A number of news outlets reported this morning that ISIS jihadists had ordered the mandatory genital mutilation, aka “female circumcision” or FGM, of approximately 4 million women between the ages of 11 and 46 in Mosul, Iraq. One of the first reports seems to have come from the BBC, whose source was a United Nations official named Jacqueline Badcock:*
The Isis edict could affect nearly four million women and girls in and around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the UN warns.
Ms Badcock, the UN’s resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, said the practice “is something very new for Iraq… and does need to be addressed”.
Almost immediately, however, other reporters with sources in Mosul began writing that their contacts were not aware of ISIS having made any FGM edict.
The BBC now looks to be backing off its report.
Other recent (and unchalleged) reports from Mosul indicate that the city’s small Christian population has been forced to flee the area due to ISIS persecution.
Correction, July 24, 2014: This post originally misspelled Jacqueline Badcock’s last name.