- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Islamic State has supposedly ordered all Iraqi women and girls in the militant-controlled city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the United Nations said Thursday.

All females aged 11 to 49 in the northern city must undergo the procedure, according to a fatwa by the Sunni militant group, said Jacqueline Badcock, a U.N. official and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, BBC Newsreported.

Such an edict would potentially affect 4 million women in Mosul and the surrounding areas, Miss Badcock said. The procedure, known as FGM, typically involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.

“We have current reports of imposition of a directive that all female girl children and women up to the age of 49 must be circumcised,” Miss Badcock told reporters in Geneva by videolink from Arbil, Reuters reported. “This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed.”

“This is not the will of Iraqi people, or the women of Iraq in these vulnerable areas covered by the terrorists,” she added.

Skeptics online, however, doubted the legitimacy of the edict and argued it may be a fabrication aimed at discrediting the Islamic State.

One document posted on Twitter suggested the order may be a year old and have been issued by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, the group’s previous name, Reuters reported.

Jenan Moussa, a correspondent for Dubai-based broadcaster Al AAan TV, tweeted that her contacts in Mosul had not heard of the order, and other social media commenters questioned whether it would even fit with the cultural traditions of the region, BBC reported.

A U.N. spokesman in Geneva said they were trying to establish the facts.

There was no immediate comment from Islamic State, Reuters said.

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