Wednesday, February 5, 2014

AFGHANISTAN: A Soldier's Tale Challenges Circumcision Allegations

A friend of mine posted the following on his Facebook wall:

"My coworker, a 32 year old, intact, Hispanic male who has two intact boys, is against circumcision and is serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army recently returned from his deployment to Afghanistan.
Being that he knows I'm an intactivist, I asked him a few questions regarding their Muslim culture. He was stationed in the Zabul province of Afghanistan. He told me that the area where he was stationed reeked of feces, sweat, and sewer. The people in the area are very poor, lack adequate facilities for proper hygiene, and yes, defecate outside. He mentioned that there were small oases where men would bathe completely nude in groups using their hands to scoop up the water, which was everyone's previous wash. I asked him if he knew what these tribal, circumcised Muslim men thought about intact penises. To my complete surprise and shock, he said that all the Muslim men there were intact. I pushed a little more and asked how he knew for certainty. He said that he'd see them bathe every day and that it was clear that all were intact men. Since this soldier worked with the medical team, I asked him how many men presented with issues relating to their foreskins being that this is a sandy area. His answer? None. He mentioned that if anything women had more complaints regarding UTIs due to improper hygiene than all the men combined.

So as you can see, a man can live in complete squalor while lacking basic resources and hygiene and still have very few to no problems with his foreskin.

What do you think?"

I must say, I'm rather surprised and shocked to hear about this myself.

If this story is correct, then circumcision isn't universal among Muslims, as circumcision advocates would like others to believe. This account also puts the lie to the myths that men with anatomically correct genitals are prone to problems in the desert, and that having a foreskin makes hygiene difficult, making men prone to problems, not to mention the allegation that circumcision is a requirement for American military.

A sheathed glans and meatus is better in sandy and dusty conditions than a bare one, because the foreskin helps protect the glans and urethra. Additionally, ensuring transudated natural moisture and emollients are retained on the mucosal surfaces of the penis is optimal for dry and/or cold conditions. There simply isn't a situation in which having anatomically correct genitals isn't preferable. The preputial space just isn't the Petri dish of pathogens that circumcision advocates would like others to believe, all of this is in addition to the fact that the foreskin is highly functional tissue in its own right.

Related Links:
The Sand Myth: "He Might Have to Fight in the Desert"


  1. Back in 2002, mainstream media reported that Turkish physicians were performing mass circumcisions in Afghanistan. The background was never properly explained, but I suppose that Turkish and American NATO soldiers had just made the shocking discovery that circumcision was not universal in Afghanistan. See, for example, the following websites:

    1. Oh no! Non-circumcised Muslims? Surviving perfectly in less-than-hygenic conditions? This cannot be! Get 'em all circumcised quick before somebody uses them as an example! (Too late! :-P)