Second Detroit Doctor Busted in Female Genital Mutilation Ring

Breitbart, by Ian Mason, April 21, 2017:

Dr. Fakhruddin Attar was arrested in the Detroit suburb of Livonia, Michigan Friday, accused, along with his wife Farida Attar, of involvement in the same female genital mutilation conspiracy that led to the landmark arrest last week of Dr. Jumana Nagarwala.

The three suspects now charged represent the first prosecution in the United States for female genital mutilation (FGM), a practice common primarily in Muslim countries, particularly those in Africa. For example, UNICEF estimates that 98% of Somali girls and 87% of Egyptians have endured the procedure.

FGM perpetrates a range of different mutilations on its victims—mostly young girls. In its most extreme from, called infibulation, the girl is left with virtually no externally visible genitalia. The clitoris and labia are removed entirely and what is left is sown together, leaving only a small hole from which to urinate and menstruate.

As in the case of Dr. Nagarwala last week, the 16-page criminal complaint issued against Dr. Attar and his wife in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Friday refers to “a particular religious and cultural community” without specifying that community. It is now believed that that community is the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim sect, whose world leader, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, has called for the tradition to continue.

According to the complaint, Dr. Attar owns Burhani Medical Center in Livonia where the seven-year-old victims from Minnesota that Nargarwala is charged with mutilating were brought. He and his wife were both allegedly present when the girls arrived with their parents for the procedure.

According to the complaint against Nargawala, the victims’ parents brought them to the Detroit area for the grusome procedure. The girls were told it was to be a “special girls trip.” The parents also allegedly said the cutting would “get the germs out” and that they were not to talk of what happened inside the Burhani clinic.

One of the girls later told the FBI she screamed in pain as she endured what Dr. Nargawala called “getting a shot.” She then said she was barely able to walk as she left the clinic. Upon examination by doctors working with the FBI, both seven-year-olds were found to have genitalia that was “abnormal looking” with “scar tissue” and “small healing lacerations.”

Farida Attar, the clinic owner’s wife, is alleged to have held girls’ hands in the examination room as Dr. Nargawala went about her work. According to the complaint, she was later caught on a federal wiretap telling parents of FGM victims to deny they had brought their daughters to Burhani clinic for the procedure.

Authorities believe the conspiracy extends beyond the two named victims and that the defendants have been carrying out FGM on girls from the Detroit area and beyond since 2005. According to the complaint, multiple Michigan girls have come forward to say Dr. Nargawala mutilated them in Dr. Attar’s clinic years ago. Authorities believe Nargawala was invited to the Burhani clinic from her normal job as a hospital emergency room doctor to carry out FGM on the weekends when the clinic was officially closed. Farida Attar is alleged to have told authorities she came in to see six to nine girls a year.

In a statement accompanying the first arrest, Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch said, “The practice has no place in modern society and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law.”

Each count of FGM could yield the co-conspirators up to five years in federal prison.

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Culture ‘Never An Excuse’ To Harm Girls With Genital Mutilation

Also see:

Nashville-Murfreesboro-Franklin Metro Area One of Top 20 Places in U.S. Where Women and Girls at Risk for Female Genital Mutilation

The Tennessee Star, by Chris Alto, April 14, 2017:

Tennessee outlawed female genital mutilation (FGM) in 1996, but 2013 data collated in a Population Reference Bureau (PRB) report, shows that the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin Metropolitan Statistical Area is ranked 20th in the country for the potential risk of FGM being performed on women and girls. Tennessee is number 18 in overall state rankings for risk to women and girls from FGM.

The Population Reference Bureau is a non-profit supported financially by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Scouts of the USA, and the United States Agency for International Development and several other foundations.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) includes the terms FGM, female circumcision and female genital excision, under the broader heading of “female genital cutting:”

“Female genital cutting refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of female genitalia or other injury to female genital organs for any cultural, religious or otherwise nontherapeutic reasons. This practice is common in many refugee populations, particularly those from East Africa (i.e. Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan), although the practice is pervasive throughout the world. This controversial practice is considered a human rights violation by many, and it is illegal in the United States in people under 18 years of age.” 

Minneapolis, Minnesota, the metropolitan area with the largest Somali community in the country, ranks number 3 in the list of top 20 metro areas for FGM. Columbus, Ohio, the metropolitan area with the second largest Somali community in the country, ranks number 7 in the list of top 20 metro areas for FGM.

In Tennessee, FGM was criminalized in 1996 when Democrats Sen. Thelma Harper and Rep. Lois DeBerry (deceased), passed the “Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act of 1996” for the following reasons:

“WHEREAS, female genital mutilation is defended by both men and women in the cultures where it is practiced as a rite of passage and a social prerequisite of marriage as well as a method to control a woman’s sexuality; and

WHEREAS, while female genital mutilation is prevalent in many African and Middle Eastern countries, it also is found in some Asian countries and among immigrant populations in Western Europe and North America; and

WHEREAS, due to the immigration of people from countries where female genital mutilation is practiced, the mutilation has continued to take place in the United States. Usually the immigrants will either send their daughters back to the native country to have female genital mutilation performed or a group of them will pay to bring a midwife to the United States to perform the painful procedure on their young daughters…”

Federal contractors in Tennessee have been resettling refugees from countries including Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sudan, listed in the PRB report as among the “Top 10 Countries of Origin” where FGM is practiced.

Updating 1990 FGM risk in the U.S. estimates to 2012, the Center for Disease Control 2016 Public Health Report showed that “the total number of women and girls in the United States at risk for FGM/C or its consequences increased by 224%, from 168,000 to 545,000” concluding that:

“The estimated increase was wholly a result of rapid growth in the number of immigrants from FGM/C-practicing countries living in the United States.”

Despite being a crime in Tennessee since 1996, in 2011, twenty-one cases of FGM were reported in Tennessee. In 2012, Sen. Bill Ketron and Rep. Jeremy Faison updated the law to require that healthcare providers report cases of FGM to law enforcement.

This week, a doctor in Detroit was arrested for allegedly performing FGM on young girls brought to her from Minnesota.

U.S. based pediatrician and fellow at the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Hatem Elhagaly (AKA “Hatem Al Haj”), listed as an Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) “scholar” issued a “fatwa” (an authoritative ruling on Islamic law) in 2006, saying that Islam sanctioned FGM as “better for the husband” and acknowledged that “the majority of the scholars regard [FGM] (preferable sunnah), some regard it allowable and some consider it wajib (obligatory)…” but advised that because FGM is illegal in the West, it should not be performed.

AMJA’s website states that it is a non-profit organization, “established in response to the growing need of an Islamic jurisprudence specific to Muslims in the West.” Fatwas issued by JAMare the “decisions and recommendations” issued by their scholars and experts and are intended to guide Muslims living in the West.

“AMJA’s influence reaches far beyond the walls of mosques and Islamic Centers. Its work strengthens the moral character of society by developing the leadership capacities of Imams (religious leaders). Equipped with continued passion and tenacity to their work, AMJA scholars, experts, and Imams lead the Muslim community into a better understanding of the practice of the religion of Islam in Western societies.”

Memphis cleric Yasir Qadhi, resident scholar at the Memphis Islamic Center and Dean of Academic Affairs of AlMaghrib Institute, is listed among “our experts” by the AMJA and is a regular presenter at the annual imam training conferences the organization hosts.

***

Also see:

Detroit doctor charged with female genital mutilation of seven-year-olds

Foreign Desk, BY  APR 13, 2017:

(Reuters) – U.S. authorities have charged a Detroit doctor with performing genital mutilation on 7-year-old girls in what is believed to be the first case brought under a law prohibiting the procedure.

Jumana Nagarwala, an emergency room physician at a Detroit hospital who performed the procedures at an unnamed medical clinic in the Detroit suburb of Livonia, was scheduled to appear in federal court on Thursday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Female genital mutilation constitutes a particularly brutal form of violence against women and girls,” acting U.S. Attorney in Detroit Daniel Lemisch said in a statement. “The practice has no place in modern society and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law.”

Female genital mutilation, or FGM, typically involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris and is barred by numerous international treaties. The practice is common in several African countries, including Somalia, Sudan and Egypt, where it is often a cultural or religious tradition.

The practice was outlawed in the United States in 1996, though the Justice Department said the Michigan case appeared to be the first criminal prosecution of its kind.

A lawyer for Nagarwala did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday afternoon.

Federal agents received a tip months ago that Nagarwala was performing FGM in Michigan, according to a criminal complaint unsealed on Thursday.

A review of her phone records led authorities to two 7-year-old girls who traveled with their parents to Michigan from Minnesota in February so they could undergo the procedure.

One of the children told investigators they were taken to Michigan for a “special” girls’ trip, the complaint said.

Medical exams of both girls showed their genitals had been altered, according to authorities.

Investigators tracked down several other child victims, the complaint said. Some parents acknowledged that Nagarwala had performed the procedures on their daughters, while others denied it.

A spokesman for Henry Ford Health System, which has employed Nagarwala as an emergency room physician, said she had been placed on administrative leave. Henry Ford Health System, which operates several Detroit-area hospitals, was not mentioned in the complaint.

“The alleged criminal activity did not occur at any Henry Ford facility,” David Olejarz said in an email. “We would never support or condone anything related to this practice.”

In addition to charges related to FGM, Nagarwala is charged with lying to federal agents after saying earlier this week that she did not engage in the practice.

The World Health Organization has estimated that more than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM, which can cause lasting health problems.

Female Genital Mutilation Triples in United States

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The nonpartisan GAO reports to Congress that over half a million women and girls in the United States are now either victims or at risk of this barbaric practice.

CounterJihad, August 2, 2016:

The General Accounting Office (GAO) is one of the few allegedly nonpartisan outlets that is generally thought really to be reasonably fair and nonpartisan. Their new report on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) should be taken seriously as an honest investigation of the scope of the problem.

What they find is that cases have tripled since the last time they looked into it.  This is due not to an increase of the practice among Americans, they say, but to increased immigration from Muslim nations in Africa.

They also find that, though the practice is a crime in the United States, there have been almost no prosecutions for it.  Likewise, the State Department has largely failed to make preventing FGM a priority in its overseas operations.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that this failure compares very badly to similar State Department efforts to spread condoms and birth control.

“U.S. assistance efforts to address FGM/C are limited,” according to the GAO report. “The Department of State (State) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) each had one active standalone project in 2014, and the agencies also undertook some FGM/C-related efforts as components of projects with broader assistance goals.”

The State Department’s only stand-alone effort specifically targeting female genital mutilation is in Guinea, and has only received $1.5 million over 2 years. The amount is less than what Daniel Resnic received from taxpayers for his so-called origami condoms.

In contrast, the U.S. Agency for International Development spent $85.6 million on contraception for developing countries in 2014 alone.

…the government has also not provided funding to a United Nations program dedicated to combating the practice.

“The U.S. government provides funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNICEF but, to date, has not contributed funds to the UN agencies’ Joint Program on FGM/C…. there are currently no specific legal restrictions that would prohibit U.S. funding provided to UNFPA from being available for the Joint Program on FGM/C,” the GAO said.

FGM is a practice strongly associated with Islam within Africa, although it is also widely practiced in Islamic nations in southeast Asia. Other nations outside of those regions, though Muslim, do not show the same rates of mutilation of women.  In Muslim nations that do widely practice FGM the structure of sharia reinforces the practice, as it fits nicely into the religious codes regulating women’s behavior.  Like the requirements to veil and sequester themselves in female areas of the home, FGM promotes an ideal of female sexual “purity” that is at the core of Islamic ethics for women.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who suffered FGM as a girl in Africa, has called for annual visual inspections of girls considered “at risk” by a female medical provider.  Pointing out that the perpetrators of FGM are often close relatives, she argues that it is unreasonable to expect girls to report such close family and bear the guilt of sending them to prison.  “A detection mechanism like this would be the biggest deterrent because when the family says ‘Our little girl Fatima or Samira is now five or six, and shouldn’t we have her done?’ they will know that they can’t because in September every year, just as the school holidays end, she will be checked.  You then need one or two prosecutions to set an example.”

The GAO report calls for increased immigration as a solution, as women and girls who are at risk of FGM are entitled to special protections under US law.  As the practice is actively illegal in the United States, there is at least a chance that they might be protected by being moved here.  However, as Hirsi Ali’s comments anticipated, there are actually very minimal protections in place even in the United States itself.  The GAO report found almost no prosecutions related to FGM, and there is no reason to think that there will be more in the future.  Absent a detection mechanism, the state remains unaware that the crime has been carried out.  Prosecution is impossible if there is no evidence that a crime has occurred.

For that reason, the GAO’s recommendations do not go far enough.  Hirsi Ali is correct.  At risk populations within the United States should be subject to annual inspections in order to protect them from their families.  It is the only way to protect these girls and end the practice at least in America.

Also see:

Feminists Need To Know — Islam Kills Women

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Breitbart, by  ANNE MARIE WATERS, April 9, 2016:

I used to be a feminist, but I gave it up so I could speak out for women’s rights. Even before the “intersectional”, “how many genders are there?” lunacy took over, feminism was filled to bursting with types who think men are misogynists who all secretly want to rape us (this despite the fact that men are among the greatest supporters of women’s rights) and a happily married mother is some kind of traitor.

The kind of people, in other words, who nobody in their right mind could possibly get along with.

While I will always speak out for women to maintain our just civil rights, I do want Sharia Watch to spend significantly more time on freedom of speech (we will run an autumn campaign ‘Islam Kills Free Speech’) and the impact of Islam on children, but before I do, I intend to spend the summer doing something very important – informing the ludicrous feminists of today of something they desperately need to know: Islam Kills Women.

Islam Kills Women is a joint effort between Sharia Watch UK and Examine-Islam.org  It aims to do one thing and one thing only, show the world just why it is that women are treated so utterly appallingly in every Muslim society on earth.

As well as producing articles from various writers and information packs and videos, I will challenge every feminist organisation in Britain to debate me, so that they can attempt to prove me wrong.  When they realise that they cannot do this, I invite them to stand alongside me at the culmination of this campaign – a protest rally to be held outside Parliament on August 20th.

Islam kills women not only physically – although of course it does – but it kills the spirit of far greater numbers.  From birth, girls are degraded and humiliated, most often by their own mothers.  These girls accept their status and then pass it on to their own daughters in an endless cycle of what can only be described as evil.

Often forced in to marriage, forced to live with domestic violence, and enslaved under a system of ‘honour’, life can be sheer misery for girls unfortunate enough to have been born in to Islam.  To top it off, many will have their clitoris cut off so that sex will be painful and they can suffer the further humiliation of incontinence and other side-effects.

All of this, but all of it, is maintained and sustained and justified by Islam.  That is a matter of fact. I will prove it right now.

One of the most contentious is FGM so let me start there.  FGM is sanctioned by Islam. Fact. There are several hadiths which justify it.  You can read these here, but I shall recount just one which should be enough to ring a few bells: “Abu al-Malih ibn `Usama’s father relates that the Prophet said: “Circumcision is a law for men and a preservation of honour for women.”’ Ahmad Ibn Hanbal 5:75; Abu Dawud, Adab 167.

While it is true that some Islamic “scholars” have condemned FGM, many others promote it and use hadiths to do so. The Muslim Brotherhood for example pushed for FGM when it took over Egypt, and in  “moderate” Indonesia, where somewhere between 80 and 100 per cent of girls suffer this mutilation, 100 per cent of women interviewed believed it to be an Islamic obligation. According to ‘Stop FGM Mid East’ the practice did not exist in Indonesia until the introduction of Islam.

Let’s move on to forced marriage.  Child marriage is rife in the Muslim world, and it is not, as some suggest, simply a consequence of extreme poverty.  The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, for example, has endorsed it on Islamic grounds for the simple reason that Mohammed married a six year old, therefore it must be permissible.

The relevant hadith is this: “The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)” (Bukhari 7.62.88)

Iran allows the marriage of nine-year-old girls based on these same hadiths, and recent attempts in Pakistan to prevent child marriage were stopped by the Council of Islamic Ideology who deemed it “blasphemous” and “un-Islamic”.  The chairman of the council helpfully explained: “Parliament cannot create legislation that is against the teachings of the Holy Quran or Sunnah.”

Stoning to death sounds just too terrible to be true.  It sounds like something from pre-history that couldn’t possibly be happening today, but it is – in one kind of society only, Islamic society.  It is a punishment used almost exclusively on women accused of committing adultery.  I say ‘accused’ because that is all it takes, she has no defence.

Remember that under Islamic law, a woman’s word is worth half of a man’s, so if her husband accuses her, her denial is worthless and she will be found guilty on his word alone. This is brilliantly illustrated in the hard-to-watch movie ‘The Stoning of Soraya M’, a true story about the stoning of a young mother in Iran on the word of her husband only; he simply wanted rid of her. Her father and sons joined in with the stoning.

Stoning for adultery occurs under Islamic law for a reason that you may by now be able to guess: it was endorsed by Mohammed. There are several Islamic sources to back this up. I will recount just one part of Sahih Bukhari 3:50:885 which reads: Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, I will judge between you according to Allah’s Laws. The slave-girl and the sheep are to be returned to you, your son is to receive a hundred lashes and be exiled for one year. You, Unais, go to the wife of this (man) and if she confesses her guilt, stone her to death.” Unais went to that woman next morning and she confessed. Allah’s Apostle ordered that she be stoned to death.

Domestic and honour violence can be banded together as I believe they emanate from one verse of the Koran – Sura 4, verse 34, which reads: “Men have authority over women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them.”

Could this verse be any clearer?  Women must obey and if they don’t, you may use violence against them. This can, and in practice does, justify all kinds of horrors against women. It is very clear that if the men in her family don’t approve of her conduct, they can beat her for it.

I have not even scratched the surface. The oppression of women in Islamic countries is by far the cruellest in the world. No other major societies treat their women in this way and that is not an unfortunate coincidence, it is the direct result of these and many other teachings in Islamic scripture.

With all of this evidence in front of them, my challenge to British feminists is this: will you admit the truth in what I have written, and do you want this religion to have more or less influence in countries where women have fought and died for their freedom?

If, like me, you want to see a religion like this have zero influence, will you stand with me and oppose its import via mass immigration as Sharia Watch and Examine Islam intend to do on August 20th?

My guess is that you will not. You will not even respond to my requests, and you certainly won’t have the courage to debate me. You will continue to pretend that the truth is bigotry and that the lie is moral, and you will continue to deny the most pertinent truth about the treatment of women in the Middle East, Africa, and increasingly in Europe – this abhorrent treatment of women has everything to do with Islam.

To donate to the Islam Kills Women campaign, please visit www.shariawatch.org.uk and click the ‘Donate’ button.

***

Female genital ‘nicks’ should be legal as FGM compromise, 2 gynecologists say

A teenager from Uganda's Sebei tribe sits inside a mud hut after undergoing female genital mutilation in Bukwa district (Copyright Reuters 2016)

A teenager from Uganda’s Sebei tribe sits inside a mud hut after undergoing female genital mutilation in Bukwa district (Copyright Reuters 2016)

Fox News, Feb. 23, 2016:

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Countries that have banned female genital mutilation (FGM) should allow less invasive practices such as small surgical nicks to girls’ genitalia as a compromise, two American gynecologists said on Monday.

But campaigners against FGM strongly criticized the proposal, saying it would undermine global efforts to eradicate the internationally condemned ritual.

At least 200 million girls and women have been subjected to FGM in over 30 countries, according to U.N. estimates.

The ancient practice usually involves the partial or total removal of a girl’s external genitalia. In some cases the vaginal opening is also sewn up.

But some communities practice less invasive rituals such as pricking or nicking the clitoris.

The U.S. gynecologists, writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics, argued that permitting more minimal procedures could allow families to uphold cultural and religious traditions while protecting girls from more dangerous forms of cutting.

Communities which support FGM often consider it a prerequisite for marriage. Many also see it as a religious obligation although it is not mentioned in the Koran or Bible.

But FGM can cause a host of physical and psychological problems.

Gynecologists Kavita Shah Arora and Allan Jacobs said procedures that slightly changed the look of a girl’s genitalia without damaging them were comparable to male circumcision or cosmetic procedures in Western countries like labiaplasty.

Laws against mild modifications were “culturally insensitive and supremacist and discriminatory towards women”, they wrote in the specialist journal, which is published by the British Medical Journal.

“BEHIND THE TIMES”

FGM is practiced in a swathe of African countries, pockets of Asia and the Middle East, as well as by diaspora communities living in the West.

The gynecologists suggested that global attempts to stamp out FGM with legislation had failed and may by driving the practice underground.

“We are not arguing that any procedure on the female genitalia is desirable,” they said. “Rather, we only argue that certain procedures ought to be tolerated by liberal societies.”

They said the term “female genital mutilation” should be replaced with the less emotive “female genital alteration” (FGA) to avoid “demonizing important cultural practices”.

But experts on medical ethics, commenting on the proposal, said procedures to modify girls’ genitals could not be compared to male circumcision because they are designed to control women and curb their sexual desire.

They also predicted that legalizing more minimal procedures would generate a litany of legal, regulatory and medical problems.

Global campaigners against FGM said doctors should challenge harmful social norms, not condone them.

“Any form of FGM is a violation of a child’s rights,” said Adwoa Kwateng-Kluvitse, head of global advocacy at the charity FORWARD which campaigns against FGM in Africa and Europe.

“Why would you put a little girl through that? There should be no medicalization of FGM. They (the gynecologists) are completely behind the times.

“This is very different to male circumcision. With male circumcision there is no intention to attenuate sexual desire, control sexuality or enforce chastity.”

Rights group Equality Now said the “medicalization” of FGM remained one of the biggest threats to its elimination.

It said FGM prevalence rates had fallen significantly in many countries and that properly implemented laws had been very effective in countries like Kenya.

***

Pamela Geller writes:

Unconscionable. The poison fruit of Muslim immigration.

The more Muslims immigrate to Western countries, and as the norming of sharia continues in the West, the more clitoridectomies will become horrifyingly commonplace.

Dissemblers and deceivers claim that FGM is cultural phenomenon, not religious. FGM is an Islamic cultural phenomenon. FGM is found only within and adjacent to Muslim communities (source: Gerry Mackie, “Ending Footbinding and Infibulation: A Convention Account”, American Sociological Review, 61(6), December 1996, pp. 1004–1005).

This same recommendation was made a few ago: the American Academy of Pediatrics advocated that American doctors be allowed to perform a “ritual nick,” so as to satisfy Muslim families’ demand for female genital mutilation: “It might be more effective if federal and state laws enabled pediatricians to reach out to families by offering a ritual nick as a possible compromise to avoid greater harm.”

We fought it then and won but that was then.

And now these gynecologists are saying: “we only argue that certain procedures ought to be tolerated by liberal societies.”

The sanction of the savage.

The Brits are suffering an epidemic of clitoris cutting. So subdued and conquered are they, the dhimmi British authorities propose to increase prosecution of FGM to include non-Muslim adult women who have piercings… That way it won’t appear that they are singling out Muslims. Got that?

Ignored by US Media? Sharia Law’s Conflict With Rights of Women

Women in Afghanistan (Photo: © Reuters)

Women in Afghanistan (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion Project, Daniel GallingtonJuly 13, 2015:

Earlier this year I wrote a short article on the political, societal and legal tensions associated with the large-scale Muslim immigrations to Europe in the late 1960’s and early 70’s – a period when I lived in both England and Germany.

I wrote the piece because I disagreed fundamentally with the suggestion by some of our senior political leaders that violent incidents – such as the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris – could have been avoided had Europeans worked harder to “assimilate” their Islamic immigrants.

The article included discussion of traditional Muslim “proprietary” doctrines toward women and girls. I wrote, “We still have brutal ‘honor killings’ of women – even in the United States – and young girls are murdered, raped and enslaved (in the name of religious law) throughout the more ‘modern’ Muslim world” and explained how such doctrines and practices were fundamentally inconsistent with the law in Western democracies.

Shortly after the article appeared, I was surprised by an email from my editor at the time – who had previously declined to run the piece – saying: “I have reached the unfortunate conclusion that your views on the matter are well outside the spectrum that we are willing to publish…”

I also wondered, was this “conclusion” a clear example of our “big media’s” reluctance to publish on the negative aspects of Islam? Was such critical coverage, whether reporting or commentary, “well outside the spectrum that [they] are willing to publish”?

Here’s another example: After my article appeared, a scholarly report on the practice of “female genital mutilation and cutting” (or “FGM/C”) of some Muslim women and girls was published by the independent American Population Reference Bureau (PRB). 

The findings of this report are shocking:

“Girls under age 18 made up one-third of all females at risk…. While some of these girls were born in countries with high prevalence rates, the majority are U.S.-born children of parents from high-prevalence countries. Anecdotal reports tell of U.S.-born girls being cut while on vacation in their parents’ countries of origin and of people traveling to the United States to perform FGM/C on girls here.” 

Mainstream American media has simply ignored this report. Is it because even totally objective factual coverage of the report could somehow be considered “Islamophobic” — an editorial descriptor for all things critical of Islam?

In a larger context, has U.S. big media learned anything from the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, the killings in Copenhagen, the brutal attack at a Kenyan university and the recent mass shootings in Tunisia? Doesn’t our media see these vicious acts as a direct threat to their – and our – basic freedoms of thought, press and expression — the very fundamentals of a democracy?

This is not a new tension in the West. More than a hundred years ago, Sir Winston Churchill observed – in reference to the conflict between fundamental Islam and democracy – that “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”

In short, an Islamic reformation is long overdue, as I wrote, “…Muslim integration into Western cultures – especially ours – requires the abandonment of laws, rules and practices inconsistent with living in free societies. This is nothing radical or new – most other organized religions have done it for the past few hundred years, some far more than others.”

Whether one agrees or not with this conclusion is perhaps less important than the willingness to address it, and therefore it must remain an important concern for Western lawmakers and our legal scholars.

Yet, some of our media continues its reluctance to publish on the anachronistic and negative influences of Islam and sharia law – especially as it affects women – and this while attempting to “assimilate” itself into Western democracies and modern legal systems.

And, the idea that media criticism of Islam or sharia law is somehow off limits  – especially as it teaches or condones violence toward women  – is also fundamentally inconsistent with our democratic values. This is an aspect of Islam or Sharia Law that can never be “assimilated” in Western democracies.

Daniel Gallington is the Senior Policy and Program Adviser at the George C. Marshall Institute in Arlington, Virginia.