In the first case of its kind in the United States, a Michigan doctor named Jumana Nagarwala has been charged with performing female genital mutilations on various young girls out of a clinic in Livonia. The case is being tried under a federal law that prohibits the practice. Nagarwala will get 15 years for each count if convicted, five for performing the operation and ten for transporting the little girls as young as six or seven to do the procedure. Nagarwala is said to be of “Indian origin.”

Female Genital Mutilation is a particularly barbaric procedure performed on little girls in some Muslim communities that involve the removing of various parts of the vagina, including the clitoris and labia.

The reason for the procedure is that some Muslim families want to remove the capability of their girls to feel sexual desire and thus risk bringing shame upon their families.

According to the Times of India, approximately 200 million women and girls have had FGM procedures performed on them in 30 countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia where the practice is concentrated. The problem, along with other practices such as honor killings, has cropped up in the United States along with the influx of unassimilated people from muslim countries unaccustomed to the norms of American society. Under the new Trump administration, the United States Justice Department has vowed to eradicate the practice in America as a violation of the civil rights of women and girls and a physical assault on their bodies.

The law against female genital mutilation was passed in the United States in the 1990s. Since the practice has likely been going on in America clandestinely, with potentially thousands of young victims involved, the question arises why the Nagrawala case is the first one to be prosecuted, more than 20 years after the law’s passage.

An inquiry as to whether multiculturalism persuaded federal prosecutors not to investigate the crime might be useful.

Americans tend to be shocked at the idea of a doctor, no matter of what national origin or religious persuasion, cutting up the genitals of little girls in a medically unnecessary procedure or of parents not only allowing it to happen but encouraging it.

The idea of butchering little girls is something that is repugnant, and the natural reaction is to come down hard on anyone who engages in it. That the practice is taking place in a civilized country is an occasion for shame and anger. The new administration would seem to agree and will be making an example of Nagarwala to the full extent of the law.