Female Genital Mutilation, Islam and Leftist Silence?
by Jamie Glazov
My recent NewsReal blog on Naomi Wolf and female genital mutilation (FGM) – also posted at Frontpagemag.com and Jihadwatch.org — has triggered a heated debate in the blogs’ comments sections on all three sites. The key arguments in these three sections personify some of the Left’s key tactics in its romance with tyranny and terror. It is crucial to shed light on these arguments in order to crystallize the malice, dishonesty and heartlessness which lie at the center of the leftist agenda. It also helps strengthen our efforts to fight on behalf of tyranny’s victims, which, in this case, are the hundreds of thousands of young girls who face the barbarity of female genital mutilation yearly around the world.
The recent controversy surrounds a Frontpage interview I did with Ines Laufer, an anti-FGM activist. Along with Lucy Mashua, a Kenyan victim of FGM, she is presently leading a new campaign, sponsoredgirl.com, to protect girls from this barbarity.
In my NewsReal blog, I raised the question of whether Naomi Wolf, who postures as a feminist concerned with women’s rights, will be at all interested in joining Laufer’s and Mashua’s campaign. The issue at stake here is that leftist feminists pretend they care about women, but when it comes to women who suffer under adversary cultures, they refuse to act, since doing so will legitimize their own societies which they despise and work to destroy. Thus, millions of women under Islamic gender apartheid have been abandoned by leftist feminists, whose devotions lie with their anti-Western and anti-American faiths. The scholar and true feminist Phyllis Chesler has documented this phenomenon powerfully in her book The Death of Feminism.
To stress the main essence of this problem regarding Wolf and the hypocrites in her “feminist” camp, I asked in my blog:
“Will Naomi Wolf join the battle? For instance, will she denounce the Islamic theology and teachings that lead to the mutilation of Muslim girls in Islamic countries?”
My critics who seek to delegitimize my main point have now come forward and think they are scoring a powerful blow against me by, typically, pointing out that FGM is not exclusively Muslim. This is a key traditional tactic of the Left. In order to whitewash the barbarity of adversary cultures, they consistently exonerate it by pointing out that some kind of injustice exists somewhere else — and, especially, of course, how it exists in our own society and civilization.
Thus, some of the critics revel in how Lucy Semiyan Mashua, who is leading the new campaign against FGM, is from Kenya and comes from the Massai, a Christian African tribe. This is how their mental gymnastics work: FGM is not just an Islamic practice, so we can’t say anything critical about Islam when it is connected to FGM. This way we can’t say that anything is really better than anything else, and we especially can’t say that our civilization is better than Islam’s or that we have anything to teach Islamic societies.
This kind of thinking deliberately incapacitates any action that could be implemented on behalf of Islam’s victims. If you try to do something on behalf of the victims, which begins with honesty about who is perpetrating the crime and why, the critics come forward and say: “Hey, but it isn’t just Muslims that do it.” Then the critics feel really good about themselves for pointing this out and, yes, go home and do nothing about the subject at hand. So in the case of FGM, the leftist feels self-satisfied that he’s pointed out that it’s not just Islam that does it, he engages in no action to help the victims and the mutilation of girls under Islam continues.
Naturally, Muslims are not the only ones who perpetrate FGM. Of course, FGM is practised outside of Islam, including under non-Islamic African tribal cultures. I never said anywhere that FGM is only practiced by Muslims. But the key issue here is that Muslims are the principal religious group that practices this sexual violence against women. And the reality is that if you are a victim of FGM, then the chances are very high that you live in a Muslim household and in a Muslim culture.
Now within the context of Islamic FGM, the barbarity is kept alive and legitimized by Islamic theology. This is the case in Egypt, where this crime against girls is waged on a massive scale. The Egyptian government banned FGM in 1996, but an Egyptian court overturned the ban in July 1997 because of the ferocious uprising of the Islamic clerics, who fervently pointed to Islamic teachings to re-implement this war against women’s sexuality. The Muslim mutilators pointed to traditional Islamic teachings that sanction FGM, which include the Prophet Muhammad’s instruction that circumcising girls is “a preservation of honor for women.” Also, a legal manual of the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence, ‘Umdat al-Salik, which is endorsed by Al-Azhar University of Cairo — the oldest a