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Mar 25 2012

It’s not a priority

I saw a powerful BBC report on FGM in Egypt the other day.

The most chilling part is at the very end (11:00) when Sue Lloyd Roberts asks a Salafist honcho if he’s on board with the campaign to end FGM and he said it’s not a priority. She pressed him by saying, “So you wouldn’t deter a mother who wants to get her underage daughter mutilated.”

He stared for a second and then said, with a tiny smirk, “I have nothing further to say on this matter.”

Sue Lloyd Roberts in voiceover: “The will of mothers like Olla will therefore be respected, and 11-year-old Raja will be mutilated.” Freeze-frame on young Raja.

20 comments

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  1. 1
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    (Angry, disgusted sigh.)

  2. 2
    Felix

    Excellent report from Newsnight, good to see such direct reporting on this issue.
    Here’s the accompanying story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/9696353.stm

  3. 3
    Ian MacDougall

    The main purpose of FGM is to destroy as far as possible the future enjoyment of sex by the girls subjected to it. Without the support and active collaboration of Muslim women in all this, it is hard to see how it could be possible.

    The operations are always carried out by women, who clearly believe that it is quite right and proper. No reform movement within Islam is apparent. Ayaan Hirsi Ali argues, I think quite rightly, that it is pointless trying to ‘reform’ Islam, and that the best course is to abandon it.

    Meanwhile, the ignorant butchery continues.

  4. 4
    Ophelia Benson

    Yes, everyone is very frank about that in the story. Olla in particular makes it very clear.

    The midwife is a bit different. First it’s that girls who are not mutilated turn out short and stubby instead of tall and graceful, and then it’s that fuck it all she wants the money, she would never stop because she wants the money, god damn it.

  5. 5
    Newman

    Yeah, I couldn’t figure out the midwife. It’s exactly as you say — she started out justifying it, and then said fuck it, I want the money dammit!

    Great report. Thanks for sharing. It’s so sick.

  6. 6
    Ophelia Benson

    Isn’t it though. Those poor little girls – millions of them. [shudder]

  7. 7
    BenSix

    That Salafist thug clearly loathed having a woman answer back to him.

  8. 8
    Ophelia Benson

    Yes. And talking filth at that. Daring to talk about a practice which ought to be totally taboo even to mention in public, especially a woman talking to a man. FGM ought to be entirely sekrit and hidden.

    And that’s what Egypt is going to be. It will get an Islamist constitution and Islamist government. It’s fucked. It’s so so so depressing.

  9. 9
    Brian M

    Don’t worry Ophelia. A Salafist government or Shiite theocracy is coming to Syria soon*, if the liberal intervfentionists have their way. After even more bloodhed and ethnic cleansing and the like.

    * Look at how WELL the intervention in Libya has turned out. Warring religious gangs and an entire region destabilized. But the Libyan oil industry is firmly nunder Western contriol and the independent Libyan bank is basically gone, so all is well and good!

  10. 10
    anna

    Oh yes, perfectly acceptable to butcher women, but nasty and disgusting to talk about it, especially if you mention (eeew eeew yuck) the clitoris.

    Why doesn’t anyone ask these assholes how they’d like having their penises cut off? Hmmm?

  11. 11
    Ian MacDougall

    From what I can gather, FGM is regarded as perfectly right and proper by Muslim men in the countries where it is institutionalised. In the only interview I have seen featuring a supporter (a Muslim cleric) he claimed that it was necessary to stop girls getting out of control, and the Muslim world degenerating into something like the West.

    Where it happens, the men seem to be for it. But also the women.

    Imagine the situation if FGM was carried out in Egypt or wherever else by bearded and turbaned Muslim clerics. The outrage would be universal.

    FGM is only possible if women carry it out. Yet if they were each personally revolted by it, they could easily derail the whole project and reduce it to a farce. After the tiniest cut to the least consequential location drawing a tiny spot of blood, they could declare that Allah’s will had been done, and leave it at that. If they wanted to. But they don’t.

    Apparently, Muslim wives and mothers believe just as fervently as the men that girls’ sexuality should be kept under control. That is, under the control of someone other than she who actually owns it.

  12. 12
    mirax

    Yes, FGM has pre-islamic origins but it is really an outrageous lie to say that Islam has little to do with the issue and it is a ‘cultural’ issue.
    If it is a cultural issue, why do muslim women in South East Asia practise the ‘sunat’ as they call it? They had no such culture of mutilation pre-islam.

    Why do ALL the mainstream muslim organisations in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore recommend it?

    If it is a cultural issue, why has the number of women opting for the procedure for their children actually increased in recent times ?

    Why did the Indonesian Health Ministry in June 2011 issue guidelines for medical personnel on how to perform the procedure, raising the ire of women’s rights organisations?

    Why has a practice that in the past was mainly confined to rural areas in Indonesia and that, traditionally was either a minimal nick or a better still a symbolic rubbing with a turmeric root (for the latter mercy we owe gratitude to the relative sanity of the Indonesia’s pre-islamic past), now been medicalised, urbanised and involve more cutting?

    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/health/fears-indonesian-female-circumcision-guidelines-could-increase-practice/462996

    http://www.aware.org.sg/information/female-circumcision/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julia-lallamaharajh/indonesias-new-guidelines_b_1030330.html

  13. 13
    mirax

    FGM is only possible if women carry it out. Yet if they were each personally revolted by it, they could easily derail the whole project and reduce it to a farce. After the tiniest cut to the least consequential location drawing a tiny spot of blood, they could declare that Allah’s will had been done, and leave it at that. If they wanted to. But they don’t.<<

    This sounds so patronising – like you are saying that it is all the women's fault? Did you watch the video? Did you notice the men in it? Hear about the men who refuse to marry girls who didnt have the procedure? The mob that turned up at that muslim woman's house just for talking about her decision? I betcha that it was a mob of men rather than women.

    That thing about reducing the mutilation to just cutting? Well it is certainly less life-threatening than FGM but carries its own risks besides being totally unnecessary.

  14. 14
    Ian MacDougall

    mirax: “This sounds so patronising – like you are saying that it is all the women’s fault?”

    No. That’s not what I said.

  15. 15
    mirax

    I realise that my earlier post is in moderation due to the links.

    Here it is without the links(hopefully Ophelia will add the links later):

    Yes, FGM has pre-islamic origins but it is really an outrageous lie to say that Islam has little to do with the issue and it is a ‘cultural’ issue.
    If it is a cultural issue, why do muslim women in South East Asia practise the ‘sunat’ as they call it? They had no such culture of mutilation pre-islam.

    Why do ALL the mainstream muslim organisations in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore recommend it?

    If it is a cultural issue, why has the number of women opting for the procedure for their children actually increased in recent times ?

    Why did the Indonesian Health Ministry in June 2011 issue guidelines for medical personnel on how to perform the procedure, raising the ire of women’s rights organisations?

    Why has a practice that in the past was mainly confined to rural areas in Indonesia and that, traditionally was either a minimal nick or a better still a symbolic rubbing with a turmeric root (for the latter mercy we owe gratitude to the relative sanity of the Indonesia’s pre-islamic past), now been medicalised, urbanised and involve more cutting?

  16. 16
    mirax

    Ian, having been accused of being a misogynist myself on this board, I will take that disawowal.

    It may bring you hope to know that there are women, muslim women, who are fighting against pretty large odds against this. just google Kartini Asia.

  17. 17
    Ian MacDougall

    mirax:
    A major part of the problem of FGM is the fact that so many Muslim women are for whatever reason, in favour of it; also for whatever reason prepared to regard the loss of a daughter’s clitoris as less important than facing whatever flak from whatever Muslim men.

    If in the opinion of a large mass of individual Muslim women FGM was something to be got rid of, and as a continuing project, sabotaged at every opportunity, I cannot see how it could possibly last.

    But it continues. So I repeat what I said in my earlier post:

    “FGM is only possible if women carry it out. Yet if they were each personally revolted by it, they could easily derail the whole project and reduce it to a farce. After [SAY] the tiniest cut to the least consequential location drawing a tiny spot of blood, they could declare that Allah’s will had been done, and leave it at that. If they wanted to. But they don’t.

    “Apparently, Muslim wives and mothers believe just as fervently as the men that girls’ sexuality should be kept under control. That is, under the control of someone other than she who actually owns it.”

    How anyone can read ‘misogyny’ into that is beyond me. And no, I have not watched the video. Due to my limited download allowance where I am, I never watch online videos. On anything.

  18. 18
    Boomer

    And that’s what Egypt is going to be. It will get an Islamist constitution and Islamist government. It’s fucked. It’s so so so depressing.

    That’s true, but it’s not the whole story which is much worse.

    Not only will Egypt get an islamist gov’t, but we’ll be the ones paying for it.

    We’re going to give them billions and billions to implement and enforce a primitive, backward, medieval systeme of “jurisprudence”, laws that violate practically every aspect of human dignity.

    I’m going to be forced to subsidise something I find totally repulsive and something with which I completely disagree.

    Taxpayers in both Europe and America are being slowly set up to finance this.

    We may not be able to directly do anything about FGM, but we CAN do something to undermine societies in which it is practised, and we can do so by refusing them any and all foreign aid.

    And when you look at Egypt, it’s surprising just how utterly worhtless the place is.

    It’s only real source of revenue comes from tourism, and almost all of that tourism revolves around pimping the country’s pre-islamic past.

    One wonders, seeings the state of the country, if modern Egyptians even have the wherewithall to build a friggin’ pyramid.

  19. 19
    Boomer

    Just last week in Canada a muslim bookstore was found to be selling a 180 page book authoried by a Muslim “scholar” from India explaing in great detail why, how and in what circumstances men should beat their wives.

    It had almost sold out.

    When the leader of Canada’s Liberal Party, the self-styled guardians of women’s rights, gay rights etc, was confronted with the tome, he downplayed it and just mumbled something about ALL religions being misogynistic.

    One other observation, and a very distrubing one at that; why did Sue Lloyd Roberts even bother going all the way to Egypt when they are estimated to be hundreds of cases of FGM ( maybe even more) being done in the UK?

    Why spend so much on an airline tickets and hotels when Tube fare to go just four or five stops would have sufficed for a thorough, exhaustive and informative report in this?

    We,ll never be able to stop it being done in Muslim countries, so could we at least ensure that it isn’t being done here?

    A far more powerful BBC report would be one in which the people responsable for FGM in the UK, or for sending their daughters overseas to have it done, were said to have been arrested, tried, convicted and imprisonned.

  20. 20
    undercover boss

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