they mean the CRC and the CEDAW.
 See: Holy Qur’an, translated by A., Yousuf Ali, Amana Corp., 1983. Verses 33: 4, 37, 40. The story about how adoption came to be prohibited, which is related to the marriage of Zaynab bint Jahsh to Muhammad, can be read in W. Montgomery Watt’s Muhammad, Prophet and Statesman (Oxford University Press; Oxford; 1961); pp. 155-159.
 For example: Annals of al-Tabari 2: 453, 563.
 Holy Qur’an: 33: 37.
 And article 21, which talks about the responsibilities of States Parties “that recognize and/or permit the system of adoption” and that they should follow certain measures to ensure that the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.
 For Kafalah, which is a much inferior system to adoption, see Kafallah; Fact Sheet Noo. 51 by the International Reference Centre for the Rights of Children Deprived of their Family (ISS/IRC); International Social Service (ISS): www.crin.org/docs/Kafalah.BCN.doc
 As it says: “… reservation with respect to all the clauses and provisions relating to adoption in the CRC.”
 AINA: ‘We Refuse to Be Muslims By Force’ Say Egyptian Christian Twin-Boys After Losing Court Case (26 April 2011). See also: Church in Chains: Egypt: EGYPT: Twin boys recognised as Christians (24 October 2011).
 The impact on the two children at that time (they were 11 years old) was mainly in relation to education and religion instruction – they would be expected to get religious lessons on Islam, not Christianity, at schools; and to be expected to pass an exam on the lessons at the end of the school year before they could be allowed to get to the next year. As both boys refused to do the exam on Islam, they were failed, and an year in education was lost to them.
 AINA: ‘We Refuse to Be Muslims By Force’ Say Egyptian Christian Twin-Boys After Losing Court Case (26 April 2011).
 Based on the Hanafi School of jurisprudence.
 Church in Chains: Egypt: EGYPT: Twin boys recognised as Christians (24 October 2011).
 According to Prophet Muhammad’s traditions, an apostate from, Islam must be killed. Although the Mubarak regime was unlikely to have executed Mario and Andrew, any Islamist regime, such as the Saudi, Iranian, and Sudanese would. Egypt is of course now ruled by Islamists also, but their power is being curtailed by the Military.
 The reader must not let himself me misled into thinking that anything real has changed in Egypt after the 25 January Revolution. He or she must note that the 11 October 2011 ruling followed the Maspero Massacre of the Copts by the Military (on 9 October 2011) by only one month. That massacre, in which 27 Copts were murdered by the Egyptian army and over 300 injured, was followed by tremendous international pressure on the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) to improve the lot of the Copts. The reader must also not be led to believe that there is in Egypt any real independence of the judiciary, whether pre- or post-25 January Revolution – the judiciary in Egypt has almost always been at the service of the executive powers that be.
 The keep citing Meccan Koran (i.e. Koran verses that were revealed in Mecca before Muhammad’s hijra in 622 AD), such as “La ikraha fil deen – there is no compulsion in religion. This, however, has been repealed by later verses that were revealed in Medina, after the hijra, when Muhammad gained political power, and strengthened himself. The use of Meccan verses, which are relatively tolerant, are often used by Islamists in their subterfuge. Verses revealed in Medina have superseded all Meccan verses on related matters.
 Which of course they did.
 Election Program; p. 25.
 The Christian Science Monitor: Egypt’s child protection law sparks controversy: Islamist opponents from the Muslim Brotherhood argue that the law imposes foreign values on Egyptians (By Liam Stack, 24 July 2008).
 Bikya Masr: Egypt’s Brotherhood mobile FGM convoys condemned by women’s group (14 May 2012). The Muslim Brotherhood, have, however, denied that they sponsored such convoys – for that, see: RT: Egypt to revive female genital mutilation in the name of Islam? (16 May 2012).
 Mohammed A Tag-Eldin, Prevalence of female genital cutting among Egyptian girls; Bulletin of the World Health Organization (2008; 86: 269-274).
 Unicef: Childinfo: Monitoring the Situation of Children and Women: Statistics by area: Female genital mutilation.
 Mohammed A Tag-Eldin, Prevalence of female genital cutting among Egyptian girls.
 The prevalence of FGM in government urban schools was 46.2%; private urban schools 9.2%; and in rural schools 61.7%. See: Mohammed A Tag-Eldin, Prevalence of female genital cutting among Egyptian girls.
 See notes 40 and 42.
 In Luxor city the FGM prevalence was 85.5% (and in the rural areas of Luxor almost all females were circumcised [99.3%]); in Assuit and Bani Suef rates were 75.5% and 73.1%. This does not mean that Lower Egypt is much lower in the prevalence of FGM – there are still governorates with high rates, such as Dakahlyia (49.8%) and Sharkia (73.9%). See: Mohammed A Tag-Eldin, Prevalence of female genital cutting among Egyptian girls.
 Mohammed A Tag-Eldin, Prevalence of female genital cutting among Egyptian girls. See also: BBC Newsnight Report By Sue Lloyd-Roberts: Female genital mutilation rife in Egypt despite ban (15 February 2012).
 The reader must have noticed that I treat FGM within the scope of children rights rather than women rights. This is because FGM is in fact physical and sexual abuse of children with long term, and life lasting, negative effects.