Female Genital Mutilation, Islam and Leftist Silence – by Jamie Glazov

Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Russian, U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror. His new book is High Noon For America. He is the host of Frontpage’s television show, The Glazov Gang, and he can be reached at jamieglazov11@gmail.com. Visit his site at JamieGlazov.com.


fgm

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 maliciousness, 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 equivocating about how 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 practised by Muslims. But the key issue here is that Muslims are the principle 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 level. 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 and most prestigious university in the Islamic world — states that circumcision is obligatory for both boys and girls.

Keeping FGM institutionalized also helps the Islamic mutilators keep the structure of Islamic gender apartheid in place. Keeping FGM legitimized and at work is one of the most effective means to keeping women subjugated and caged. After all, the strategy behind amputating the clitoris is clearly to kill the woman’s sexual desire and pleasure, which, in this diseased misogynist mindset, reduces the chances that she will ever toy with the notions of autonomy, equality and self-determination.

Question: How can we possibly help Egyptian girls, and other girls who are targeted for FGM under Islam, if we do not confront the philosophy behind the institutionalization of this violence? You cannot save Muslim girls from FGM without crystallizing what it is within the religion that gives fertile soil and legitimation to FGM. The way to save human beings from this violence is to isolate those teachings and to have them nullified – and this involves confronting certain Islamic teachings.

Nowhere am I saying that we don’t work against FGM in non-Muslim environments. We do that too. We do it all. But we can’t save the victims of Islamic mutilation if we are not honest about the Islamic impulses for that mutilation.

So the main point of my Newsreal blog, where I asked whether Naomi Wolf would join the battle against FGM, was to point out the hypocrisy of the Left’s silence on this matter. It’s a silence that stems from the fact that leftists like Wolf know that admitting the inferiority of an adversarial culture will legitimize Western civilization, a recognition that they cannot make without risking their entire identities and social belongings. That’s why the leftist forces in our society do their best to excuse FGM with the tired old mantra: it’s not only Muslims that do it – as if inaction to save human beings from evil is somehow justified because a sin might exist somewhere else.

What a revolting image: the smug leftist turning his back on the victims of Islamic FGM because a non-Muslim somewhere perpetrated FGM. How does this self-satisfied inhumanity save the Muslim girls who will be mutilated in the future? How does it help the non-Muslim girls?

Hypothetical question: if we could have saved the Jewish inmates from Auschwitz before they were murdered, would it have been right to abort the rescue operation (which would have involved an honesty about Nazi doctrine) upon discovering that someone, somewhere, in some other place, said or did something anti-Semitic? Hey, it’s not just the Nazis that do it. Would that have sufficed to justify not lifting a hand to rescue Auschwitz’s inmates?

Some other connected tactics surface in the debate in the comments sections on my blog.  One critic thinks he is making a big point by stating that Morocco, one of the countries that Wolf visited during her political pilgrimage, does not practise FGM. But whatever the extent to which FGM is practised or not in Morocco, the point is that it is practised in Egypt and Jordan – where Wolf visited and says she found a vibrant sexuality lurking under the veil.

Another critic thinks she has scored a knockout blow against me by revealing that she did a google search and found that Wolf has written about FGM. The issue is not whether Wolf has written about FGM. The issue is whether she has condemned the societies and cultures within which they are practised and done so on the premise that our society is more humane and has something to teach those societies and cultures. She has not. In The Beauty Myth, for instance, Wolf makes a critique of FGM only in passing, with a “everyone is guilty” theme that ends up comparing FGM with modern day breast surgery.

The core issue is that Wolf does not voice her moral indignation against Islamic FGM and the Islamic theology that serves as its fertile soil. She does not condemn African tribal FGM for its African tribal roots, but in the context of how a universal misogyny is somehow guilty or responsible.

Thus, in the Islamic context, for instance, it is clear that someone like Wolf will never act, because protecting little girls’ genitals is less important for her than protecting herself from the charge of being Islamophobic. Her anti-Americanism, ultimately, has to be prioritized in a sacred and protected place.

In essence, because of Naomi Wolf and her like-minded feminist comrades, here is the situation: if you are a victimized girl being abused in a Muslim culture, then you have the unfortunate distinction of being part of a group that the West and FGM activists have difficulty helping, because the lib-Left has made sure that the Muslim culture and religion can never be criticized and, therefore, that its sufferers can never be protected or saved.

This is just another chapter of a long dark and grotesque story – the story of the Left, with its hands drenched in human blood, sacrificing human beings on the altar of utopian ideals.

[Editors’ note: Read more about the Left’ complicity in Islamic gender apartheid in Jamie Glazov’s new book, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror]

  • Proxywar

    “In The Beauty Myth, for instance, Wolf makes a critique of FGM only in passing, with a “everyone is guilty” theme that ends up comparing FGM with modern day breast surgery.”

    LMAO!!!

    Breast surgery is a choice FGM is not a choice. FGM envolves desensitizing sexual pleasure while breast surgery enhances for the presumable better, raises a small breasted or disfigured breasted woman's confidence, while at the sametime not desensitizing the nipple of stimulation and/or sensation. Logic Fail, Miss/Mrs Wolf. (not sure if she is married or not)

  • Proxywar

    What's her point that both leave scars? Breast scars fad over time not to mention girls use make-up to cover up those scars underneath their breast not so sure how make-up would be able to cover up clitoris scars. Plus, Doctors are so good today they don't even leave noticeable scars anymore. That's why they go through the nipple or stomach. This lady needed a PHD to tell her all this? Holy fuck!

  • Proxywar

    There anit nothing pretty about a scared up clitoris and how that psychologically tortures the little girl. If it is so beautiful one should ask Mrs/Miss.Wolf why she has not done it to her little girl. (if she has one right now or in the future.)

    This lady obviously forgot MEN are the enemy. An coming from a man that was a hard thing to say.

  • xyz

    Note to Ms. Wolf: It is time that you use your “fame” for something other than touting the left's agenda. You should be outraged. If you are not then you lose your credentials to be a human being. This is, in fact, a tribal male's idea of keeping his women folk in line. It's real basic here. This is a male's looking into himself and seeing things he doesn't like, fears he cannot cope with and finding a solution: cut off the females genitals and now he doesn't have to see all that vulnerability, and fear and inadequacy. All those things that an insecure male may think when he thinks about women are suddenly irrelevant. To control the woman is a real perverted way to change the self of insecure, superstitious, tribal males. Thank God for enlightened men. Sincerely.

  • fporretto

    The Left's mealy-mouthed defense of Islamic female genital mutilation is just one more illustration of its essential malignity. It isn't really for anything but power for itself — and to that end, any enemy of freedom, justice, or America is the Left's ally, to be defended a outrance.

  • ERILFH

    PERECT SLAM DUNK! I WISH THEY COULD HEAR IT FROM YOU,
    ON A STAGE ,IN PERSON,IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE1

  • Gwawr

    Here's an idea for Ms. Wolf. If this barbaric practice is so good for these people in these countries because of religion, why not have it done to herself so she can see the “good” in it. Let her go through it herself, with no anesthetic, and with the same kind of razor that is used on these girls. Bet if she did that, she would fight against it then.

  • Bellerophon

    For much of the Left “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” because most of the Left are nihilists.

    When your goals are nihilistic anyone who helps you to destroy something is your friend. It's only when your goal is to create that you have to choose your friends carefully.

    Wolf is a nihilist, she hates individualism, free markets, men and just about everything else. So long as you are destructive, you will be loved by Naomi Wolf.

  • USMCSniper

    She is also a man-hating tuna fish breath!

  • LenPowder

    "…sacrificing human beings on the altar of utopian ideals".The Left does not have 'utopian ideals' despite it's perpetuation of this myth. The Left's ideals are self-centered and self-serving. They like to pretend that they are the champions of the down-trodden, neglected and powerless. They hate those who impede their personal ambitions and disagree with their personal views. It's only when their own genitals are exposed to mutilation that they will react with indignation. They have no real compassion for the sufferings of others – unless it serves their personal agenda and interests.

  • khalidroc

    FGM is also practised within the Xtians of Egypt – the Qubti. Why no mention of them and not some obscure comment like “…FGM is practised outside of Islam, including under non-Islamic African tribal cultures…”? Once again I state that nowhere within Islaam is FGM sanctioned. It is a cultural practise quite common in Africa. It pre-dates Islaam and is not, I repeat not, a sanctioned practice of Islaam. It is patently obvious that your article is aimed at, like so many others from around th globe, denigrating the system of life that is Islaam.

  • jamieglazov

    One of Sunni Islam’s “Four Great Imams,” Ahmad ibn Hanbal (from whom the Hanbali school of Islamic jurisprudence takes its name) quotes Muhammed as saying: “Circumcision is a law for men and a preservation of honour for women.”

    Tha legal manual of the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence, ‘Umdat al-Salik, which is endorsed by Al-Azhar University of Cairo — the oldest and most prestigious university in the Islamic world — states that circumcision is obligatory for both boys and girls.

    • Haneef

      any Imam who mentions such a faust, or lie is insane, no where in the quran or in the practice of islam does it mention such a sin, and if you can read, study it yourself and you will se, just because a per son calls themself an imam, doesnt make them one, we have crazy muslims as well.

  • Thomi Horath

    This article is kind of too long for me. Make it shorter please, I don't want to spend the whole afternoon in reading bla bla. Or translate it to German. Then you will start to think about: Do I want to get my message across or do I want to show how good are my writing skills? Cheers! ;)

  • titra

    Hi, this is horrible, but the link under is an hospital for the women who had mutilation.
    In this hospital, the doctors help women. go to the link this is very important to all these women.

    http://www.clitoraid.com/hyperlink

  • selmaarslan

    no violence …

  • Thomi Horath

    Jamieglazov, can you show me the position in the Quran? I mean, which Sura? Which verse?

  • TaterSalad
  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ZoeBrain ZoeBrain

    As a Feminist, I've been trying to get FGM to have a higher profile amongst women's groups. It's happening, but far, far too slowly. Part of that is racism, part of it a "cultural cowardice" that afflicts much of the west.

    The Left knows about it, but is hopelessly apathetic. The Right doesn't know, doesn't want to know, and the fringe Right approves of the practice. The Fringe Left is so immersed is cultural relativism that no foreign practice is bad, no domestic one good.

    You know who's most active against it? Intersexed and Transsexual women. Those who have had to have genital reconstruction of their own, from natural causes. They do what they can to support curative surgery for women who have been mutilated, and Marci Bowers, the surgeon, fixes cases of FGM in the US free of charge.

    • Lisa

      Its one of the most talked about subjects when the right talks about human rights abuses. Apparently you don't know much about them. they want it stopped, now!

  • Ahmed

    You'll be surprised to learn that many western women are choosing to undergo Islamic female circumcision known as hoodectomy where only the prepuce of the clitoris is removed for greater cleanliness and an enhanced sex life (for more information please seehttp://www.hoodectomyinformation.com)

    I give below an interesting article on this subject :

    There exist many ahadith or sayings of the Prophet to show the important place, circumcision, whether of males or females, occupies in Islam. Among these traditions is the one where the Prophet is reported to have declared circumcision (khitan) to be sunnat for men and ennobling for women (Baihaqi). He is also known to have declared that the bath (following sexual intercourse without which no prayer is valid) becomes obligatory when both the circumcised parts meet (Tirmidhi). The fact that the Prophet defined sexual intercourse as the meeting of the male and female circumcised parts (khitanul khitan, or in some narrations khitanain 'the two circumcised parts') when stressing on the need for the obligatory post-coital bath could be taken as pre-supposing or indicative of the obligatory nature of circumcision in the case of both males and females.

    Stronger still is his statement classing circumcision (khitan) as one of the acts characteristic of the fitra or God-given nature (Or in other words, Divinely-inspired natural inclinations of humans) such as the shaving of pubic hair, removing the hair of the armpits and the paring of nails (Bukhari) which again shows its strongly emphasized if not obligatory character in the case of both males and females. Muslim scholars are of the view that acts constituting fitra which the Prophet expected Muslims to follow are to be included in the category of wajib or obligatory.

    That the early Muslims regarded female circumcision as obligatory even for those Muslims who embraced Islam later in life is suggested by a tradition occurring in the Adab al Mufrad of Bukhari where Umm Al Muhajir is reported to have said: “I was captured with some girls from Byzantium. (Caliph) Uthman offered us Islam, but only myself and one other girl accepted Islam. Uthman said: ‘Go and circumcise them and purify them.’” More recently, we had Sheikh Jadul Haqq, the distinguished head of Al Azhar declaring both male and female circumcision to be obligatory religious duties (Khitan Al Banat in Fatawa Al-Islamiyyah. 1983). The fatwa by his successor Tantawi who opposed the practice cannot be taken seriously as we all know that he has pronounced a number of unislamic fatwas such as declaring bank interest halal and questioning the obligation of women wearing Islamic headscarves.

    At the same time, however, what is required in Islam, is the removal of only the prepuce of the clitoris, and not the clitoris itself as is widely believed. The Prophet is reported to have told Umm Atiyyah, a lady who circumcised girls in Medina: “When you circumcise, cut plainly and do not cut severely, for it is beauty for the face and desirable for the husband” (idha khafadti fa ashimmi wa la tanhaki fa innahu ashraq li’l wajh wa ahza ind al zawj) (Abu Dawud, Al Awsat of Tabarani and Tarikh Baghdad of Al Baghdadi). This hadith clearly explains the procedure to be followed in the circumcision of girls. The words: “Cut plainly and do not cut severely” (ashimmi wa la tanhaki) is to be understood in the sense of removing the skin covering the clitoris, and not the clitoris. The expression “It is beauty (more properly brightness or radiance) for the face” (ashraq li’l wajh) is further proof of this as it simply means the joyous countenance of a woman, arising out of her being sexually satisfied by her husband. The idea here is that it is only with the removal of the clitoral prepuce that real sexual satisfaction could be realized. The procedure enhances sexual feeling in women during the sex act since a circumcised clitoris is much more likely to be stimulated as a result of direct oral, penile or tactile contact than the uncircumcised organ whose prepuce serves as an obstacle to direct stimulation.

    A number of religious works by the classical scholars such as Fath Al Bari by Ibn Hajar Asqalani and Sharhul Muhadhdhab of Imam Nawawi have stressed on the necessity of removing only the prepuce of the clitoris and not any part of the organ itself. It is recorded in the Majmu Al Fatawa that when Ibn Taymiyyah was asked whether the woman is circumcised, he replied: “Yes we circumcise. Her circumcision is to cut the uppermost skin (jilda) like the cock’s comb.” More recently Sheikh Jadul Haqq declared that the circumcision of females consists of the removal of the clitoral prepuce (Khitan Al Banat in Fatawa Al Islamiyya. 1983).

    Besides being a religious duty, the procedure is believed to facilitate good hygiene since the removal of the prepuce of the clitoris serves to prevent the accumulation of smegma, a foul-smelling, germ-containing cheese- like substance that collects underneath the prepuces of uncircumcised women (See Al Hidaayah. August 1997). A recent study by Sitt Al Banat Khalid ‘Khitan Al-Banat Ru’ yah Sihhiyyah’ (2003) has shown that female circumcision, like male circumcision, offers considerable health
    benefits, such as prevention of urinary tract infections, cystitis and other diseases affecting the female reproductive organs.

  • Ahmed

    In contrast to those who say that female circumcision affects women’s sexual pleasure, there are many research studies proving that it actually improves the sex life of women.
    The latest is the recent study Orgasmic Dysfunction Among Women at a Primary Care Setting in Malaysia. Hatta Sidi, and Marhani Midin, and Sharifah Ezat Wan Puteh, and Norni Abdullah, (2008) Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health, 20 (4) accessible http://myais.fsktm.um.edu.my/4480/ which shows that being Non-Malay is a higher risk factor for Orgasmic Sexual Dysfunction in women, implying that Malay women experience less problems in achieving orgasm than non-Malay women. As you know almost all Malay women in Malaysia are circumcised (undergo hoodectomy) in contrast to non-Malay women who are not. This would suggest that hoodectomy does in fact contribute to an improved sex life in women rather than diminishing it as some argue.

  • Marion L.

    Amnesty International, Equality Now, Human Rights Watch and MADRE are examples of human rights organizations that have taken principled stands against FGM and are fighting to end it.

    Contrary to what Glazov implies in this article, they have a lot of support from left-wing feminists, myself included!

    It is unclear from this article whether Glazov is more interested in helping women or in smearing everyone on the left. I wonder if Glazov knows himself . . .

  • khalidabdullah

    Regarding Female Genital Mutilation or alternatively known as Female Genital Cutting I forward the following article (Female Genital Cutting – page 8) from the 'Crescent Times' : http://www.crescenttimes.com.au/

  • khalidabdullah

    Sorry that article I recently referred to is on page 8 :)

  • Jana

    This is practice is terrible thing that needs to be stopped. Though I disagree about it being a left/ right issue. I don't know anyone who wants to defend it weather they are left, right or in the middle. Organic Lotions

  • salah

    I can not see why people all over the world are talking about islam like if its a criminal.I am a muslim and I come from YEMEN, what is very conservative country about Islam application. we have no such thing as female circumcision. but I do admit that It is there in islam as an optional command, which does not force any one to follow, however, islam conditions that the circumcision should not remove anything that will affect the lady's desire to sex.
    To be honest, Islam saves the lady from any damage either intended or not. and what I am trying to say is that some cultures might have such a thing.

  • moslima who also loves common

    Dear Ahmed I don’t care what the Islam has to say about this. We women suffer enough through childbirth. And people should hv enough common sense to not encrease the suffering of women.