“Doctors are sworn first to do no harm, how could this not be harmful?”
Norm Cohen was among the protesters who marched outside federal court. Inside, 44-year-old Henry Ford Dr. Jumana Nagarwala of Northville faced a judge, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, wearing a hijab as her attorney shed light on why she says she's innocent.
Prosecutors say Nagarwala performed many genital mutilation procedures in her Livonia clinic on young girls around the age of 7, possibly dating back to 2005, and that she did it after hours in her Livonia clinic for no payment. Testimony from two Minnesota victims in February detail the excruciating removal of tissue and difficult recovery.
Dr. Nagarwala appeared emotionless throughout the hearing and as a judge ordered that she be detained without bond until further notice.
Despite testimony from an examining physician claiming the two girls were badly mutilated, the defense argues, it didn't happen. They claim all the doctor did, was remove a mucus membrane from the girls to be later buried by their parents as part of a practice - Nagarwala claims - is performed by her sect of Islam, called Dawoodi Bohra. The Indian based sect has a mosque in Farmington Hills which the doctor attends.
“It's very upsetting that something like this would happen still today,” said a protester.
Nagarwala was arrested Wednesday at Detroit Metro Airport while trying to board a plane to Kenya.
The FBI also claims, a supervisor at her clinic was also aware of her practice of bringing girls in off-the record, but believed it was for the treatment of rashes. The FBI believes there were possibly 5-6 girls brought in each year, but we may never know exactly how many there were.
“You've cut away part of the genitals of these girls,” said a protester. “This is wrong. And that will last for their lifetime.”