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Forced circumcision refers to circumcision of males who have not given their consent to the procedure. In a biblical context the term is used especially in relation to Paul the Apostle and his polemics against the forced circumcision of gentile Christians. Among adults, forced circumcisions have occurred in a wide range of situations, most notably in the compulsory conversion of non-Muslims to Islam and the forced circumcision of Teso, Turkana and Luo men in Kenya, as well as the abduction of South African teenage boys to so-called circumcision schools ("bush schools"). In South Africa, custom allows uncircumcised Xhosa-speaking men past the age of circumcision (i.e., 25 years or older) to be overpowered by other men and forcibly circumcised.
- 1 Historical lies about the subject
- 2 History and contemporary forced circumcision
- 2.1 Hasmonean Kingdom (140 BCE–37 BCE)
- 2.2 Roman Empire
- 2.3 Asia and North Africa
- 2.4 Africa south of the Sahara
- 2.5 Australia
- 2.6 Other geographical areas
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 Sources
Historical lies about the subject
In medieval England and Europe, the growing persecution of Jews came to be accompanied by freely invented stories of forced circumcisions and even murders of Christian boys. Similarly, there are examples from India that stories of forced circumcisions have been fabricated or exaggerated to incriminate Muslims.
History and contemporary forced circumcision
Hasmonean Kingdom (140 BCE–37 BCE)
1 Maccabees relates the story of how Mattathias (ca. 166 BC) forcibly circumcised the sons of Jewish parents who had abandoned the rite. Forced circumcision of Gentiles by Jews is attested from the second century BC onwards. In 125 BC John Hyrcanus conquered Edom, which the Romans called Idumea; and the Idumeans were converted to Judaism. As reported by Josephus, circumcision was required of the Idumeans as a token of their acceptance of Judaism:
Hyrcanus took also Dora and Marissa, cities of Idumea, and subdued all the Idumeans; and permitted them to stay in that country, if they would circumcise their genitals, and make use of the laws of the Jews; and they were so desirous of living in the country of their forefathers, that they submitted to the use of circumcision, and the rest of the Jewish ways of living; at which time therefore this befell them, that they were hereafter no other than Jews.
Scholars disagree on the interpretation of the sources. For example, Steven Weitzman believes the Idumeans were forcibly circumcised for political, not religious, reasons. According to Shaye J. D. Cohen, "Ptolemy's claim, that the Idumaeans were compelled to be circumcised and to adopt Jewish ways, is a simplified account of what these urban Idumaeans experienced." During the short reign of Hyrcanus' eldest son, Aristobulus I (104-103 BC), the Hasmoneans gained control of Galilee. In this case, too, sources indicate that the residents were subjected to forced circumcision. Archaeological evidence suggests that, during this period, Gentiles fled from Galilee to avoid being forcibly circumcised.
Greeks and Romans regarded circumcision as a mutilation of the male genitalia, but the practice is little discussed in Roman literary sources until the second century of the Christian era. There was a circumcision controversy in Early Christianity but this was resolved at the Council of Jerusalem c.50 which made it clear that circumcision of gentile converts to Christianity was not required. Josephus (who changed his allegiance from the Jews to the Roman Flavians) reports that two Roman officers who had taken refuge with Galileans during the war with Rome (early 67 AD) were put under pressure to convert to Judaism. Josephus, declaring that "every one should worship God in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience," claims to have saved the two Gentiles from forced circumcision. After the First Roman-Jewish War, a head tax, the Fiscus Judaicus, was levied against all Jews. According to Suetonius, Domitian (c.90) also applied this tax to those who were circumcisied, even if they claimed they were not Jews. Titus Flavius Clemens (consul) was put to death in 95 for adopting Jewish customs. In 96 Nerva relaxed the Jewish tax as applying only to those who professed to be Jews. Sometime between 128 and 132 AD, the emperor Hadrian seems to have temporarily banned circumcision, on pain of death. Antoninus Pius exempted Jews from the ban, as well as Egyptian priests, and Origen (d. ca. 253) says that in his time only Jews were permitted to practice circumcision. Legislation under Constantine, the first Christian emperor, freed any slave who was subjected to circumcision; in the year 339, circumcising a slave became punishable by death.
Although Greco-Roman writers view circumcision as an identifying characteristic of Jews, they believed the practice to have originated in Egypt, and recorded it among peoples they identified as Arab, Syrian, Phoenician, Colchian, and Ethiopian; circumcision was a marker of "the Other". Diaspora Jews might circumcise their male slaves as well as adult male converts and Jewish male infants. According to Catherine Hezser, it is an open question whether Jews of late antiquity refrained from forcibly circumcising their Gentile slaves and whether Romans avoided selling their slaves to Jews in reaction to the prohibition. The Mishnah (compiled about 200 AD) is silent on this point, whereas the Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael (written at the end of the fourth century or later) suggests that Jews might indeed possess uncircumcised slaves.
Asia and North Africa
Forced conversions, involving forced circumcision, are echoed in a vast body of scholarly literature spanning the entire history of Islam. Scholars conclude that, during the Islamic conquest of the Middle East and North Africa, forced conversion to Islam through violence or threat of violence did not play a key role. However, taxes and regulations requiring the holders of prestigious positions to become Muslims have been regarded as a form of forced conversion.
In the aftermath of the 1780 Battle of Pollilur, 7,000 British soldiers were held imprisoned by Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan in the fortress of Seringapatnam. Of these, more than 300 were forcibly circumcised. Cromwell Massey, who kept a secret diary during his captivity, wrote: "I lost with the foreskin of my yard all those benefits of a Christian and Englishman which were and ever shall be my greatest glory." Adolescent captives were, in addition to being circumcised, made to wear female clothes. James Bristow, a teenage artilleryman, revenged himself by circumcising dogs, believing that this would harm the religious feelings of the Muslim warders. The prospect of punishment did not deter him, because "compelling us to undergo an abhorred operation [was] so base and barbarous an act of aggression, that it was impossible to reflect on it with temper." James Scurry, also a prisoner of war, confirms in his book, The Captivity, Sufferings, and Escape of James Scurry (1824), that English soldiers, Mangalorean Catholics, and other prisoners were forcibly circumcised. In 1784, when Tipu returned from Mangalore, he brought back tens of thousands of Mangalorean Catholics from Kanara and subjected them to forced circumcision. A Hindi idiom 'Mar-mar ke Musalman bana' (meaning 'make Muslim by repeated beating') can be traced to originate from forcible conversion of Hindus.
According to Kativa Daiya, during the 1947 partition of India "[f]orced circumcision, shaving facial and head hair (for Sikh men), and shaving off the Hindu Brahmin's traditional, short, plaited hair (on an otherwise bald head) were routine Muslim conversion tactics for men and boys." Asia News reported in 2004 that the Justice and Peace Commission of Lahor spoke out against young non-Muslim men in Pakistan being converted and circumcised against their will. In 2005, the Gulf Times discussed a case of forced circumcision of Nepalese boys in Mumbai in the context of sex trade in large Indian cities.
Iraqi Mandaeans, residing almost exclusively in Baghdad and Basra, do not circumcise. However, their religious sensitivity on this issue has not prevented hostile rulers from subjecting Mandaean men and boys to forced circumcision. Mandaean communities, especially after the invasion of Iraq, have been subject to "murder, kidnapping, rape, forced conversion, forced circumcision and destruction of religious property."
In Iraq in 2003, shortly after the fall of the Saddam regime, the thirty-five families who made up the Mandean community in Fallujia were ordered at gunpoint to adopt Islam; the men were forcibly circumcised.
In 2007 the US Committee on International Religious Freedom heard testimony reporting: "Forced conversion is happening in an alarming degree. Boys are being kidnapped, forcibly circumcised - a major sin in the Mandaean religion - and forcibly converted to Islam."
The Ottoman Empire
There are accounts of Christian boys abducted and forcibly circumcised even in the nineteenth century. In 1829 9 year old Greek boy Alexandros Kitos and other young boys were kidnapped by Ottoman soldiers and sold into slavery in Egypt, all were circumcised against their will. It is well established that, before and during the Armenian Genocide, forced conversions (involving forced circumcisions) of Armenian boys and men were frequent. "In many cases young Armenian children were spared from deportation by local Turks who took them from their families. The children were coerced into denouncing Christianity and becoming Muslims, and were then given new Turkish names. For Armenian boys the forced conversion meant they each had to endure painful circumcision as required by Islamic custom."
During the Istanbul Pogrom in September 1955, "many Greek men, including at least one priest, were subjected to forced circumcision." As a result of the pogrom, the Greek minority eventually emigrated from Turkey. In 2002 there was a report that non-Muslim army recruits in Turkey had been threatened with forced circumcision. Cases are documented where Syro-Orthodox men serving in the Turkish military forces have been threatened with forced circumcision. In 1991, a young Christian Turk, fleeing from forced circumcision in the Turkish military forces, was granted asylum in Germany.
The Yazidi (not all of whom are circumcised) in Turkey have for years been subjected to direct state persecution, including compulsory religious instruction at school, forced conversion, forced circumcision, and mistreatment during military service. In 1999 there was a report of the forced circumcision of Yedizi men in Turkish Kurdistan.
The Arab world
John Rawlins had sailed for 23 years without incident when, in 1621, he and his crew were kidnapped by pirates from the Barbary Coast of North Africa. Rawlins later reported that, after being taken to Algiers, two younger men were "by force and torment ... compelled ... to turn Turks," which means that they were forcibly circumcised. By organizing a successful mutiny, he was able to return home in 1622. The Portuguese Friar Jaono dos Sanctos claimed that, annually in Algiers in the 1620s, more than nine hundred Christian slaves were converted to Islam, "besides about fifty boys yearly circumcised against their wills."
Thousands of Christians were forcibly circumcised in the Moluccas from December 1999 to January 2001. The Sydney Morning Herald reported in detail on this, stating that "almost all" of 3,928 villagers forced to convert to Islam were circumcised. Razors and knives were reused, causing infections. One of those circumcised, Kostantinus Idi, reported: "I could not escape," he said. "One of them held up my foreskin between pieces of wood while another cut me with a razor ...the third man held my head back, ready to pour water down my throat if I screamed. But I couldn't help but scream and he poured the water. I kept screaming aloud and vomited. I couldn't stand the pain." He further reported that one of the clerics urinated on his wound, saying it would stop infection. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the forced conversions and forced circumcisions had been condemned by moderate Muslim leaders who said they were contrary to Islamic teachings. The local governor had also investigated the incidents.
Africa south of the Sahara
In Kenya, most tribes circumcise. Luo men from Western Kenya are a significant exception, for which reason they have regularly been subjected to forced circumcision. In August 2002, following a violent incident in Butere/Mumias District, a district commissioner instructed the police to "crack down on traditional surgeons involved in forcible circumcision."
In November 2005, the Kenyan Human Rights Commission announced that it would seek prosecutions against politicians for inciting such violence. In one instance, a cabinet minister had said, "Those who are not circumcised should be taken for a circumcision ceremony." The Commission said this amounted to an incitement to violence.
In late January 2008, a disputed election in which circumcision became an issue between President Mwai Kibaki, a Kikuyu and opposition candidate Raila Odinga, a Luo, "the fact that Odinga was uncircumcised became an issue: He was seen by some Kikuyus as a 'child' unfit to rule because he had not passed through circumcision and initiation." Post-election violence reportedly "focused on tribal animosities", and included several cases of forced circumcision. AFP reported one Kenyan man's experience: "A group of eight men with pangas (machetes) entered. They asked for my ID [to determine what tribe he belonged to] They slashed me and they circumcised me by force. I screamed a lot and cried for help...' He complained that police left him in a pool of blood, taking weapons left behind by the Kikuyu gang.
In September 2010, at Malaba, West Kenya, a 21-year-old Teso man was lured to a hotel, drugged, smeared with fermented millet flour and was being led away by several Bukusu to be circumcised when the police intervened. The Teso man, who agreed to a medical circumcision, condemned the Bukusu youths for trying to impose their culture on the Teso. Three weeks previously, village neighbours in Aedomoru sub location in Teso north armed themselves with clubs and prevented a 35-year-old man from being forcibly circumcised.
In 1999, a woman who was feared throughout the Vaal Triangle district of South Africa, controlled a gang of kidnappers that abducted young people, forcibly circumcising the boys and extorting ransoms from their parents for their release. A local police officer said as many as 10 teenagers had been snatched every day.
In December 2004, 45-year-old Nceba Cekiso was caught and circumcised against his will. The report in the Cape Argus noted,
"Xhosa culture allows people to forcibly circumcise boys deemed to be past the age of initiation... Forcing people do undergo the ancient ritual ... has, in recent times, caused concern among human rights organisations... (In) one instance two Rastafarians objected to the procedure on religious grounds. The incident has sparked a debate on whether or not traditionalists should still be allowed to force people against their will into the bush to undergo initiation.
Despite being medically circumcised, a Christian Xhosa was forcibly recircumcised by his father and community leaders in 2007. He laid a charge of unfair discrimination on the grounds of his religious beliefs, seeking an apology from his father and the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa. In the settlement that was reached, and which was made an order of the Equality Court, the Congress of Traditional Leaders accepted the right of adult males to choose whether to attend traditional circumcision schools according to their religious beliefs. It apologised for the comments made by its former chairman encouraging the ostracism of teenagers who refused to undergo traditional circumcision. The judge declared, "What is important in terms of the Constitution and law is that no one can be forced to submit to circumcision without his consent."
According to South African newspapers, the subsequent trial became "a landmark case around forced circumcision." In October 2009, the Bhisho Equality Court (High Court) ruled that, in South Africa, circumcision is unlawful unless done with the full consent of the initiate. According to Thembela Kepe, traditional leaders allege that the ban on forced circumcision is "a violation of cultural rights enshrined in the Constitution."
There is ample evidence that, for years, Christians of Khartoum and elsewhere in Sudan have been forcefully converted to Islam, and that Christian men and boys have been forcibly circumcised. Examples of Dinka boys having been forcibly circumcised in the 1990s and 2000s are known from the context of traditional slavery, still endemic in Sudan.
As discussed by anthropologist Suzette Heald and other scholars, the Gisu (alternatively, Bagishu) of Uganda "take pride in not tolerating uncircumcised men." For this reason, in Gisu society, any boy or man who has been able to escape ritual circumcision (called "imbalu") faces the prospect of being forcibly circumcised. Voice of America, referring to the same practice, reports: "Among the Bagishu, uncircumcised men are treated with contempt; they are not allowed in society and in most cases they are seen as failing to get local women for marriage. This is supported by all the Bagishu including women who often report uncircumcised men to tribal elders. It's considered traditional that no male is to escape the ritual regardless of where he lives, what he does or what kind of security he has."
In 2004 a father of seven was seized and forcibly circumcised after his wife told Bagishu tribal circumcisers that he was uncircumcised. A local official said the authorities could not intervene in a cultural ritual. Other forced circumcisions occurred in September 2006 and June 2008. In all these cases, family members of the victims approved of the forced circumcision. Other tribal groups in Uganda and the Ugandan Foundation for Human Rights Initiative regard forced circumcision as a human rights abuse. The Ugandan Government and the President of the Ugandan Law Society condemned the incident, but the victim refused to press charges.
Traditional circumcision is still practised in some tribal areas of Australia. Linguist and anthropologist Peter Sutton, commenting on forced circumcision and the absence of law enforcement in remote settlements, claims that Australian law has been applied in a patchy way: "Involuntary circumcision has long been widely accepted as being de facto outside the scope of Australian law." Late in 1996, 34-year-old Irwin Brookdale was drinking with a group of Australian Aborigines on the banks of a river in far north Queensland. After he passed out, a woman in the group felt down his pants, found that he was not circumcised and called on her companions to "make a man out of him." They attempted to circumcise him with a broken beer bottle. Brookdale ended up in hospital, one of his assailants was convicted of unlawful wounding and Brookdale was awarded A$10,000 compensation for nervous shock.
Other geographical areas
Breakup of Yugoslavia
The breakup of Yugoslavia, according to Milica Z. Bookman, "was extremely violent, producing some two million refugees, over 100,000 killed, and evidence of gang rape, impaling, dismemberment and forced circumcision."
The US Department of State reported that Muslim and Mujahedin irregular troops "had routinely performed crude, disfiguring, nonmedical circumcisions on Bosnian Serb soldiers." One 18-year-old Bosnian Serb soldier "was so brutally circumcised that eventually the entire organ required amputation."
- See, e.g., Dunn, Paul and the Mosaic Law, p. 265; Tomson, "Transformations of Post-70 Judaism," p. 120.
- "Although the Qur'an speaks against forced conversion, such conversions of Christians and Jews took place under Muslim rule until the early decades of the twentieth century." Lerner, Religion, Secular Beliefs and Human Rights, p. 142.
- On occurrences of forced circumcision in Kenya, see Glazier, Land and the Uses of Traditions, p. 25; Wamwere, I Refuse to Die, p. 149, passim; Karimi and Ochieng, The Kenyatta Succession, p. 13; Rutten and Owuor, "Weapons of mass destruction"; Kagwanja, "Courting genocide." Regarding the situation in South Africa, see Ndangam, Lifting the Cloak, pp. 211-213; Meintjies, Manhood at a Price; Mayatula and Mavundla, "A review on male circumcision procedures"; Crowly and Kesner, "Ritual Circumcision."
- Funani, Circumcision among the Ama-Xhosa, p. v.
- See, e.g., Harding, England, pp. 152-153; Lipman, The Jews of Medieval Norwich, pp. 59-64; Hsia, Trent 1475, pp. 57-60; Fabre-Vassas, The Singular Beast, p. 132.
- Thursby, Hindu-Muslim Relations, p. 140.
- "And Mattathias and his friends went around and tore down the altars; they forcibly circumcised all the uncircumcised boys that they found within the borders of Israel " (1 Macc. 2:45-46, New Revised Standard Version).
- Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews XIII 9:1, 254 ff; see, e.g., Cohen, The Beginnings of Jewishness, pp. 110-111; Taus, Torah for Today, p. 104.
- Weitzman, "Forced Circumcision."
- Cohen, "Religion, Ethnicity, and Hellenism," p. 216
- See, e.g., Fiensy, New Testament Introduction, p. 19.
- Charlesworth, "Why Evaluate Twenty-five Years," pp. 10-11.
- Juvenal 14.103–104; Tacitus, Historia 5.5.1–2; Martial 7.30.5, 7.35.3–4, 7.82.5–6, 11.94; Margaret Williams, "Jews and Jewish Communities in the Roman Empire," in Experiencing Rome: Culture, Identity and Power in the Roman Empire (Routledge, 2000), p. 325; Mary Smallwood, The Jews under Roman Rule: From Pompey to Diocletian (Brill, 1976), p. 431; Jack N. Lightstone, "Roman Diaspora Religion," in A Companion to Roman Religion (Blackwell, 2007), p. 362.
- Acts 15: 5-21
- Josephus, Life 23 §113; see also Goodman, "Galilean Judaism," p. 602; Donaldson, Paul and the Gentiles, p. 323.
- Peter Schäfer, The History of the Jews in the Greco-Roman World (Routledge, 1983, 2003), p. p. 150, and Judeophobia: Attitudes toward Jews in the Ancient World (Harvard University Press, 1997), p. 103, pointing out this depends on a single note on the ban as a cause for the Bar Kokhba revolt in the Historia Augusta, the historical credibility of which is often cast in doubt. Cassius Dio mentions nothing about circumcision in his account of the revolt. See also Smallwood, The Jews under Roman Rule, pp. 430–431, who thinks the ban makes more sense as a punitive measure after the revolt, since it "ran completely counter to the long established Roman policy of guaranteeing Jewish religious liberty."
- Schäfer, The History of the Jews, p. 150; Smallwood, The Jews under Roman Rule, p. 467.
- Smallwood, The Jews under Roman Rule, p. 470.
- Schäfer, Judeophobia, p. 103. Smallwood, The Jews under Roman Rule, p. 469, takes Origen as meaning that circumcision was "a solely Jewish rite" by his time.
- Peter Schäfer, The History of the Jews, p. 185.
- Several Greco-Roman writers, such as Strabo, regarded the Jews as of Egyptian descent, in what was apparently their understanding of the Exodus: Schäfer, Judeophobia, pp. 93–94.
- Smallwood, The Jews under Roman Rule, p. 430; Schäfer, Judeophobia, pp. 93–94.
- Lightstone, "Roman Diaspora Judaism," p. 363.
- Hezser, Jewish Slavery in Antiquity, p. 42; see also Hezser, "Slaves and Slavery."
- Schorsch, Jews and Blacks, p. 378, n. 24.
- See, e.g., Lerner, Religion, Secular Beliefs, and Human Rights, p. 142; Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity, pp. 88-91; Stark, God's Battalions, p. 28; Clarence-Smith, Islam, p. 39, passim; Misra, Identity and Religion, p. 91, passim.
- Firestone, An Introduction to Islam, p. 58; see also Misra, Identity and Religion, p. 172.
- Darby, A Surgical Temptation, pp. 32-33; see also Oddy, Religion in South Asia, p. 42, passim.
- Colley, Captives, p. 288.
- Lawrence, Captives of Tipu, p. 35.
- Bowring, Lewin (1893). Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan and the struggle with the Musalman powers of the south (1974 ed.). Delhi: ADABIYAT-I DELLI.
- See, e.g., Naravane, Battles, p. 175.
- Daiya, Violent Belongings, pp. 69-70.
- "Christian minorities in Pakistan: little freedom and rising Islamic pressure". AsiaNews.it. 9 March 2004. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
- "Former sex worker's tale spurs rescue mission". Gulf Times. Gulf-Times.com. 10 April 2005. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
A Muslim man ran the flesh trade there in young boys and girls, most of them lured from Nepal. For two years, Raju was kept locked up, taught to dress as a girl and circumcised. Many of the other boys there were castrated.
- See, e.g., Lupieri, The Mandaeans.
- Buckley, The Great Stem of Souls, pp. 149-150.
- Nickerson et al., "The impact of fear"; see also Nickerson et al., "Fear of Cultural Extinction."
- C.G. Häberl. "The Rape of Basra: Cleansing the Iraqi Mandaeans". The Arab Washingtonian. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
In the city of Falluja, one of the most ancient seats of Mandaeism in the country, the thirty-five families who composed the community were ordered at gunpoint to adopt Islam shortly after the fall of the Saddam regime. The men were forcibly circumcised and the women were married off to Muslim men. Those who resisted were summarily executed.
- Testimony of Dr Suhaib Nashi at the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Hearing on Threats to Iraq's Communities of Antiquity, 25 July 2007; see USCIRF press release, "USCIRF Hearing: Threats to Iraq's Communities of Antiquity," July 25, 2007 (issued by Judith Ingram).
- Jacques, The Albanians, p. 222.
- The Greek War of Independence the struggle for freedom from Ottoman oppression pg. 110
- See, e.g., Bobelian, Children of Armenia, pp. 28-29.
- "Armenians in Turkey 1915-1918 1,5000,000". The History Place. 2000. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
- Zayas, "The Istanbul Pogrom"; see also Vryonis, The Mechanism of Catastrophe, pp. 224-226, passim.
- Dr Tessa Hofmann (October 2002). "Armenians in Turkey Today: A critical assessment of the situation of the Armenian minority in the Turkish Republic" (PDF). The EU Office of Armenian Associations of Europe. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
- Carlier, Who Is a Refugee, pp. 128-129, 132.
- Zabus, Between Rites and Rights, p. 233.
- Carlier, Who Is a Refugee, p. 150, n. 203; see also Jwaideh, The Kurdish National Movement, p. 20.
- Martin van Bruinessen, Utrecht University (July 1999). "The nature and uses of violence in the Kurdish conflict". Paper presented at the International colloquium "Ethnic Construction and Political Violence", organized by the Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, Cortona, July 2–3, 1999. Universiteit Utrecht. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
The Yezidi religious minority has suffered similar but perhaps even more severe forms of oppression than the Christian communities. Despised by Muslims as "devil-worshippers" and not protected by any form of official recognition, they constituted the most vulnerable community. Adult men were forcibly circumcised, their unshaven moustaches — symbol of their religious identity — cut, their property destroyed and, inevitably, many of their women abducted, forcibly Islamised and married by Muslim neighbours.
- Fuller, "John Rawlins"; see also DiPiero, White Men Aren't, p. 69.
- Quoted in Davis, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters, p. 22.
- Lipton, Religious Freedom in Asia, p. 124.
- Murdoch, Lindsay (2001-01-27). "Terror attacks in the name of religion". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2010-10-05.
- The Travels of Marco Polo, Book 3, Chapter 35; see also Strickland, Saracens, Demons, & Jews, p. 159.
- See, e.g., Glazier, Land and the Uses of Traditions, p. 25.
- "Man Forcibly Circumcised As Crowd Watches". The Nation, Nairobi, Kenya. 2002-08-23. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
A man was yesterday forcibly circumcised by traditional surgeons in Mumias-Butere District as police watched helplessly. Mr John Otieko... was cornered by a mob ... stripped naked, frog-marched to a nearby river and covered with clay ... then brought to Mayoni trading centre ... to be circumcised as an excited crowd watched. Efforts by four traffic police officers who were manning a roadblock on the highway a few metres away from the scene failed when the crowd started stoning them. The victim was then left bleeding at the scene. District Commissioner Ernest Munyi expressed shock at the incident and told police to crack down on traditional surgeons involved in forcible circumcision.line feed character in
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- Savula, Ayub. "Six ministers on violence List of Shame". AfricaFiles.org. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
- Dixon, Robyn (2008-01-09). "Forced circumcision reported in Kenya". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-05.
- "'Forced circumcision': the latest weapon in Kenya's ethnic strife". AFP. 29 January 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
- "Police save man from forceful cut". West FM. West Media Limited. 2 September 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
- Sibusiso Bubesi (14 March 1999). "Boy threatened with death after investigation into circumcision camps. Children kidnapped and mutilated". , Sunday Times. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- Melanie Peters (4 July 2004). "Rastafarian circumcised against his will". IOL News. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Myolisi Gophe (2 April 2005). "Wife held after husband's forced circumcision". The Cape Argus. Independent Online News, south Africa. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- "Traditional circumcision: Custom vs the Constitution". Centre for Constitutional Rights. November 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
- "Forced circumcision: Son takes parents on". IOL: News for South Africa and the World. 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
- "Judgment in forced circumcision case". Legalbrief Today. 2009-10-14. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
- Kepe, "'Secrets' that kill."
- See "Sudan: Reports of Catholic residents of Khartoum or elsewhere in Sudan being forcefully converted to Islam", Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, 19 October 2001, and references therein; see also Akol, Burden of Nationality, pp. 25-72. According to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000, February 2001 (United States Department of State, Washington, DC), non-Muslim Sudanese boys kidnapped off the streets have undergone forced circumcision in government camps and juvenile houses; see "Sudan". United States Department of State. 2001-02-23. Retrieved 2010-10-05.
- Lobban, "Slavery in the Sudan." The article is available online: "Slavery in the Sudan since 1989". Arab Studies Quarterly. 2001. Retrieved 2010-10-05. Stephanie Beswick, "The Ethnicity of Bondage in the Valley of the Upper Nile: Slavery and the Slave Trade through the Eyes of the Possessed," paper presented at the 6–8 April 2000 meetings of the Sudan Studies Association, Vassar College. See also Michael Coren, "Sudan's Slaves," Frontpage, Toronto, Ontario, 25 November 2003: "Sudan's Slaves". Retrieved 2010-10-05.
- Otiso, Culture and Customs of Uganda, p. xvii.
- Heald, Manhood and Morality, p. 13.
- Peterson Ssendi (2007-03-23). "Ugandan Ethnic Group Criticized for Forced Male Circumcision". Voice of America. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
- "Bagisu flee circumcision", The Monitor, Kampala, 25 August 2004. Accessed at http://allafrica.com/stories/200408250493.html 26 August 2004 but now available only by subscription
- "Man forced into circumcision" New Vision, 13 September 2006. http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/17/520821 accessed 5 October 2010
- Peterson Ssendi, "Ugandan Ethnic Group Criticized for Forced Male Circumcision," Voice of America, Kampala, 23 March 2007, http://www.voanews.com/english/Africa/2007-03-23-voa58.cfm accessed 5 October 2010
- Peterson Ssendi, "Ugandan Ethnic Group Criticized for Forced Male Circumcision," Voice of America, Kampala, 23 March 2007, http://www.voanews.com/english/Africa/2007-03-23-voa58.cfm accessed 12 June 2008 but no longer available at that address.
- "Culture vs law: On forced circumcision," Sunday Vision, 29 June 2008 http://www.sundayvision.co.ug/detail.php?mainNewsCategoryId=7&newsCategoryId=132&newsId=636069 accessed 6 October 2010
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