An Egyptian man is murdered because he had hired an Egyptian doctor to perform a female circumcision on the man's niece. A.D.A.s McCoy and Ross have to deal with a clash between cultural convictions and the law.



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Airs Wed. Mar. 08, 1:00 PM on WE


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Martin
Howard Cahill
Ava Haddad ...
Nari Martin
Dr. Ismail Nasser (as Aharon Ipale)
Maryann Urbano ...
Hamida Wazir
Mr. Tobak
Alison Martin
Connie Nelson ...
Ana Zakarian
Nan-Lyn Nelson ...
Dr. Eileen Armenta (as Nan-Lynn Nelson)


Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate the murder of Joseph Moussad who is found bludgeoned to death on the top tier of a parking garage. In his pocket he had a flight number and initials of Dr. Ismail Nasser, arriving from Cairo. They trace Nasser's movements and take him into custody. He claims he was here to give Moussad a check up. Moussad's girlfriend Farrah Patel thinks his niece and her husband, Nari and Eric Martin, likely killed him as they were after his money. Their daughter Alison tells Lt. Van Buren that her parents and Joseph had had an argument and her mother subsequently left their apartment. It turns out Emily was lying and it was her father who left after the argument. Eric Martin was angry at her husband's uncle because he had brought Dr, Nasser to the US to perform a female circumcision on Alison. Jack McCoy is not unsympathetic but isn't prepared to let him walk away from the killing. While Jack pursues the prosecution, Jamie Ross goes to family court to have ... Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

17 December 1997 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


D.A. Adam Schiff: Hold your heads up. You looked a 3000 year old abomination in the eye and hit it back.
Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy: Because we heard of it.
A.D.A. Jamie Ross: How many more don't we know about?
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Remade as Law & Order: UK: Customs (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

"A 3000 year old abomination"
24 February 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

It is really hard not to sympathize with the defendant in this case on Law And Order. Jerry Orbach and Benjamin Bratt catch a homicide involving a rich Egyptian/American importer. The guilty party is Cotter Smith, husband of Ava Haddad is the deceased's niece.

What the deceased man wanted to do is give their eleven year old child the gift of an operation that will remove her clitoris. It's an ancient custom in their part of the world, even before Islam became the religion of Egypt to remove the clitoris to prevent women from enjoying sex. The better to keep them faithful and certainly assert male dominance like nothing else would. This was done to Haddad and it was done to Maryann Urbano who is her mother and the deceased's niece. She's for upholding tradition.

Sam Waterston is trying to cut the defendant as much slack as possible and in the meantime Carey Lowell takes on a custody battle pro bono for the paternal grandparents. Steve Landesberg lends his laconic presence to the role of Smith's defense attorney.

Steven Hill called what was happening a 3000 year old abomination. It's one incredible argument for the fact Smith was defending his child against an assault.

A really interesting episode about a twisted practice.

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