Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a cruel and barbaric practice (for a description, see my post of September 15). As such, it is a felony under US law.
A Lawrenceville, GA, man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for mutilating his 2 yr old daughter with a pair of scissors. A judge sentenced him to the prison term, to be followed by five years of probation. While laws exist against FGM, he was sentenced for aggravated battery and cruelty to children, not under anti-FGM laws since the crime took place prior to the enactment of the laws.
I heard about this last night on the radio, where one of his supporters, a woman, said that they “thought he’d just get a reprimand and they’d be able to put this behind them.” Adem denies having performed the mutilation. Gates of Vienna explains that others might have actually done the clitoridectomy. If that’s the case, I certainly hope the prosecutors will prosecute all other person(s) involved.
“If a woman is not cut, she remains a baby forever and cannot perform social rites with other women,” Ben Koissaba, a Maasai elder in Kenya, told Reuters by telephone from the town of Narok in Kenya’s Rift Valley.
“This (Ethiopian) man was doing it because he thought it would be a bad omen on his child if he did not. Maybe he should have been reprimanded not jailed, but we should try to understand his culture.”
Make no mistake: Adem’s ten year sentence is clearly meant to tell any immigrant to the US that anyone immigrating to the US is subject to the rule of law, and that whatever the customs and practices may be in your place of origin, those customs and those who practice them are held to the same standards as the rest of the inhabitants of the US. As such, that is one of the standards for equality in our country. And I repeat, while the law against FGM is in the books, the man was sentenced under child abuse laws that were in effect at the time of the crime.
Every immigrant arriving to the US should be made aware that, as I said above, whatever the customs and practices may be in your place of origin, those customs and those who practice them are held to the same standards as the rest of the inhabitants of the US.
While FGM is still widely carried out across the world, female circumcision is banned in 14 African countries, including Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana and Togo. As the Reuters article explains,
In some Muslim countries of west Africa, considered among the continent’s most conservative cultures, mutilation is common. Nine of 10 Malian women have undergone mutilation, for example, a European parliamentarian said this year.
“Circumcision is an affront to the physical and moral integrity of a woman and that is why I will always be against the practice,” said Hadiza Moussa, a female teacher in Niamey, capital of Niger.
“Just like a man, a woman has her natural desires, notably to draw pleasure from sexual relations. No, we must outlaw this practice everywhere, especially because it can result in sterility.”
Whether it’s a religious, cultural, or ethnic practice, I don’t care. It’s a practice that denies women the right to their own genitalia, a right to have that which they are born with, by God’s grace. As such, it is barbaric and cruel, and should be banned everywhere. CARE and other organizations are working towards that goal.
Khalid Adem,’s own country of origin, Ethopia, also has outlawed the practice.
Update Also via SC&A, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Africa, the Middle East & Far East
Debates about FGM: FGM is a social custom, not a religious practice.
Please vote for this article at Real Clear Politics
Update Via Larwyn, Rejecting multi-culti barbarism