Caroline C. Lewis / Aug. 10, 2017

Female Genital Mutilation: Are Human Rights a Partisan Issue?

Sharia considers the barbaric practice of FGM “obligatory,” and the ACLU objects to outlawing it.

> Editor’s note: The following contains some unpleasant details in the opening definition of a barbaric practice.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) refers to the genital “circumcision” performed on young girls (generally 7-9 years of age) and can include the mutilation of a girl’s clitoris or labia, and in some cases, her vagina being sewn nearly shut. FGM is illegal in 18 African Nations and 12 industrialized countries including the United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Canada and the United States. In spite of its being a U.S. federal crime, a 2012 Center for Disease Control (CDC) report states that in the U.S., 500,000 girls are at risk for FGM. Additionally, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) noted that since 2003, there have been 380 arrested and 785 deported for FGM and related human rights violations. This includes the recent deportation of Ethiopian national Khalid Adem, who cut his two-year-old daughter’s genitals with scissors and served 10 years in a U.S. prison before being deported by ICE in March of this year.

Some claim that FGM is merely “cultural” and was a pagan “ritual practice” that preceded both Christianity and Islam. But these claims fail to recognize that in modern times FGM is practiced most widely as a Muslim ritual, considered “obligatory” for females, and is advocated under Islamic Law known as the “Sharia.” It shows dominance of men over women and prevents the woman from bringing “dishonor” to the family through promiscuous behavior, while also proving her “purity” for a future marriage.

This surgery renders the girl to have no sexual pleasure, and makes married intercourse and childbirth both painful and dangerous. Dr. Phyllis Chesler, a fellow at the Middle East Forum, notes that complications include “bleeding, painful urination, cysts, dangerous and recurrent bladder and urinary tract infections and the growth of scar tissue” as well as the development of fistulas and the risk of becoming both incontinent and losing bowel control. FGM is most often accomplished with razor blades and without anesthesia and has lifelong psychological and physiological side-effects.

This year, Representative Heather Sirocki of the Maine legislature proposed a bill to further criminalize the brutal FGM of minors. While FGM is a federal U.S. crime, Sirocki’s bill would have made it a state crime, allowing prosecution on a state level.

The 10,000 Somali refugees residing in Maine have transformed the state into a high-risk area for FGM. As a background, Somalia adopted Sharia law (and thus the “obligation” of female circumcision) as the “law of the land” in 2009, and the Sharia-adherent Somali refugees see FGM, though an international human rights violation, as obligatory.

However, the bill failed in June. Who could be against this and why?

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) opposed the bill, claiming that the establishment of new felony penalties to be “redundant” to the existing criminal code. Representative Sirocki disagrees. “Federal prosecutors take a very small amount of cases. The state of Maine deals with thousands of cases. … If the federal government doesn’t have enough prosecutors, [an FGM case] doesn’t get prosecuted.”

According to one source, Maine Democrats also opposed the bill because they claimed that Republicans always block their bills and they are returning the favor. One Democrat representative said she would propose the bill next year so that the Democrats could receive the credit for being protectors of children. Is partisan war necessary when the lives, safety and the psychological future of young girls are at stake?

The ACLU also claimed that the bill was an “attempt to single out behavior that is commonly attributed to certain religious and ethnic communities.” Refugee aid organizations feared that the law would “offend” the Somali population. Yet would we say that breaking up criminal communities like gangs and drug cartels “offends” them and “infringes on their culture?” If the laws of our country, rooted in human dignity and gender equity offend a people group, they are under no compulsion to stay.

The ACLU also stated support for an amended version of the bill that would “establish a community-based education and outreach program to prevent the genital mutilation of a minor,” which they claim to be part of “evidence-based solutions.” This appears to be naïve. In April of this year, two Muslim doctors and the wife of one of the doctors were arrested on three federal counts including aiding and abetting female genital mutilation. According to Newsweek, the prosecutor estimated the doctors genitally mutilated more than 100 girls. They did not perform FGM because they lacked access to “educational, evidence-based programs.” Rather, as Sharia-adherent Muslims, they served a Sharia-adherent Muslim community.

We must realize that just because certain Sharia-adherent Muslim countries permit this form of barbarous child abuse does not mean that our country should tolerate, accept or feel guilty about providing harsher punishments for it. We are a nation of laws and of human dignity. Far from being a partisan issue, or an issue of cultural “hatred,” Female Genital Mutilation is an issue of human rights. If we cannot offer greater legal protections on the state level for vulnerable little girls, or worse, it we are afraid to do so out of “partisanship,” we are to be pitied as a nation devoid of conscience.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.