A Muslim mother has been banned from travelling to Egypt with her baby daughter for fear that she will be subjected to female genital mutilation.
The British mother, in her 20s, embraced Islam after meeting her husband while working in an Egyptian hotel, London’s High Court heard.
Her one-year-old daughter was born in England but her mother planned to take her to the north African country regularly to visit her father and his family.
But her plans have been stymied after Mrs Justice Russell made a Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order and ruled that the woman cannot travel outside the UK with her daughter until she turns 16.
The judge found there was a real risk that she would suffer FGM if she ever again sets foot in Egypt.
The father and his family insisted they had no intention of subjecting her to the procedure, which is a criminal offence in Britain.
More than 90 per cent of Egyptian women are subjected to FGM, but the paternal family were ‘largely dismissive’ of it being a problem in Egypt.
And the judge said the father viewed FGM as part of ‘Egyptian culture and tradition’ and believed it should be legalised and carried out in hospital.
He was ‘frankly disinterested’ in whether his sisters had undergone FGM and was ‘surprised’ the mother had not had it done herself.
His relationship with the mother was disapproved of by his family and he thought that ‘every girl’ had undergone FGM.
The case was brought to court by Hertfordshire County Council after a health visitor grew concerned about the little girl’s welfare.
She said the woman lived in England and girl’s father lived in Egypt.
Mrs Justice Russell ordered that the child’s passport be retained by the court to prevent her travelling to Egypt until 2032, when she will be 16.
Her mother was also banned from taking her daughter anywhere outside the UK ‘to prevent onward travel to Egypt’.
The judge concluded: ‘It is not intended that the girl should not be able to see her father or members of the paternal family and the court would encourage the father and his family to visit her in England.’