There is a huge emphasis placed on remaining a virgin until marriage in certain religions and cultures. Although highly commendable, it’s not very practical for most young people who have no control over their raging hormones, or young couple’s in love. It takes a very strong, committed person to wait until marriage and many just can’t wait, which proves problematic in the Muslim community when a bride-to-be, expected to be a virgin on her wedding night, is no longer one. So many are turning to doctors to make them virgins again. I had no clue this even existed until recently, and frankly the idea boggles the mind. Of course, there’s no way to tell if the groom is a virgin, and perhaps there’s a double standard in Islam and no-one cares if he is or not, but there has to be proof that the bride bleeds so women, in the U.K. thanks to taxpayer monies, are getting their hymens repaired so it appears they are virgins when they actually are not.
There were 116 hymen replacement operations carried out on the NHS between 2005 and 2009. The total for 2009 was 30, up 25 per cent from 24 in 2005.
The health service figures echo a trend reported by private clinics, which are seeing a huge surge in demand for the procedure from Muslim women paying up to £4,000.
One Harley Street clinic said that demand for its half-hour procedure had tripled in recent months.
Not all Muslims, however, view this as a good thing. Moderates claim it demonstrates a growing path towards Islamic fundamentalism in the West and are trying to stop the trend in the U.K., where they believe it has no place. One such Imam, Dr. Taj Hargey, said
‘The situation is very common in the Middle East where there is a huge scandal that can lead to divorce or even honour killings if there are not bloodstained bed sheets after the wedding night.
‘It is very disappointing that Muslim women in this country feel they need to lead a double life, resorting to subterfuge surgery.
‘That is not conducive to either their psychological or spiritual health and it is hypocrisy and double standards because Muslim men are doing as they please with women.’
He’s absolutely right. Starting off a marriage built on lies is probably one of the worst things someone can do, and can only lead to problems down the line.
The procedure takes only a half hour, but is as bizarre as it gets.
During the hymenoplasty procedure – viewed by some as invasive and degrading – the hymen is stitched or reconstructed so that it will tear again and bleed on the woman’s wedding night.
In some cases, the vaginal lining can be used to create a false hymen. A blood capsule can then be inserted into the lining to ensure realistic blood flow when the membrane is broken.
One gynecologist seems to be doing quite well performing the surgery.
Consultant gynaecologist Dr Magdy Hend performs hymenoplasty under local anaesthetic at his Regency Clinic on Harley Street. He charges £1,850 for the half-hour procedure and says that most of his clients are Muslim women.
He said: ‘In the past, we would do one or two hymen reconstruction operations a week. Sometimes now, we get two or three women a day. Demand has tripled.
Although I’m not sure why anyone who is not Muslim would bother to have the operation, Muslim women do it to save the family honor, and by extension their lives. Women have been murdered for less.
‘I honestly viewed the operation as life-saving ‘When Aisha Salim (not her real name) prepared for her arranged marriage in 2007, she had to be a virgin bride.
But the Muslim graduate, from an affluent middle-class family who moved to England from Pakistan two generations ago, had slept with several boyfriends.
Knowing she would have to show her bloodied wedding-night sheets to her in-laws as proof of her virginity, she decided on hymen repair surgery.
‘I honestly viewed it as life-saving,’ she said. ‘If my husband could not prove to his family that I was a virgin, I would be ostracised and sent home in disgrace.
‘My father, who is a devout Muslim, would regard it as the ultimate shame.
‘The entire family could be cast out from their friends and society, and one of my cousins or uncles might kill me to purge them of my sins.’
As if the fact that the women feel compelled to pretend to be something they are not isn’t egregious enough, they are forcing the British taxpayers to pay for it. But, England, in its polyanna-like attempts to keep everyone happy is in denial about the actual reasons why such an operation should not be funded by the NHS.
There have been calls for a ban on NHS surgeons carrying out the operations for women wanting to marry as virgins.
But a Department of Health spokesman insisted that hymen repair operations take place on the NHS only to ensure a patient’s physical or psychological health.
She said: ‘The NHS does not fund hymen repair operations for cultural reasons. All operations on the NHS are on the basis of clinical need.
Operations to repair the hymen are only carried out exceptionally to secure physical or psychological health.’
I can’t imagine any other reason why such an operation would be necessary, other than for cultural and/or religious reasons. Although perhaps the “physical” health they are referring to is the bride’s attempts to save her own neck.
If they want to deceive their husbands-to-be on their own dime, then that’s their prerogative, but taxpayers should not have to fund their duplicity.