Studies have shown that, in South East Asia, FGM is practised by more than 90% of the Muslim population in Indonesia and Malaysia. Stop FGM Middle East are certain that FGM is practised in South Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and in Sri Lanka among the Malay community. FGM is also believed to be prevalent in some areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan, The Philippines and The Maldives. Recent research by Sahiyo shows that a form of FGM, Khatna, is commonplace in the Bohra Community in India. In Australia and New Zealand, FGM is prevalent among some diaspora communities.
FGM has been found to be carried out by the Dawoodi Bohras, a sub-sect of Ismaili Shia Islam in Mumbai, India and is known there as khatna or khafd. Although the majority of Dawoodi Bohras live in India and Pakistan, there are now diaspora communities in the Middle East, East Africa, Europe, North America, Australia, and parts of Asia. Khatna is seen as a key part of the Dawoodi Bohra community’s culture and has been highlighted in recent years through the research and awareness raising that has been successfully carried out by ‘Sahiyo’ and ‘Speak out on FGM’.
FGM in Indonesia is a complex issue and is heavily ingrained in society. A survey in 2001 reported that 71% of Indonesian women had undergone FGM and a further report in 2016 found that nearly half of all girls under the age of 11 had undergone FGM. The majority of women in Indonesia who support FGM believe it is a religious requirement and the term female circumcision is used as it is seen as comparable to male circumcision. FGM in Indonesia is most often carried out by midwives (traditional and modern), doctors and religious leaders and trends show increasing medicalisation of the practice, with FGM promoted by the Ministry of Health in 2010 as part of a birth package. According to Islamic Relief Canada, progress to end FGM in Indonesia is hindered by the ruling issued by the MUI which supports the view that Indonesian women have a religious right to choose FGM.