Mark discussed, “Our Fear of Islam,” analyzing the different psychological mechanisms the West is now engaged in its surrender to a totalitarian ideology, which includes the “Tend and Befriend” response. The dialogue also involved a focus on Islamic female genital mutilation and the world’s denial about its Muslim theological foundations:
For the first time in Egyptian history, an Egyptian physician, Dr. Raslan Fadl, will stand trial for the female genital mutilation of a thirteen-year-old girl—not only because he broke the 2008 Mubarak-era law against such practices but because the girl died.
Dr. Fadl claims she had an allergic reaction to the penicillin used for the procedure.
Her family will probably settle for compensation for her death, as they cannot accuse the physician of undertaking a procedure that they themselves asked him to perform.
Doctors have been seen as the solution to an intractable problem. African and Muslim feminist activists decided that since the practice had such widespread support, that a physician (ideally in a hospital, ideally using anesthesia, and ideally performing a minimal mutilation, not the more common maximal versions) would be safer than an illiterate peasant woman with her rusty razor blades and knives.
Alas, that was not the case this time.
According to UNICEF, 91% of married Egyptian women between 15-49 have been subjected to FGM.
I first learned about female genital mutilation (FGM) in 1976, when my esteemed feminist colleague, an American in exile from her native South Africa, Dr. Diana Russell, published her proceedings of a legendary International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women. One woman from Guinea testified about FGM.
What she said was horrifying. Using no anesthesia, women, including the victim’s female relatives, held down girls of twelve and “without any anesthesia or regard for hygiene” attacked their genitalia with “the neck of a broken bottle… when the clitoris had been ripped out, the women howled with joy.” This witness also said that in other countries, “this savage mutilation is not enough; it is also necessary to sew the woman up…leaving only a small space for the passage of blood and urine.”
Another witness, from France, testified more on the side effects and complications of this procedure: “Hemorrhage, tetanus, urinary infection and septic anemia are not infrequent results. The perineum (tissue) of those who survive hardens, and will tear in childbirth.” She explained that some women experience agony if their clitoral area is even gently touched. And those who give birth may develop fistulas (urinary and bowel incontinence) and may be rejected by their families because of their foul odor. This practice is pandemic all over the Arab Middle East and among Christians, Muslims, and animists in black Africa.
This issue remained under the radar until 1979-1980 when I worked at the United Nations. In 1979, Fran Hosken, an Austrian-American scholar, published the Hosken Report which exposed the barbaric custom. Some African and Muslim feminists who were connected to the UN immediately condemned Hosken as a “white imperialist” whose outrage and exposé might hurt their within-system work to have physicians at least minimize the danger and the trauma involved in this atrocity.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, I also learned about FGM from my Egyptian colleague, Nawal El-Sadawii, a physician herself, as well as a leading feminist. She is also a novelist and a very good one.
El-Sadawii wrote about her own traumatic clitoridectomy when she was six years old. She was terrified, in physical agony, but she remembers that her own mother smiled during the procedure. When El-Sadawii heard similar stories from thousands of her female patients, she began a crusade against this atrocity.
Read more at Breitbart
By Clifford D. May:
They were out in the not-so-fresh air on Sunset Boulevard demonstrating against the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air, properties owned by the Sultan of Brunei who, as The New York Times reported, this month began enforcing “a new penal code that will permit the stoning of gays and adulterers in his home country.”
This could be the start of something big: Hollywood mandarins declaring war on such penal codes — also known as Shariah, a key component of the Islamist agenda.
Christopher Cowdray, London-based chief executive of the Dorchester Collection, the luxury hotels’ parent company, encouraged that — albeit inadvertently. He said that those calling for a boycott of the sultan’s hotels “appeared to have overlooked human rights abuses in the homelands of others who own businesses around the world. In London alone, he said, a number of favorite hotels have owners in Saudi Arabia and other countries that enforce harsh aspects of Islamic law.
The leading lights of showbiz also might want to inquire into the legal status of homosexuals in the Islamic republic of Iran and the Palestinian territories. (Spoiler alert: Islamic penal codes in both Iran and Gaza list homosexuality as a criminal offense punishable by death.)
Nor are homosexuals (and adulterers) the only oppressed minorities in what we have come to call the “Muslim world.” Until now, however, gender apartheid, honor killings, female genital mutilation and the persecution of ancient Christian communities have inspired yawns among the glitterati. The plight of the Baha’i and the Kurds, genocidal threats by Iran’s rulers against Israelis, and Palestinian television shows teaching preschoolers to kill Jews haves left them fighting vainly the old ennui.
It dawned on Mr. Leno that in recent days Americans have been outraged over Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, for expressing what appeared to be racial bias: “I mean, we get so upset when a team owner says something inappropriate,” he said. “Here are people being killed, stoned to death … . It’s just a matter of priorities, that’s what it is.”
Then, perhaps channeling Secretary of State John F. Kerry (who recently accused Vladimir Putin of behaving “in 19th-century fashion”), Mr. Leno added: “This is 2014, not 1814.”
Not to quibble, but he’s off by roughly a thousand years. Shariah was developed immediately following the advent of Islam, between the 7th and the 13th centuries, based on the Koran (regarded as the unalterable word of Allah) and the Sunnah (the life and example of the Prophet Muhammad). The process of interpreting Shariah is called fiqh, of which there are five schools.
Muslim reformers — few of whom nowadays dare reside in Muslim-majority countries — would agree with what might be called the Lenoist view that Islamic law can and should evolve and moderate over time.
Muslims of a more fundamentalist bent — including those affiliated with al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Saudis and Iran’s theocrats — most emphatically do not. They favor a strict reading of Shariah — not least in regard to hudud offenses, which include illicit sexual practices. Among the punishments: stoning, flogging, amputation, crucifixion and beheading.
By the way, kidnapping and enslaving infidel women — as the Nigerian jihadi group Boko Haram has been doing — is quite justifiable under unreformed readings of Islamic law.
Of the 57 members of the disingenuously named Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), most are emphatically not in the process of liberalizing their interpretation of Shariah, and several are clearly heading in the opposite direction. In Pakistan last week, for example, gunmen fatally shot a prominent human rights lawyer who was defending a professor accused of “blasphemy” — meaning the professor may have said something unflattering about the prophet or Islam.
Brunei is a member of the OIC. Its official name is Negara Brunei Darussalam, which translates as Nation of Brunei House of Islam. A tiny state (just 2,226 square miles with a population of about 420,000) on the north coast of Borneo, it is the first country in Southeast Asia to officially impose Shariah, as opposed to having a system of civil law merely influenced by Islamic religious doctrine.
This raises the question: Will Indonesia (where two large provinces already outlaw homosexual acts), Malaysia (where opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was recently sentenced to five years in prison on sodomy charges), and other countries in the region follow Brunei’s lead?
Read more at Washington Times
Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Breitbart, by Phyllis Chesler:
The entire world is focused on the captured Nigerian girls, many scenarios have been envisioned–and yet there is at least one issue no one has raised: That it is entirely possible that these poor girls have also been genitally mutilated. If so, that means that their rapes will be doubly torturous and traumatizing.
And make no mistake: They will be raped by their captors on their “wedding” night and/or over and over again by strangers if they are trafficked into a brothel.
Nigeria is both an African and an increasingly Muslim country. Read the exquisite and excruciating Memoirs about being genitally mutilated by Soraya Mire (the girl with three legs) and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Infidel), both of whom write about their horrific experiences in Somalia.
Experts have warred over whether female genital mutilation (FGM) is primarily pre-Islamic and tribally African or whether there is a basis for it in Islam. Both points of view have merit.
If the majority of the girls are Christians, they may also be mutilated, but this means that the “gender cleansing” is also a form of ethnic and religious cleansing. I am not sure if most of the captured girls are Christian but it is certainly a possibility. Islamists are capturing, raping, and marrying mainly Hindu girls in India. It is a radically demographic solution to getting rid of infidels and increasing the Muslim population.
To the extent to which Boko Haram are following the rules of Islamic Jihad (and they are, they surely are), they will not think of rape as “rape.” This is what women are for, to be used, to be profitable, to produce children and be domestic slaves. A Boko Haram warrior will have no conception of how this intimately violent act affects his victim–whom he does not think of as a “victim.” These are Western and infidel concepts and Boko Haram–they are forbidden.
Boko Haram are, no doubt, using rape, not as a spoil of war, and not as a weapon of war, but as a form of gender cleansing, also possibly as a form of religious or ethnic cleansing when the victims are not Muslims.
This kind of Jihad-rape was widely practiced in Sudan. Black African girls and women, sent out to forage for firewood and water, were publicly, repeatedly, gang-raped by ethnic Arab Muslims; some children were as young as five or six years old.
Rape shames its victims, it breaks them, they offer no resistance and become resigned to a life of suffering. Many rape victims become clinically depressed and suicidal.
Imagine the pain of being forcibly penetrated when you have been sewn shut and thick scar tissue exists where there was once a clitoris, labia, and a vagina.
According to UNICEF, the U.S. State Department, and a variety of medical reports, either there are 30 million genitally mutilated women in Nigeria; or 41% of the female population has been mutilated. One report guesstimated that between 10-90% of women in the state of Borno, where Boko Haram are based, have been genitally mutilated.
In 2007, Thomas von der Osten-Sacken and Thomas Uwer wrote in the Middle East Quarterly, “there are indications that FGM might be a phenomenon of epidemic proportions in the Arab Middle East” and being done, not for African tribal reasons, but for Islamic reasons. The authors note that, surprisingly, FGM has been widely practiced in “Iraqi Kurdistan and in other parts of the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf.” They believe that Arab Muslim societies are not free or stable enough to allow serious research on this subject. The women who perform this atrocity believe they are doing what the Qu’ran or the Hadith command.
In 2013, Shereen El Feki, in Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World, documented the epidemic nature of FGM in Egypt where more than 90% of the women have been mutilated. Increasingly, doctors and nurses perform the procedure. El Feki writes: “Those who support FGM believe they have God on their side…that the practice is obligatory for Muslims….the Prophet Muhammad is said to have advised a female practitioner in Medina to “not cut too severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.”
Whether FGM is truly a “Muslim” obligation or whether it isn’t, what matters is that so many Muslims believe it is and therefore act accordingly.
I hope that U.S. Navy Seals are on the ground and about to find these poor girls. I fear their fate was sealed long ago when radical Islam arose in the world again and the West, for many reasons, did nothing to stop it.
See this blog for background: Cut the Clitoral Relativism: Islam, Sharia, and Female Genital Mutilation/“Circumcision”
Front Page, by
Naomi Wolf has joined the Hamas chorus by attacking feminist hero Phyllis Chesler with being a Zionist agent. How facilely Wolf has adopted the language of Jew-haters the world over — an even more bitter irony coming from someone who has written an entire book comparing democratic America to Nazi Germany.
And Chesler’s sin? To have dared to challenge the Left’s party line of defending the Islamic mutilators of adolescent girls, and practitioners of gender apartheid. But then again, this isn’t anything new for Wolf, seeing that she is on the record as finding the burqa sexy.
In her recent article, “Brandeis Feminists Fail the Historical Moment,” Phyllis Chesler criticized Brandeis’ phony feminists for their complicity in the University denying an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In a response on her Facebook page, Wolf joined the anti-Semites of the Mearshimer-Walt-Blumenthal set, claiming that Chesler has no mind of her own but is merely a puppet of the organized Jews:
“She is funded these days by pro-Israel advocacy organizations that support journalists and writers to advocate ‘the party line’ in terms of hardline anti-Islam and right-wing policy outcomes regarding Israel.”
This is pretty crude even for a brain-dead Marxist.
“has made some outlandish, grossly factually incorrect attacks on me whenever I write anything that encourages Western readers to have a deeper understanding of Islam.”
What she means is a more grovelling supine attitude of appeasement towards barbaric Islamic attitudes and practices. When Wolf encourages people to have a “deeper understanding” of Islam, she is not alluding to caring more about the horrifying Islamic practices of female genital mutilation, honor killing, forced marriage and veiling, acid attacks practices against Muslims in the name of a perverse view of Islam. Chesler has already answered Wolf’s sick attack with a little tongue in cheek acidity:
“Naomi: Are you on the payroll of the public relations crisis management team Brandeis has reportedly hired? Are you now or have you ever been funded by George Soros? Or merely by the Democratic Party? Is Al Gore, for whom you once consulted, and who sold his cable channel to Al-Jazeera, backing you? Is he supporting your Woodhull Institute? Or are the Jordanian royals helping you? I know you visited with them and wrote about them very favorably.”
Naomi Wolf is a sad emblem of the pathetic state of the Left and of its pseudo feminist wing: ignorant, arrogant, bigoted, anti-Semitic, anti-American and an embarrassing fifth column for the Islamic barbarians of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
But this woman is a black, feminist atheist from Somalia. And so what we’re learning here, which is fascinating, in the hierarchy of progressive-politics identity-group victimhood, Islam trumps everything. Islam trumps gender. The fact that she’s a woman doesn’t matter. It trumps race. The fact that she’s black doesn’t matter. It trumps secularism. The fact that she’s an atheist doesn’t matter. They wouldn’t do this if it was a Christian group complaining about her, if it was a Jewish group complaining about her. But when the Islamic lobby group says oh, no, we’re not putting up with this, as I said, these jelly-spined nothings at Brandeis just roll over for them. – Mark Steyn
Last Tuesday, on April 8, Brandeis University rescinded its invitation to human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali to receive an honorary degree from the institution. Brandeis caved in the face of intimidation from CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood front groups, as well as a student petition on Change.org and a faculty petition – the contents of which have now become known.
The faculty petition is a textbook case of leftist pathology and of how “progressives” demonize true heroic freedom fighters and push millions of victims of totalitarian regimes and ideologies into invisibility for the sake of their own egotistical and destructive agendas.
A case in point in this ugly leftist narrative is how the signatories of the Brandeis petition have succeeded in banning a woman from their university who is the victim of female genital mutilation (FGM), suffered under an Islamic knife because of Islamic doctrine. She represents millions of Muslim females — mutilated and mutilated-to-be. And yet the signatories of the petition are callously indifferent, because they have their progressive program to attend to and fulfill.
The Brandeis faculty petition, written on April 6 and addressed to President Lawrence, stresses “the horrible message” that inviting Ali to the university “sends to the Muslim and non-Muslim communities at Brandeis and beyond” because of Ali’s “virulently anti-Muslim public statements.” Aside from complaining about Ali’s truth-telling about Islam, the petition also issues a dire warning about the “unnecessary controversy” that the human rights activist’s presence would bring to the campus.
To be sure, who needs nightmarish scenarios like debate and intellectual diversity when the Marxist Left has already lovingly bestowed the peaceful the Party Line?
The petition then references the major issues with which Ali is concerned: female genital mutilation, forced marriages, and honor killings. “These phenomena,” the petition flippantly notes, are not “exclusive to Islam.” This is a standard and perpetual tactic of obfuscation and equivocation employed by the Left whenever a monstrous evil is labelled in a totalitarian enemy. It serves as an excuse for inaction by presupposing that if a crime is committed by someone else, somewhere else, that it somehow justifies doing and saying nothing in the face of a crime being perpetrated on a mass scale right before our eyes – and one that we can do something about.
In other words, the logic implies that if a sin or an injustice exist somewhere else on the planet, that one must never fight for — or defend the victims of — any one ideology or system (unless it is of the western variety, of course).
Thus, if one dares to show concern for the millions of Muslim girls who are victims of female genital mutilation, the leftist will reflexively retort: “Muslims are not the only group that practice FGM.”
But so what? The bottom line is that Muslims are the principle religious group that practices this sexual violence against women. And if a young girl is a victim of FGM, the chances are that she lives in a Muslim household and in a Muslim culture. And this barbarity is kept alive and legitimized by Islamic theology.
The faculty petition to President Lawrence also expresses a deep concern about the fact that Ali has suggested “that violence toward girls and women is particular to Islam or the Two-Thirds World.” This is intolerable (even though completely true) because, according to the petition, it obscures “such violence in our midst among non-Muslims, including on our own campus.”
This is another consistent tactic that the Left engages in to insert its falsehoods into dialogues about oppressed people under monstrous tyrannies. The plain fact staring everyone in the face is that while violence may exist among non-Muslims, their laws and institutions delegitimize and illegalize such conduct. For instance, if a non-Muslim anywhere in the United States, including on a university campus, engages in violence against a woman and the police are called, he will be charged. In Islam, violence against women is inspired and sanctioned by the institutions themselves, precisely because misogyny, including wife beating, is embedded in the Qur’an.
In other words, non-Muslims who are violent toward women operate despite and against the laws of their lands; Muslims, on the other hand, are violent toward women because of their laws, and that is why they are, in turn, protected by those laws.
Thus, in terms of female genital mutilation, millions of Muslim girls are victims of this horrifying crime which is rooted in Islam and is integral to Islam’s misogynist structures. The road to saving millions of Muslim girls from this crime is to do what Ayaan Hirsi Ali is bravely doing, and what the signatories of the Brandeis faculty petition are trying to stop her from doing: to isolate and pinpoint Islam as the main culprit in this context.
The point cannot be stressed enough: female genital mutilation is fundamentally Islamic and it is rooted in Islamic texts such as Umdat al-Salik:
“Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. Bazr) of the clitoris.” Sacred Islamic Reliance: page 59, Umdat al-Salik (“Reliance of the Traveler”), a manual of the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence, endorsed by Egypt’s very own Al-Azhar University of Cairo — the oldest and most prestigious university in the Islamic world.
This explains why one of Sunni Islam’s “Four Great Imams,” Ahmad ibn Hanbal, quotes Muhammed as saying: “Circumcision is a law for men and a preservation of honour for women?” It is no shock, therefore, that Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi of Egypt’s Al-Azhar University has called circumcision “a laudable practice that did honor to women.”
Read more at Front Page (with video)
From ACT! For America:
According to the World Health Organization, more than 125 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The African Women’s Health Center of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, report that approximately 228,000 women and girls in the U.S. have either suffered the procedure or are at risk of having it done to them. Many of these young girls are subjected to FGM when they vacation in a country that sanctions the practice. In other cases, circumcisers are brought into the U.S. – even though FGM is illegal in this country.
ACT! for America has been working diligently at the state level to see legislation passed so that no girl ever suffers the horrors of FGM – either on U.S. soil or elsewhere.
- Mainstream U.S. Muslim Jurists Association Sanctions Female Genital Mutilation by Andrew Bostom
JUST BEFORE PASSOVER, BRANDEIS CHOOSES SLAVERY by Pamela Geller
Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah said: A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet said to her: “Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.”
[Sunan Abu Dawud, Chapter 1888, “Circumcision of Girls”, Number 5251, fromSunan Abu Dawud, one of the six canonical hadith collections, English translation with Explanatory notes by Prof. Ahmad Hasan, 2007, Volume III, p. 1451]
Prof Hasan’s note adds the following observations:
“Some Shafii scholars hold that circumcision of girls is obligatory, but others think that it is recommended. Ahmad b. Hanbal and some Maliki jurists hold that it is obligatory. Abu Hanifah maintains that it is recommended and not obligatory. Mali holds that it is recommended and not obligatory.”
The great Muslim polymath al-Jahiz (d, 869) noted that female circumcision was specifically employed as a means to reduce female “concupiscence,” unbridled lust—or mere sexual pleasure, derived from a fully intact clitoris:
[Al-Jahiz, Kitab al-hayawan, Vol. 7, pp. 27-29] A woman with a clitoris has more pleasure than a woman without a clitoris. The pleasure depends on the quanityt which was cut from the clitoris. Muhammad said, “If you cut, cut the slightest part and do not exaggerate because it makes the face more beautiful and it is more pleasing for the husband.” It seems Muhammad wanted to reduce the concupiscence of the women to moderate it. If concupiscence is reduced, the pleasure is also reduced…The love of the husband is an impediment against debauchery. Judge Janab Al-Khaskhash contends that he counted in one village the number of women who were circumcised and those who were not, and he found that the circumcised were chaste and the majority of the debauched were uncircumcised. Indian, Byzantine, and Persian women often commit adultery and run after men because their concupiscence towards men is greater. For this reason, India created brothels. This happened because of the massive presence of their clitorises and their hoods.
This argument is repeatedly invoked by classical Muslim jurists, and remains at present the most commonly cited rationale for circumcision of Muslim women. For example, here are two opinions from respected Al-Azhar clerics/”Professors,” Al Azhar University and its mosque representing the pinnacle of Sunni Islamic religious education, the de facto Vatican of Sunni Islam. The first observation was by the late Jad al-Haq (d. 1996) who served as Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and as such was a Sunni Muslim Papal equivalent:
[Jad al-Haq, 1983, Khitan al-banat, in: Al-fatawi al-islamiyyah min dar al-ifta al-masriyyah, Vol. 9, p. 3124] Al-Haq insisted the present era makes female circumcision requisite, “because of mixing of the sexes at public gatherings. If the girl is not circumcised, she subjects herself to multiple causes of excitation leading her to vice and perdition.”
[Abd al-Rahman Al-Adawi, al-Azhar Professor, 1989, from Al-khitan, ra’y al-din wal-‘ilm fi khitan al-awlad wal-banat, pp 81-2] Noting that Female circumcision is makrumah—a meritorious action, al-Adawi claims it helps the woman, “remain shy and virtuous. In the Orient, where the climate is hot, a girl gets easily aroused if she is not circumcised. It makes her shameless and prey to her sexual instincts except those to whom Allah shows compassion.”
Many of us find it difficult to talk to people about Islamic doctrine and Sharia law. Some people resist listening to us or accepting what we say. A new film, first screened last fall at the Chicago International Film Festival — Honor Diaries — can help us reach more people by showing the viewer what’s being done in the Muslim world without creating resistance to the information.
The film doesn’t focus on Islam. Instead, it exposes what the “honor” system does.
The film profiles and interviews nine women who have been victims of an honor culture. The film is deliberately not anti-Muslim. It won’t cause your multicultural friends to turn away from the message. It will reach them where they can be reached: On the topic of the oppression and victimization of women. It’s a brilliant approach, and could help recruit more people into pushing back the spread of Sharia. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the Executive Producer of the film.
We urge you to share the movie — have a screening, and when it’s available on DVD, buy it and share it with your friends. Share the trailer on your Facebook page. Help this film become popular. Click here for a video about the film’s Global Screening Campaign. They are officially launching the film in March of this year (2014). March 8th is International Women’s Day and the Honor Diaries promoters are partnering with several organizations at events in New York, Los Angeles, London, etc.
The main website for the film is HonorDiaries.com. Watch a trailer, learn more about the film, and sign up for updates. The website describes the film this way: Honor Diaries is the first film to break the silence on “honor violence” against women and girls. Honor Diaries is more than a movie, it is a movement to save women and girls from human rights abuses — around the world and here in America.
The film features nine courageous women’s rights advocates with connections to Muslim-majority societies who are engaged in a dialogue about gender inequality.
These women, who have witnessed firsthand the hardships women endure, are profiled in their efforts to effect change, both in their communities and beyond.
The film gives a platform to exclusively female voices and seeks to expose the paralyzing political correctness that prevents many from identifying, understanding and addressing this international human rights disaster. Freedom of movement, the right to education, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation are some of the systematic abuses explored in depth.
Spurred by the Arab Spring, women who were once silent are starting to speak out about gender inequality and are bringing visibility to a long history of oppression. This project draws together leading women’s rights activists and provides a platform where their voices can be heard and serves as inspiration to motivate others to speak out.
In the Oregon Independent, Catherine DeRego says this about Honor Diaries:
Executive Producer Ayaan Hirsi Ali, born in Somalia, is an outspoken defender of women’s rights in Islamic societies. She is also the founder of the AHA Foundation created to “help protect and defend the rights of women in the West from oppression justified by religion and culture.”
Here’s what she says about the film:
“In male-dominated cultures, like Saudi Arabia, women and girls are treated like property, forced into marriage, and suffer female genital mutilation. In Honor Diaries, I am proud to join a courageous cast of female human rights activists to speak the truth; that culture is no excuse for abuse.”
The filmmakers are asking everyone in the community to host a screening of Honor Diaries on March 8, 2014, or any time this spring to “Celebrate the stories of 9 amazing women’s rights activists,” and to bring awareness to these crimes against Muslim women. In the United States, all women are entitled to the same liberties and freedoms as men have irrespective of religion. There is no gender inequality under our Constitution, nor should there be in any other nation. Violence hidden behind the veil of one’s religious teachings is a crime against all humanity under God. Let the American people stand for freedom as we always have and join this movement to help end the violence against Muslim women in this country and across the world.
Read, print or download Clarion Project’s Fact Sheet on FGM
More than 125 million girls and women have suffered from FGM worldwide, and 30 million more are at risk in the next 10 years. An estimated 20,000 girls in the UK are at risk of FGM each year.
February 6 is the UN’s International Zero Tolerance for FGM day. It was first established in 2003 by Stella Obasanjo, the First Lady of Nigeria.
To coincide with this, the British Government, alongside the Guardian and a coalition of advocacy groups has launched a national and international campaign to end FGM. It will be based in London and Nairobi, and it combines political advocacy and lobbying with grassroots action.
The goal of the campaign is to end FGM in a generation. Progress is being made. In 2012 a UN General Assembly resolution called for its eradication, and as of 2013 an estimated 10,000 communities have abandoned the practice.
- Eminent Saudi Cleric: Female Genital Mutilation a ‘Noble Act’ (clarionproject.org)
- Doctors accused of failing to report suspected cases of female genital mutilation (independent.co.uk)
Female Genital Mutilation: Crime Not Culture (huffingtonpost.com)
The Clarion Project hosted a new webinar together with “Muslims Facing Tomorrow” entitled “The Struggle for Women’s Rights in Muslim-Majority Countries.” The webinar was presented by Raheel Raza, founder and president of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow.
Raza explains the gravity of the human rights catastrophe facing Muslim women around the world that few media outlets are covering. She boldly speaks out about how these abuses are even happening in America and what we can do to help put an end to it.
The PowerPoint slides which accompanied Raheel’s presentation can be viewed or downloaded here.
by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
December 18, 2013
The Arab Spring, with the rising tide of hope for democracy and change it ushered in, has turned to autumn. For women it has become an Arab Winter, dark and cold and growing more perilous by the day. And nowhere is the situation worse than it is in the country where hopes for democracy and freedom were the highest: Egypt.
Such are the findings of a new Thomson Reuters Foundation poll, which showed that women are worse off today in all the “Arab Spring” countries than they were previously. Moreover, throughout the Arab region, violence against women, sexual abuse, and political oppression remain generally the worst in the world.
These findings are tragic, not only for what they reveal about the plight of women in the region, but for what they tell us about the future of the “Arab Spring” countries. “Despite hopes that women would be one [sic] of the prime beneficiaries of the Arab Spring,” note the Reuters report’s authors, “they have instead been some of the biggest losers, as the revolts have brought conflict, instability, displacement and a rise in Islamist groups in many parts of the region.”
The poll questioned more than 300 “gender experts” in all the 21 Arab League member states plus Syria (which lost its membership in 2011) during August and September. In drawing their conclusions, researchers “assessed violence against women, reproductive rights, treatment of women within the family, their integration into society, and attitudes towards a woman’s role in politics and the economy.”
That Saudi Arabia did not come out as the worst of the list was surprising to many, but so was the fact that Iraq ranked as the second-worst – a long distance from where those supporting the removal of Saddam Hussein from power expected the country to be today.
Egypt’s numbers are the most telling, however, exposing not just the rise in power of Islamic fundamentalist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, but how very inevitable this result was from the start – and certainly once Hosni Mubarak was displaced. This, after all, is the country where a shocking 91 percent of all women are victims of genital mutilation, a practice clearly endemic (especially in rural areas) even under Mubarak’s so-called secular reign. Since the rise of Islamist factions, however, the situation has become even grimmer, the poll indicates, with rising rates of trafficking and forced marriage.
“There are whole villages on the outskirts of Cairo and elsewhere where the bulk of economic activity is based on trafficking in women and forced marriages,” Zahra Radwan, Middle East and North Africa Program officer for the Global Fund for Women, told Reuters.
Read more at IPT
- Egypt Ranked Worst Arab Country for Women (counterjihadreport.com)
A Londoner who suffered female genital mutilation has warned that political correctness is hampering the fight to stamp it out after asking people to sign a fake petition in its favour.
Leyla Hussein, 32, said many were scared to speak out against FGM because they were worried about criticising another culture.
She decided to conduct an experiment to see “how crazy political correctness has become” but was left in tears by the end.
Approaching shoppers with the petition supporting FGM, she told them she wanted to protect her “culture, traditions and rights”.
In only 30 minutes 19 people signed it with some saying they believed FGM was wrong but because it was part of Ms Hussein’s culture they would add their names. Only one person refused to sign.
Ms Hussein, who was cut when she was seven in Somalia, said: “Four women held me down and cut my clitoris. I felt every single cut. I was screaming so much I just blacked out.”
“I kept using the word ‘it’s just mutilation’. They were like ‘yes, you are right’. How can anyone think that’s okay?”
She added: “FGM is not culture, it is violence. Stop using the culture word. This is happening to children. We are human beings, we can’t watch children being cut, I don’t care what culture you belong to.”
People have been so trained to ignore their common sense and moral instincts when the right liberal buzzwords are uttered that they are capable of participating in the worst crimes.
A young girl is given a plastic bag of sweets and a bottle of lemonade after being genitally mutilated … the story of the 10-year fight against female genital mutilation by two film-makers has been made into a hour long documentary by the Guardian and BBC Arabic and will go out across the Arab world from Friday, reaching a combined global audience of 30 million viewers. This is the Guardian’s shorter web version of that film
It started out as a film about a practice that has afflicted tens of millions of women worldwide. It culminated in a change in the law.
Ten years after they embarked on a documentary to investigate the extent of female genital mutilation in Kurdistan, two film-makers have found their work changing more than just opinions in a fiercely conservative part of the world. Partly as a result of the film, the numbers of girls being genitally mutilated in the villages and towns of Iraqi Kurdistan has fallen by more than half in the last five years.
Shara Amin and Nabaz Ahmed spent 10 years on the roads of Kurdistan speaking to women and men about the impact of female genital mutilation (FGM) on their lives, their children and their marriages. “It took a lot of time to convince them to speak to us. This was a very taboo subject. Speaking about it on camera was a very brave thing to do.
“It took us weeks, sometimes months to get them to talk and in the end it was the women that spoke out – despite the men,” said Ahmed.
The result was a 50-minute film, A Handful of Ash. When it was shown in the Kurdish parliament, it had a profound effect on the lawmakers.
The film-makers’ work began in 2003, shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The stories they were told had a numbing consistency. In one scene in the documentary a young mother with her children sitting beside her tells Shara that in their village: “They would just grab the little girls, take them and cut them, and the girls came back home. I can still remember I was sick, infected for three months. I could barely walk after I was cut.”
A mullah tells the film-makers that “Khatana [the Kurdish term for FGM] is a duty; it is spiritually pure.” That is the position of the Shafi’i school of Sunni Islam that is practised by Iraqi Kurds. It is the same branch of Islamic law that predominates in Egypt, where studies show that up to 80% of women have been mutilated. But FGM is not just confined to some Muslim countries in the Middle East – it is also widespread in parts of Africa and
Indonesian. It pre-dates Islam or Christianity and is on record since
the time of the Pharaoh.
“It is about controlling women’s sexuality and keeping them under control,” said Nadya Khalife, from Human Rights Watch.
Read more at The Guardian
For more on FGM go to http://counterjihadreport.com/category/female-genital-mutilation/
Produced for the National Park Service, the New York-based Women’s Rights National Historical Park’s website has posted a three-video series arguing that Islam is a force for women’s rights.
In one video, we hear that:
“Seventh century A.D. Islam gave women the right to be involved in politics, the right to earn and keep her own money. Islam gave women the right to work outside of the home. Islam gave women the right to own property. Islam gave women the right to divorce. Islam gave women the right to choose who she marries. Islam gave women a whole bunch of rights that western women acquired later in the 19th and 20th Centuries. And we’ve had these rights since the Seventh Century A.D., and it’s just not acknowledged worldwide.”
A Muslim woman states, “People think that Islam oppresses women and there’s no equality, but they’re wrong.”
Viewers are left with the impression that the oppression of women in Muslim countries is rare, when it is actually the norm. Needless to say, the presentation leaves out the ideological basis for this oppression.
A look at the videos shows, for example, that viewers don’t learn about the rising problem of Female Genital Mutilation in the United States. The Clarion Project posted this informational video about FGM.
Nor is the problem of honor killings in the U.S. addressed, information that is readily available. Muslim anti-Islamist activist Dr. Zuhdi Jasser documented the honor killing cases of Aiya Altameemi, age 19, of Maricopa County, AZ; and Shaima Alawadi, of El Cajon, CA. In 2009, Noor Faleh Almaleki, 20, was run down by a car driven by her father, who thought she was “too Westernized.”
Instead, the message of the videos focuses on negative stereotypes of Islam and its adherents.
Read more at The Clarion Project