UK: female genital mutilation too “nuanced” to prosecute

No doubt. The British police is too busy prosecuting bacon cases, arresting thought criminals and dissidents before they can even make a speech.

Robert Spencer video: The UK’s criminal negligence in refusing to prosecute FGM cases

In this new video, I discuss statements of Ivan Balhatchet, the British National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead on honour violence, that female genital mutilation are too “nuanced” to prosecute. Balhatchet likewise excused official inaction on honor violence.

In other news:

There are some interesting comments on this thread:

  1. CRUSADER says

    And, then, there is this article….

    ’Splainer: What is female genital mutilation, and what does it have to do with Islam?
    By Aysha Khan

    *** Kajiado Community members participate in an Anti-FGM and Ending Child Marriage protest during an Orange the World activism event in Kenya ***

    The ’Splainer (as in “You’ve got some ’splaining to do”) is an occasional online feature in which RNS gives you everything you need to know about current events to hold your own at the water cooler.

    (RNS) This week, two Muslim physicians were indicted in a high-profile genital mutilation case in Michigan: One was charged with performing female genital cutting on two 7-year-old girls, and the other with allowing use of his clinic for the procedure. Both the doctors and victims belong to the Dawoodi Bohra sect, a branch of Shiite Islam based in India but also found in Pakistan, Yemen and East Africa, whose adherents regularly practice cutting. This is believed to be the first time anyone has been charged under a U.S. federal law criminalizing FGC.

    The arrest reignited a discussion on female genital mutilation in the U.S., including among Bohra Muslims. It also spurred a Michigan state lawmaker to introduce anti-Shariah legislation, even though the practice is not based on Islamic law. So what is FGM, and what are its religious underpinnings, if any? Let us ’Splain.

    First of all, what do you mean by ‘cutting’ the genitals?

    The terms “female genital mutilation” and “female genital cutting,” frequently abbreviated as FGM or FGC, refer to cutting the external female genitalia for any nonmedical reason. Depending on local or cultural customs, that might mean a small nick on the clitoris or rubbing a razor against the clitoris or labia minora. “That’s the most common category,” Raquel Evita Saraswati, a Muslim advocate against gender violence, told RNS. But she added that it can also entail the removal of all the external genitalia “and sealing of the entire area, leaving just a small hole for urination.”

    FGM procedures are usually conducted by a physician, midwife or traditional practitioner with little medical knowledge. Complications are common and often deadly.

    In cases where the cut is virtually unnoticeable, girls can grow up without ever realizing what was done to them. In other cases, women are left unable to feel sexual pleasure or bear children. Some experience crippling pain during sex.

    In the Michigan case, the doctor claimed she merely wiped away a mucous membrane from the girls’ clitorises. But medical examiners say the victims showed “abnormal” genitalia, including scar tissue, small lacerations, “altered” labia and an incision. And other women from the Bohra community say cutting, usually at the age of 7, is common. “None of us remember being ‘wiped,’” writes journalist Tasneem Raja, who was raised in a Bohra family and was subjected to FGM when she was about 7. “We were cut. Some of us bled and ached for days, and some walked away with lifelong physical damage.”

    I can’t imagine — why would people subject their daughters to FGM?

    Join the club. The reasons people cite are varied, but it’s generally related to controlling female sexuality — if it hurts or she can’t feel pleasure, she won’t seek out extramarital sex — and maintaining purity for marriage. And to be fair, many women willingly participate in the procedure.

    Among Bohras and some other groups, FGM can also be about removing “bad germs.” It can also be about beauty: Some believe it produces a desirable smoothness of the genitalia. But more than that, it’s simply a long-standing tradition. However painful and dangerous, social pressure is real. When FGM is near universal in a community, a girl’s future marriageability depends on her being cut.

    When did FGM begin? Is it a Muslim practice?

    Researchers have theorized that cutting “might have been practiced in ancient Egypt as a sign of distinction, while others hypothesize its origin in ancient Greece, Rome, Pre-Islamic Arabia and the Tsarist Russian Federation.” Herodotus also wrote about FGM in Egypt back in the fifth century B.C.

    In 19th-century America and Europe, FGM was used to “cure” insanity, masturbation and libido. It is also done by some animist groups, and Jews used to practice it in Ethiopia, where it is widespread among Christians and Muslims.

    Percentage of girls and women aged 15 to 49 years who have undergone FGM, by country. UNICEF, 2013
    Although there is no mention of cutting girls’ genitalia in the Quran, some Muslim communities do promote FGM on religious grounds. “In some schools of jurisprudence it’s considered widely acceptable,” Saraswati said, referring to the Islamic law traditions that dominate in different Muslim societies.

    “So in Indonesia, because of the school of thought there, the practice is pervasive,” she said.

    Muslim supporters of FGM often cite a hadith, or saying of the Prophet Muhammad, that can be interpreted as allowing cutting, Qasim Rashid writes in his book “Extremist.” But, he says, it is one of many hadith whose authenticity is in doubt.

    FGM has also been roundly denounced by Muslim leaders and scholars — including the dean of Egypt’s influential Al-Azhar University. A 2011 United Nations report states that over 4,100 religious leaders have taught followers that FGM is not sanctioned by Islam, and nearly 1,000 religious edicts called on Muslims to end cutting.

    Still, in Egypt, upward of 90 percent of women aged 15-49 have undergone FGM, which was outlawed in 2009 — but Coptic Christians and Muslims are said to practice it at about equal rates. In other Muslim-majority countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, FGM is virtually nonexistent.

    FGM is a global practice.

    FGM doesn’t happen often in the US, right?

    According to the World Health Organization, FGM has been documented in 30 countries, mainly in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. “There’s a stereotype that FGM happens just on the African continent,” Saraswati said. “But it’s actually part of the birthing procedure in regions around the world. So FGM is actually something that’s growing.”

    In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control estimates at least half a million women and girls are at risk of FGM. This number may be an overestimate: It’s based on immigration from countries where cutting is practiced. But two years ago, researchers found that FGM rates in the U.S. had doubled in the past decade.

    The practice is not new in the U.S., where some fundamentalist Christian groups have also used it to control female sexuality, Saraswati said, “because they don’t want girls to have sexual desire, or they say the clitoris is too big.” One woman recently spoke out about her FGM, which happened in a Midwestern church clinic that cut girls who masturbated.


    • gravenimage says

      CRUSADER, part of that article is accurate, and part of is twaddle, it appears to deflect attention from FGM being almost entirely a Muslim phenomenon.

      Yes, FGM predates Islam–but it was taken up enthusiastically by Muslims, and is most often practiced and defended by Muslims, on the basis of Islam.

      As for fundamentalist Christians regularly practicing FGM to control masterbation, I have been able to find only a single reference:

      “‘FGM happened to me in white, midwest America’”

      This seems to be a single case, and it happened back in 1947. Still absolutely appalling, of course–but the implication that this is a regular practice with American Christians now or ever seems completely bogus.

  2. Honest Ali says

    “Too nuanced”

    There is nothing “nuanced” about cutting off a clitoris, or “honor” murdering a woman.

    Ivan Balhatchet is a coward of the lowest order.

  3. gravenimage says

    Robert Spencer video: The UK’s criminal negligence in refusing to prosecute FGM cases

    Yes–this *is* shameful. So far as I know, the only case of prosecuting FGM in the UK was a non-Muslim doctor who assented to re-sewing up an infibulated woman after she had given birth because she begged him to (in Dar-al-Islam such women are often divorced by their husbands and rejected by their families if they are not re-sewn).

    The idea that this was prosecuted while actual cases of FGM–which are rife–have been ignored is grotesque.

  4. Pet Charles says

    Its classic two-faced UK!! They send “missionaries” to Africa to stop female genital mutilation but when it happens on UK soil thy remain silent.

  5. RCCA says

    Remember Hillary Clinton’s line, “women’s rights are human rights?” Someone aught to ask her or Chelsea Clinton what their view is of rampant domestic violence against women in the Muslim world, fgm, honor killings, etc. Or should we just focus on Islamophobia?

    “UNICEF estimates that more than 200 million females in 30 countries have undergone female genital mutilation, often within a few years or months of birth. The practice is especially common in the Middle East and Africa, with up to 90 percent prevalence among girls and women between 15 and 49 in countries like Egypt and Sierra Leone.”

    Leads me to wonder how rampant is FGM in Somalia communities here in the US? Yeah, turns out we’re not doing so well in the US either. We’re right behind the UK in the negligence department.


One thought on “UK: female genital mutilation too “nuanced” to prosecute”

  1. “In this new video, I discuss statements of Ivan Balhatchet, the British National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead on honour violence, that female genital mutilation are too “nuanced” to prosecute. Balhatchet likewise excused official inaction on honor violence”

    Great Video about Great Britain.

    Thanks for posting

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