UK: Surge in tax-funded 'virginity repair' operations
Via Daily Mail:
An increasing number of women are having controversial 'virginity repair' operations on the NHS before they get married.
In the last five years, 116 hymen repair operations have been undertaken at the tax payer's expense.
Thousands more women are believed to be paying up to £4,000 to have the surgery done privately each year.
NHS surgeons carried out 30 of the procedures in 2009 - up 20 per cent from 2005.
This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog - islamineurope.blogspot.com
In the private sector one Harley Street doctor claimed to carry out up to three of the operations a day.
The specialist who offers a hymenoplasty for £1,850, said demand had tripled in recent years.
The operation, which is available on the NHS 'for physical and psychological' reasons, takes just half an hour.
Private practitioners have claimed a surge in demand in the operation has been driven largely by Muslim women desperate to preserve the illusion that they have not had sex before their wedding night.
Consultant surgeon Ash Mosahebi, who performs the procedure at various London clinics, said he had noticed a recent rise in demand of around 40 per cent.
He said: 'There is a clash of cultures where Muslim women are leading westernised lifestyles but then wanting to conform to the traditional lifestyle of remaining a virgin.
'As it becomes more widely known that operations are available, they are getting to hear about them from friends and increasingly considering it.'
Critics, including moderate Muslim groups, have condemned the trend as a sign of the spread of Islamic fundamentalism in the West.
Imam Dr Taj Hargey, chairman of the Muslim Educational Centre in Oxford, called on the Muslim community to try to reverse the trend.
He said: 'The rise in the number of these operations in Britain is a very disturbing trend.
'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.
'The Muslim community should be confronting the issue rather than pretending it is not happening. I shall be speaking out about it in my next sermon.'