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Sender: owner-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 97 12:56:56 CST
From: Harry Guiremand <harry@best.com>
Article: 23155

Somalis find home, hope in Minnesota lifestyle: Three of every five immigrants from impoverished nation life here, far from clan warfare (excerpt)

By Chris Tomlinson, Los Angeles Times (Bulldog Edition), Sunday 30 November 1997, Page A-2

One issue is female circumcision, which critics call genital mutilation. Somali custom requires some form of bloodletting near the clitoris for a girl to reach womanhood. The practice is illegal in the United States.

Now that it is illegal, no one will talk about it in public. But some still want it done, Essa said. So many young mothers do not want to circumcise their daughters, but there is an argument between the new generation and the old generation.

Somalis intent on carrying out the practice will sometimes travel back to Africa to have it done, or merely pinch the hood off an infant's clitoris with their fingers, Essa said.

But most Somalis say they are quitting the practice; no cases have been recorded in Minnesota.