An increasing number of Muslim women in Europe, caught between the sexual freedom of the West and the traditions of their families, are undergoing hymenoplasty to "restore" their virginity after lapses, the New York Times reports. The surgery to repair the hymen, if done properly, won't be detected when brides seek certificates of virginity, and will produce bleeding on the wedding night.
The operation, widely advertised on the Internet, is such a hot topic that a movie about the subject opens in Italy this week. The issue made front pages in France last month when a judge annulled a marriage because the Muslim bride was not a virgin. “All of a sudden, virginity is important in France,” said a young woman who had the procedure. “In my culture, not to be a virgin is to be dirt. Right now, virginity is more important to me than life.”