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French Pay To Make Muslims Virgins Again

A minor detail buried in this article from those champions of women’s rights at Reuters:

Photo

Muslim women in France regain virginity in clinics

By Alexandra Steigrad Sun Apr 29

PARIS (Reuters) — Sitting in a cafe near the Champs Elysees, the 26-year-old French-born woman of Algerian descent looks like any other Parisian. But two months ago, she did something none of her friends have done.

She had her hymen re-sewn, technically making her a virgin again.

“I’m glad I had it done,” said the woman, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. “I wanted to reconstruct part of my life, to reconstruct myself so that I could feel better about myself.”

This 30-minute outpatient procedure, called “hymenoplasty” and costing between 1,500 and 3,000 euros ($2,000-$4,000), is increasingly popular among young women of North African descent in France.

No exact figures exist to say how many such operations are done, but the woman’s surgeon says he gets three to five queries and performs one to three hymenoplasties each week. Demand has been rising for the past three or four years.

Doctor Marc Abecassis, whose office is near the chic Champs Elysees, sees the rise in religion among France’s five million Muslims fuelling this trend. His patients are between 18 and 45 years old, Muslim, born both in France and in North Africa.

“Many of my patients are caught between two worlds,” said Abecassis. They have had sex already but are expected to be virgins at marriage according to a custom that he called “cultural and traditional, with enormous family pressure.” …

A leading Muslim spokesman said Islam says bride and groom should be virgins before marriage, but did not take a clear stand for or against hymenoplasties.

“If someone committed a sin, the essential thing is to repent,” said Lhaj Thami Breze, head of the Union of French Islamic Organizations.

For many doctors, resewing the hymen goes against their ideals of sexual freedom and personal liberty.

“The surgery is an attack on women’s dignity,” said Professor Jacques Lansac, president of The National College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians of France. “We will not take part in a market that places value on the quality of a woman — if she’s good or not. It is an attack on women’s liberty.”

He also argued that any doctor who performed these operations at state hospitals violated France’s legal separation of church and state

Surprisingly, French social security reimburses some of the cost of the operation in cases of rape or trauma. “Ninety-nine percent of the time, the claim is a fraud,” he added.

Still, Abecassis defended the operations and said he helped patients who could not pay his 2,500 euro fee. “This surgery gives them another chance,” he said. “It’s a rehabilitation. For many, it’s the only solution.” ..

That these women would feel compelled to do this is bad enough. But that the French taxpayers get to pay for this preposterous procedure adds insult to injury.

Maybe it’s time Muslim men got over their seemingly endless neuroses about sex.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 30th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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