Pages: 1 2
Last week, a Canadian advocate and a professor of anthropology contacted me on behalf of a fourth woman. She is a Christian who was born and raised in the killing fields of Congo. Her father worked hard to end the dictatorial Mobutu regime and was therefore murdered by Mobutu’s death squads. Her mother fled to a neighboring African country, where she married a Muslim man who insisted on marrying his new stepdaughter off to an elderly Muslim man; in turn, her chosen husband insisted that she be genitally mutilated. This woman had already learned about the horror of genital mutilation firsthand when a friend of hers died from an infection after the “procedure” was inflicted on her.
To understand what she is running away from, here is an account of one genital mutilation that recently took place in Cairo, Egypt:
“Our ears were assaulted by maniacal screams coming from one of the open shops that lined the alley…We looked in the direction from which came those screams to see a middle-aged woman seated in a barber chair, a child on her lap, and a man on his knees in front of the child. I assume the little girl was the daughter of the woman in the barber chair, who was restraining the girl and spreading the child’s legs open, while the man on his knees was the barber who owned that barber shop. He leaned forward, concentrating on the space between the girl’s legs, where he was working with a straight razor. The barber proceeded with businesslike indifference to the little girl’s shrieks, as did the people in the street, who went about as if carving off a clitoris were something they saw every day, and as if the horrendous suffering the child expressed so loudly were a normal refrain in the raucous symphony that is Cairo. I stood motionless, transfixed by the crime I was watching, cursing myself for not charging into that barbershop, grabbing the little girl, and running away as fast as I could. A few moments later, the barber tossed a small red mass of bloody flesh into the gutter, a human clitoris for chickens to eat…”
In flight from such barbarism, this poor soul fled Africa and arrived in the U.S. about six months ago with a falsified passport and a falsified visa which indicated that she was a single woman. According to her anthropologist-advocate, she had no choice—she could not tell anyone that she had secretly married another African Christian who now lived in Canada because she would not have been allowed to leave her African country as a married woman without permission from her Muslim father or husband. She could not risk asking her mother for such a letter; that would involve the mother in what would be seen as a conspiracy against her new Muslim family.
Thus, when she tried to cross the border into Canada, she and was closely questioned. However, she was both afraid to lie and afraid to tell the truth. Instead, she simply wept. Once the Canadian authorities understood that she had a husband in Canada and that her passport listed her as single, they turned her away. Ayaan Hirsi Ali herself chose to or was forced to lie to Dutch authorities when she first arrived there; despite her having risen to become a member of Parliament, this lie ultimately led to a serious attempt to deport her.
Back to our unnamed hero. Shortly after being barred from entering Canada, and for unknown reasons, American immigration authorities arrested her and have been keeping her in detention for the last month.
Her anthropologist-advocate attended her initial hearing and tried to visit her in detention. She told me: “The security was unbelievable, and all deadly serious. Even I was intimidated. I can only imagine how she, a tiny woman, must feel handcuffed for the duration. We could not even visit with her. Just a quick 60 seconds to hug her before the hearing, then about 30 seconds while waiting for the elevator before she was taken back to jail.”
If only the perpetrators of Islamic gender apartheid—and not their victims—faced this kind of treatment. But they do not.
She is now facing deportation. Her final hearing will take place this Friday. Her advocate, who is Canadian herself, believes that Canada would probably accept her but it will still take some time to convince the government to readmit her since she has already been turned back at the border. Her lawyer has advised her advocate, her husband, and his family not to show up for the final hearing—advice which troubles me because it is important for the judge to see that she has serious supporters who find her story credible and who are ready to take responsibility for her.
One must also ask: Should the West, including the United States and Canada be taking in so many persecuted victims from other countries? That’s certainly what America is about—but can we afford to subsidize this rescue work? Can we afford not to?
I would like to acknowledge the help of my assistant Nathan Bloom.
Pages: 1 2