Dr. Amalina Bakri, a Malaysian doctor based in the United Kingdom, revealed her plans to take legal action against people who left inappropriate comments targeting her 9-month-old daughter.
Bakri, who rose to fame for her public health advocacy, said that the highly disturbing comments started flooding in after she answered a question during a Q&A session on her Instagram page about female circumcision services in the U.K.
“No, it is illegal [to circumcise babies] in the UK,” Bakri wrote in her reply, which she reiterated in her Twitter thread
Several Malaysian tabloids reportedly took the doctor’s brief and accurate response out of context, incorrectly quoting her by writing headlines such as “Circumcising female babies is haram in the UK – Dr. Amalina.”
The U.K.-based doctor responded to the inaccurate reporting, stating that she had “never disputed Islamic law” and that everyone should follow Malaysia’s rules if they are living in the country.
“I have stated that if you are in Malaysia, you must follow the fatwa and the laws of the country,” she said. “My statement was then picked up by Malaysian tabloids who wrote such headlines.”
In a Twitter thread, Bakri shared some of the highly sexualized comments tabloid readers wrote that targeted her infant daughter.
One user wrote that uncircumcised women would feel more pleasure and satisfy their husbands in bed.
In response to that comment, another wrote, “[Dr. Amalina’s daughter’s] going to marry a Caucasian man just like her mother.”
The comments reportedly struck a chord with Bakri, who wrote in a tweet, “I would not be bothered if those words were directed at me. But they went too far when they made lewd remarks about my innocent child. Please leave my daughter alone.”
The Malaysian doctor also criticized the publications for using clickbait headlines and trivial stories they took from her Instagram Stories to “sensationalize what I say, as well as allow Malay Muslims to fight and slander one another.”
“Where are your morals? There is no moderation in the comments section either. I hope the authorities are aware of this situation. Thank you, and Assalamualaikum,” she continued.
Bakri also shared an infographic made by the Islamic Council of Britain that condemns female genital mutilation (FGM). As described in the infographic, FGM carries a non-medical reason to cut, remove or alter the external female genitalia.
The operation, which is often performed by “untrained women with no medical knowledge in unsanitized and unclean conditions,” is illegal in the U.K. and punishable by up to 14 years in prison under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.
In another tweet, Bakri warned those who left harmful comments that she is “in the process of taking legal action so that it becomes a lesson to all.”