Baby's dad's Arabic--what can I do??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 51 Old 02-24-2006, 01:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't want to start any religious debate or arguement, but I have a genuine concern that is really bothering me. When I had my first son, I was single, and to circ or not to circ was completely up to me, and therefore completely out of the question. Now, My new husband and I are expecting. We don't know the sex of the baby yet, but if it's a boy, DH insists that the baby be cut, as required by his religion. We had made a deal early on that he could raise the baby his religion as long as I could raise it vegetarian, and I thought that would solve everything. I hadn't even considered this issue at the time. I've tried to educate him, reason with him (my position is, if God created the forskin, surely it has a purpose, etc.) but he won't budge on this issue. I would feel terrible guilt everytime I had to see my son "down there" (which would be a million times a day, since I'll be doing the majority of the diapering)feeling like I couldn't protect my son from what I believe is unnecessary and cruel. How do I deal with this? I'd love some advice from someone who has been in this position. Thank you!
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#2 of 51 Old 02-24-2006, 01:41 AM
 
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I'm not in your shoes, but I would re-negotiate this personally. No way I could allow it for my child.

-Angela
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#3 of 51 Old 02-24-2006, 01:59 AM
 
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blissmonkey-I PMed you some religion-specific web resources.

Jen
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#4 of 51 Old 02-24-2006, 12:32 PM
 
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I'm not sure if this is allowed under the religion guidelines, but from what I've read, Islam does not require circumcision. Rather, it centres around Mohamed having been born circumcised and is actually cultural, not religious. I know several practising Muslim families that did not circumcise their children.

Hope this helps.
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#5 of 51 Old 02-24-2006, 01:13 PM
 
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I would re-negotiate. Your child can choose to not eat meat anytime, but he can't choose to get his foreskin back (yes, he could restore, but it's not the same)

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#6 of 51 Old 02-24-2006, 03:43 PM
 
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Bliss Monkey - don't circ your boy. My DH is an Egyptian Muslim (I am also Muslim) I was just having an extended conversation regarding Isalmic circ here in this forum

You can find the thread here

From that thread, is an important post tha may help you:

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodcents
See this is where I was conflicted as a Muslim mama. There is nothing in the Quran that states boys should be circ'ed. But there are Hadith (sayings, behaviours and examples of the Prophet Mohammed) about circ.

Many Muslims say all the guidelines you need are in the Quran, so the fact that circ isn't mentioned make it suspect to me. Many Imams are theologians, and because Christianity and Judiasm are Abrahimic religions, when enough information is not available via the Quran they study the other scriptures and gospels. The Jewish text on circ is abudantly clear, that is must be done in a specific way, by a mohel etc to be valid. This is where I *think* (although I confess I am not a 100% sure) the religious circ in Islam began.

So yes, in that sense it is a "tradition" vs. a "religious teaching" written in the Quran. I guess for me its this. In Islam, personal responsibility is key. There is no saviour, no confession or wiping away of sins from a priest. Your relationship with God is unique, and you alone are responsible for it. So if religious circ is a requirement, it is up to my son to forfill that obligation and not me.


I just wished I had figured that out before my first boy.
I really hope you find a way to address this issue. I won't lie, it will be really hard. On your side is the fact that you won't find circ mentioned in the Quran + that Islam is a religion of personal responsibiity. Against you are 1,000s of year of cultural practice, & a supremly male dominated culture.


I will tell you that you are 100% right that you will think about it every time you see your son naked, because that is exactly what happens to me. To borrow another's religion's expression, it is a difficult cross to bear.

Please don't do it.
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#7 of 51 Old 02-24-2006, 04:17 PM
 
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#8 of 51 Old 02-24-2006, 04:39 PM
 
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leos mama that link was awesome. i just sent it to my SIL who is TTC.
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#9 of 51 Old 02-24-2006, 05:01 PM
 
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Here is my thought, your son could be raised Muslim, but he can choose whether or not the circ part is for him when he's 18 and have it done then if he wants and feels it's required. So many children are raised on religion and reject it as teens/adults. How sad would it be if he was circ'd to be muslim, and then later rejected the religion?

I also would give up the veggie thing in exchange for not circing, but that's me. Your son could always choose to not eat meat when he gets older.

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#10 of 51 Old 02-24-2006, 09:36 PM
 
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I am not religious, but I am a vegetarian for ethical reasons and I can understand how important it can be to raise your child vegetarian, and how much of a struggle it can be negotiating that issue with a non-vegetarian spouse (like my dh).

I would not trade my child's body part for the sake of being vegetarian, though. As passionately as I believe in animal rights and non-violence towards animals, my first responsibility as a parent is to protect my son from violence. There is nothing I would trade with my dh for my son's foreskin. My son's body is not mine to trade. It's his, and his alone.

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#11 of 51 Old 02-24-2006, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everybody for all your feedback. A lot of you have recommended that I give up the vegetarian part of the deal in exchange for keeping my son "intact". Well, you obviously don't know my DH! Even if I were to sacrifice the vegetartan part (which I would never do in a million years, as I feel even more strongly about that issue than I do circumcision) it wouldn't make a d**n bit of difference to DH. He is COMPLETELY insistant on this, no negotation, just like I have no choice but to give the child an Arabic name (*UGH!* Don't even get me started on this one! I had no idea how many truely ugly names existed in the world!) Call me crazy, but if I'm the one making this baby, not to mention pushing it out and doing basically 97% of its care for the next 18 years, I think I should have a LOT more say. Heck, I should have practically ALL the say! Does anyone know if circ in the Islamic tradition (and, yes, I'm aware that this IS a cultural tradition, NOT a religious requirement, but try telling DH that!) is generally done right after the baby is born (like other parents would do it in the hospital) or is it done later, like in the Jewish tradition? I remember when I was in labor with my son, they asked me if I wanted the baby circumcised if it was a boy (wasn't even born yet,even thought it was a girl!) so I'm wondering if I have to give MY permission to perform the procedure, or would just my husband's permission suffice? I mean, that could put an end to it right there, right? (UGH!) Thanks again, everybody!
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#12 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 12:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blissmonkey
I would feel terrible guilt everytime I had to see my son "down there" (which would be a million times a day, since I'll be doing the majority of the diapering)feeling like I couldn't protect my son from what I believe is unnecessary and cruel.
i feel this guilt every day and it sucks. stand up for your child and say NO!
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#13 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 12:07 AM
 
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While you are in the hospital you are the only one that can sign the paper to allow the circ your dh cannot. At least that is how it is here. After the baby leaves the hospital tho is a whole other issue. He can take the baby at any time to a ped that does circ and have it done with just his signature.

 
SAHMlady.gifread.giflovin' trekkie.giffan intactivist.gifwinner.jpg to loveeyes.gifenergy.gifDD 10/00 & superhero.gifmoon.gifDS 10/04 ribbonpb.gifIf your ds is intact, keep him safe, visit the Case Against Circ forumnocirc.gifCirc, a personal choice, Your sonsyes.gifbrokenheart.gif11/98brokenheart.gif6/99ribbonbrown.gifanti-tobaccoribbonyellow.gifThyroid cancer survivor. With cat.gif& goldfish.gif & (Boxer)dog2.gif wishing 4 whale.gif&ribbonwhite.gifsigncirc1.gifselectivevax.gifdelayedvax.gif

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#14 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 12:07 AM
 
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I have heard that 8 years old is typical for African Muslims. Would your DH insist on circing a girl? it is also very much a tradition. How hard would you fight that? Why not fight that hard for your son?

Mom to three 14 y.o. rock star grrl, 5 y.o. knight in spazzy armour and baby Juniper, born still @39 weeks 4 days 2-3-10 .
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#15 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 12:31 AM
 
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Ok, I may seem a bit harsh here so please don't get mad at me.

How much of your body are you willing to cut off to make your husband happy? What about your future daughter(s)? Will you cut off their clitoral hood and slice off the labia? That's a custom too.
There should be NO negotiation on what to cut off of your child. NONE. This is not your choice. This is not his choice. This is your child's choice. Would you allow your husband to strap down his son at 16 years old and slice 15 square inches of very sensitive skin off his penis with no anesthetic?
No? Then why would you let him do it to a baby?

This is not something to say "well, being vegetarian matters more to me so I'll let dh preform cosmetic surgery on our baby even though it's very harmful and causes life long damage"

This is something that you say "I will not let you cut our child. This is not an option with him. I will protect his body at all costs. We can name him what you choose and raise him in the religion you choose, but I am not letting you cut him. I would not let you cut my daughter and you are not cutting my son."

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#16 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 12:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sadkitty
I have heard that 8 years old is typical for African Muslims. Would your DH insist on circing a girl? it is also very much a tradition. How hard would you fight that? Why not fight that hard for your son?

Wow, that is such a great point. Seeing female circ stuff on a video I watched while pregnant w/ Lily totally changed my mind about circ. If it's SOOOO horrible to think about doing it to a baby girl, then why is it acceptable for a boy?

I hope you two are able to work this out....
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#17 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 01:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Does anyone know if circ in the Islamic tradition (and, yes, I'm aware that this IS a cultural tradition, NOT a religious requirement, but try telling DH that!) is generally done right after the baby is born (like other parents would do it in the hospital) or is it done later, like in the Jewish tradition?
It varies. In Egypt they do it around the 40th day.

I had to sign a paper in NY giving consent. I imagine you will too. But be advised you are likely be surging with various types of hormones and fatigue after delivering your baby and you may not be at your strongest to fight it out with your partner.

It could totally flip the other way, and you may become a mama-bear, and refuse to sign too. But only you know how you will react. Also, fighting about the circ then and there isn't the time. The time is now. If you plan to not sign the document, let you partner know now.

You also need to know this. Usually hospitals don't give Anesthetic. If they do, they often don't wait long enough for it to begin working. You need to ask for a topical Anesthetic so the needle that administers the actual medicine doesn't hurt. Once they deliver the anesthetic, I believe it takes a half hour to begin working. I hate even telling you that, because it seems like I am siding with your DH. I AM NOT - but I am trying to protect your child from pain in the event that somehow you surrender and ending up doing something you'll regret.
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#18 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 01:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryn
Ok, I may seem a bit harsh here so please don't get mad at me.

How much of your body are you willing to cut off to make your husband happy? What about your future daughter(s)? Will you cut off their clitoral hood and slice off the labia? That's a custom too.
There should be NO negotiation on what to cut off of your child. NONE. This is not your choice. This is not his choice. This is your child's choice. Would you allow your husband to strap down his son at 16 years old and slice 15 square inches of very sensitive skin off his penis with no anesthetic?
No? Then why would you let him do it to a baby?

This is not something to say "well, being vegetarian matters more to me so I'll let dh preform cosmetic surgery on our baby even though it's very harmful and causes life long damage"

This is something that you say "I will not let you cut our child. This is not an option with him. I will protect his body at all costs. We can name him what you choose and raise him in the religion you choose, but I am not letting you cut him. I would not let you cut my daughter and you are not cutting my son."
I agree completely

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#19 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 01:20 AM
 
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Quote:
This is something that you say "I will not let you cut our child. This is not an option with him. I will protect his body at all costs. We can name him what you choose and raise him in the religion you choose, but I am not letting you cut him. I would not let you cut my daughter and you are not cutting my son."
I really like this
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#20 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 03:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryn
Ok, I may seem a bit harsh here so please don't get mad at me.

How much of your body are you willing to cut off to make your husband happy? What about your future daughter(s)? Will you cut off their clitoral hood and slice off the labia? That's a custom too.

There should be NO negotiation on what to cut off of your child. NONE. This is not your choice. This is not his choice. This is your child's choice. Would you allow your husband to strap down his son at 16 years old and slice 15 square inches of very sensitive skin off his penis with no anesthetic?
No? Then why would you let him do it to a baby?

This is not something to say "well, being vegetarian matters more to me so I'll let dh preform cosmetic surgery on our baby even though it's very harmful and causes life long damage"

This is something that you say "I will not let you cut our child. This is not an option with him. I will protect his body at all costs. We can name him what you choose and raise him in the religion you choose, but I am not letting you cut him. I would not let you cut my daughter and you are not cutting my son."
Very honest, to the point, and well said.



Quote:
Originally Posted by goodcents
Also, fighting about the circ then and there isn't the time. The time is now.
Also a very good point!

to the OP. Be strong! Protect your son.

Jen
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#21 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 03:51 AM
 
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I would also think of what you would say to your son if he ever came up to you when he's older and asks why you allowed it to happen. I think "your dad wanted it done" would not be a satisfactory answer to a cut male. He'd still want to know why YOU did not protect him.

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#22 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 06:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blissmonkey
A lot of you have recommended that I give up the vegetarian part of the deal in exchange for keeping my son "intact". Well, you obviously don't know my DH! Even if I were to sacrifice the vegetartan part (which I would never do in a million years, as I feel even more strongly about that issue than I do circumcision)
I am going to be the first one to say this, and it may sound harsh, but sometimes the truth IS harsh (this is coming from a mom who HAS one cut son and one intact son and feels the pain and regret every day for allowing them to cut her child) how on EARTH could you feel more strongly about saving an ANIMAL FROM TORTURE then saving your own SON FROM TORTURE? There is something seriously wrong with the above statement.
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#23 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 07:26 PM
 
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Blissmonkey, you should be very aware of where your son is and what's happening when he is alone with his Dad for an extended period of time. Especially prearranged time.

It's not likely that he can have him circumcised on a while-you-wait basis and that he will have to make an appointment to have it done. Thus, you need to make sure there is not a regular time that he is alone with him so that he could make an appointment ahead of time to have it done when you are regularly away. Most doctors will do it up until the 6th month but will not from months 6 through 12. That's because they will do it with no anesthesia before 6 months but with general anesthesia after 12 months and general anesthesia is very dangerous for babies less than a year old. During the months 6 - 12, your son will be fairly safe but after that, the danger begins again. Just give him no opportunity to have it done.



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#24 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 08:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MistyMM
I am going to be the first one to say this, and it may sound harsh, but sometimes the truth IS harsh (this is coming from a mom who HAS one cut son and one intact son and feels the pain and regret every day for allowing them to cut her child) how on EARTH could you feel more strongly about saving an ANIMAL FROM TORTURE then saving your own SON FROM TORTURE? There is something seriously wrong with the above statement.
I saw the statement differently ... I see a mama here who is willing to do whatever she can to save her son but her DH's ears are closed to it. I think she's just highlighting how firm her DH is on this issue. She just has to be even firmer

Good luck, mama. I have no suggestions on how to convince your DH - mine was totally on board. If you do a search on ways to enlighten stubborn males in this forum I'm sure there will be some good suggestions.
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#26 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 08:15 PM
 
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I disagree. She said "Even if I were to sacrifice the vegetartan part (which I would never do in a million years, as I feel even more strongly about that issue..." (vegetarianism) "than I do circumcision)"

which tells me that there is something really wrong here if a mother feels more strongly about protecting animals from torture, then protecting her son from torture. This statement screams issues to me. Like perhaps this mother doesn't realize the actual TRUTH behind circumcision and the harm that it causes. She said that her first son is intact, so, OP, I'm going to give you a taste of what I saw the first few days of my oldest sons life.

I had a screaming child, who wouldn't latch on (it took much effort) was always in deep sleep due to severe traumatization, and when I changed his diaper for the first time, after the mutilation, I peeled off the guaze gingerly and saw nothing but a SWOLLEN BLOODY STUMP. what was left of his perfect penis was destroyed. Sure, weeks later the glans hardened and became "normal" for a circ'ed penis. Have you seen the videos of circumcision? what about the pics? If you are having a hospital birth, did you know that circumcising your infant in the first few days at the hospital make them around 30% MORE likely to catch the strep that is antibiotic resistant flesh eating bacterium that can cost your child his LIFE? (see www.doctorsopposingcircumcision for their latest press release on this issue) Really, I think you need to start advocating for your CHILDREN as strongly or MORE SO then you do for some animals.

However, personally, if it were me, and my husband was insisting on mutilation (for ANY reason, including religious) I would divorce him and get a court order forbidding him from having one done. I see no reason to stay with a man who would willfully abuse my child in his first few days (again, coming from someone who did cut her first son because I didn't know better)

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#27 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 08:43 PM
 
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You're right- I obviously didn't read the part in brackets carefully! Oops. Maybe I need more coffee (rough night last night, got woken up way too many times). Sorry about that.
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#28 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 09:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloli
You're right- I obviously didn't read the part in brackets carefully! Oops. Maybe I need more coffee (rough night last night, got woken up way too many times). Sorry about that.
LOL no biggie, I just wanted to make sure it was clear that I wasn't picking on the OP or putting words in her mouth, she actually DID write that, and it makes me want to hurl just thinking about the kind of mindset that must take, to care more about animals than about your own kids rights? wow. That's all I can say.
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#29 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 09:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MistyMM
LOL no biggie, I just wanted to make sure it was clear that I wasn't picking on the OP or putting words in her mouth, she actually DID write that, and it makes me want to hurl just thinking about the kind of mindset that must take, to care more about animals than about your own kids rights? wow. That's all I can say.
well, to offer a slight spin on that...
male infant genital mutilation is one (life-long) incident of torture, whereas eating animals inflicts torture on many, many creatures, over and over again...
not that i think it's in any way OK to cut a piece of a penis off, no way...but just maybe an insight.
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#30 of 51 Old 02-25-2006, 10:33 PM
 
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Yes, but this is your own child. You protect your child above all else.

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