A few years ago, the host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher condemned the Muslim world for practicing FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). Maher also suggested that too many atheists, humanists, and agnostics defended “people who hold women down and violate them” in the name of multiculturalism.
Afterward, Muslim professor Reza Aslan appeared on CNN and stated Maher had an unsophisticated analysis. Professor Aslan said, “FGM is not an Islamic problem, it’s an African problem.”
The CNN host stated Maher was referring to Muslim countries in Africa, such as Somalia…Professor Aslan cut her off and said, “Eritrea has almost 90 percent Female Genital Mutilation, it’s a Christian country. Ethiopia has 75 percent, it’s a Christian country. Nowhere else in the Muslim majority states is Female Genital Mutilation an issue.”
This last statement proves Bill Maher’s charge.
Multiculturalists and their allies denounce defenders of western civilization and private enterprise as self-centered promoters of profit over people, but they promote the equality of ideas over the individuals that may be harmed by them. Their rationale is rhetorical. Who is “the west” to judge based on all of the harm it has caused historically?
Aslan is right. FGM is more prevalent in Africa. As of 2014, UNICEF reported 27 African countries practiced FGM but 15 of those countries are Muslim. Now, according to Aslan, since FGM also happens in African Christian countries, it’s hypocritical to single out Islam. Alsan said the real problem was anti-Islamic bigotry in the media and people that wanted to frame majority-Muslim countries with an African problem. (Did you ever notice multiculturalists won’t discuss Islamic racism or their belief in cultural superiority?)
Recently, in the first case of its kind in the United States, two Detroit-area doctors were charged with performing FGM on minors that left them with scars and lacerations. The defendants are associated with the Shiite Muslim sect the Dawoodi Bohra, most of this sect lives in India.
Zahra Patwa, an activist who underwent the procedure in India when she was 7, said, “Given its clandestine nature, it’s hard to estimate how many people perform female circumcisions in the United States. When many Bohra girls are ages 6 to 8, their parents approach —or are approached by—a “secret network” of female elders about getting the girls cut. There is then an informal vetting process to make sure a request is legitimate and not an attempt to expose the activity.” So if Professor Aslan was correct, this “secret network” of female elders should be all African women, but FGM is an issue in India, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Malaysia.
Patwa also stated many Bohra mosques have sent letters to members encouraging them not to engage in the practice because it might be considered illegal. But she said, “Some critics don’t see this as a serious attempt by mosques to end the practice, but rather as legal cover.”
FGM is condemned by the United Nations and considered a human rights violation. One website noted, “Not all U.S. states have specific laws concerning FGM, but there is a federal law against it, and if a state doesn’t have a law it will be prosecuted under child abuse and battery.”
U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan said, “Female genital mutilation has serious implications for health and well-being of girls and women. This brutal practice is conducted on girls for one reason, to control them as women. FGM will not be tolerated in the United States.”
But the defense attorney for the Detroit doctors insists they performed a benign religious ritual that involved no mutilation.
Now will the multiculturalists accept this practice and ask, “Who is the west to judge?” Will they accuse the U.S. attorney of being an intolerant bigot for expecting people of other cultures to cooperate with western legality?
Or will they resort to the comparative apologetics of Reza Alsan and say, “It’s a case of FGM in a Christian country. It’s not an Islamic problem. It’s an American problem.”
(J. Pharoah Doss is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier. He blogs at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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