Thursday, March 13, 2014

Forced Mutilation As a Family Value (Update)

One of my prospective daughters-in-law (and that phrase alone indicates the major family orientation for the next year or so) sent along to her world of digital correspondents an article that caught her eye and shocked her conscience, not that she wasn't already aware of this barbaric practice.

The Guardian of Great Britain has published an article on the subject of female genital mutilation (FGM), otherwise known euphemistically – and incorrectly – as female circumcision.  (Note: the article can be quite disturbing due to its graphic nature, but it is trying to make a point.)

This is a practice found predominantly in Africa and the Middle East, and its adherents are far and away Islamic.  Immigrants of that faith ('culture' would be more accurate) constitute some 5% of the UK, with 97% of them in England, and again disproportionately high in large cities.  That population is growing at a rate ten times higher than the non-Muslim British.  The name Mohammed, for example, in its various spellings is now the third most popular name for boys in England and Wales.

That trend goes hand-in-hand with the obsequious multicultural pandering found in British political and social culture and elsewhere, with generous attention to the Muslim culture and Sharia, its law code.  The term 'racist' is flung about with kneejerk, gleeful abandon there as much as here, which by now has become an argument that increasingly is having a dull and deadening impact (an argumentum ad taedio, a term resurrected) except among the Professional Indignant industry.  (Anjem Choudary is an English equivalent of Al Sharpton.)  Sharia courts and councils function there with the British courts shrugging off their judgments that often are counter to English law: "The previous government gave up on its attempt to investigate Sharia councils when they could not get proper access to them."

The subject of FGM in the UK falls within this context.  The Guardian article estimates that some 2000 British schoolgirls will have the procedure over the summer holidays, either when the family returns to its ancestral homeland for a visit or when it is performed in a secure place in England.

The idea is perplexing and revolting to Western ideas, even more so because it is the women who are the staunchest proponents of the age-old practice.  It is typically the girl's mother and other female relatives who hold her down and perform the procedure, and the entire idea is that it is somehow ennobling to ensure chastity and to avoid the debasing thought of sexual pleasure.  There is no mention of it in the Bible or Quran, though Muhammad is supposed to mention in the hadith that it is noble but not required.  Those who claim a religious obligation for the practice are in error (to put it politely), just like the excuse that women must wear a hijab or head covering.

The Guardian also calls out the feckless British legal system on the topic: 
The UK Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 makes it an offence to carry out FGM or to aid, abet or procure the service of another person.  The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, makes it against the law for FGM to be performed anywhere in the world on UK permanent residents of any age and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment.  To date, no prosecutions have been made under UK legislation. [emphasis mine]
(The habit of proclaiming consequences under the law or through moral imperative to correct a wrong, and then failing to follow through on that declaration, has become a tradition with our State Department and our current president.)

General Sir Charles James Napier, GCB

In stark contrast, subjects such as this remind of the quite effectual response of General Sir Charles James Napier in India in the mid-19th century.  Sir Charles, already famous for his actions in the Peninsular War in Spain, was assigned at the age of 60 to the British-led Indian Army of the East India Company in 1842 as a Major General.  He was dispatched with his army to Sindh (Scinde) province (now southern Pakistan) to take on the Muslim insurrection that had been encouraged by the result of the dismal First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-1842).  His army crossed over into Sindh and in a fit of professional zeal, not only put down the insurrection but went on to quickly conquer the province.  The message that he sent to inform his superiors, probably apocryphal but a good indicator of his personality nonetheless, was a one word dispatch that read "Peccavi", Latin for "I have sinned", which could be both a modest admission that he exceeded orders and also a play on "I have Sindh." 

The reference I have in mind, though, is some years later, when Hindu priests were complaining to him of the interference of the British in the local customs and mores of the Indian tradition of suttee (or sati), wherein a living widow was burned alive on the funeral pyre of her dead husband.  Sir Charles replied that if that was such an honored custom, then by all means continue, but the English also have a strong custom: "When men burn women alive, we hang chaps like that."  As the funeral pyre was assembled, so too would he have the gallows built nearby, so as to be ready to hang all concerned after the body of the widow was fully consumed, to accommodate both cultures.  The Hindu priests quickly demurred. 

Left-wing apologists have lamented the withering of native cultures, yet I am not bothered in the least with the Spanish destruction of the Aztec civilization and its custom of throwing girls into pools to drown, or the wholesale slaughter of young males, both captives and natives, by cutting out their hearts, nor am I put off by the efforts of the US Army to eradicate the appalling atrocities of the Comanche and others.  It was William Wilberforce and the guns of the Royal Navy that did the most to eradicate the slave trade, adversely affecting stronger African tribes, Arab traders, and the slave ships sailing from Boston, Providence, and New York. 

Yet there are still those who defend the horrible practice of FGM, and not just those within the Muslim community.  The French Society of Anthropologists, for example, criticized the "moralistic arrogance" of the campaign against the practice: "Let's stop making the Africans look like savages, let's stop imposing on them our models for living…. Isn't the barbarian the one who believes in barbarism?" 

This morbid tolerance extends beyond FGM – the Sharia councils advise wives, by the judge or by the female counselors, that a beating that leaves no visible marks is an indicator that the wife has to try harder to please her husband.  Then, of course, the "honor killings"… 

But the emasculated political culture looks the other way, frightened by Islamic threats, real or implied.  Scathing remarks are frequently made about Christians that would never be considered if applied to Muslims. 

Edmund Burke said that "There is a point at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue."  We are well past that mark.

Update: Another step in the British acquiescence to Sharia law, in the Daily Telegraph, "Islamic law is adopted by British legal chiefs".
Under ground-breaking guidance, produced from The Law Society, High Street solicitors will be able to write Islamic wills that deny women an equal share of inheritances and exclude unbelievers altogether.
The article goes into some detail about the far-reaching implications of the "quietly published" guidance on how to skirt English law.

1 comment:

  1. Well, you can snipe at a Christian without fearing for your life. Muslims, not so much. We do prosecute honor killers, the ones who are caught, anyhow. I don't guess we know how much FGM goes on in the USA, nor are we likely to find out. Culture, indeed. Politics, too. Religion, I doubt it.


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