1. Used and abused in the process of conception, but not permitted to participate. An incubator for a Muslim incubus.

  2. “”I am going to be a slave again,” she said.

    you will always be a slave if you are a Muslim woman.

    and one who is marked for death if you keep behaving in an UnIslamic way.

  3. She will probably get asylum, but there will be no pressure on Mali, or Egypt, etc. The dhimmi traitors in the State Dept. and our de facto traitor president will sign the budget that sends hundreds of millions, billions in the case of Egypt, of dollars to these hate cultures that have pledged to destroy us. Every American State Dept. official and elected “representative” must be put on notice, they should be shunned and exiled from the community of decency if they persist in the auto-genocidal behaviour against their country. They are aiding and abetting the enemy as defined by the US Constitution. When will we start to recognize this officially? Or will they never because all of our officials are corrupt and guilty?

  4. “…the practice, meant to suppress sexual desires and maintain the honor of young girls.”

    In societies where a woman’s “honor” is lost, if she so much as meets a man’s eye, this apology for mutilation doesn’t hold much water.

    It’s not about her honor, at all. It’s about her relatives’ honor–particularly the male relatives.

    What a filthy, disgusting thing to do to infant girls!

  5. I’ll adopt her. That way, she can live here as my child.

    And guess what? I won’t even force her to believe in Jesus!

    I’ll tell her how wonderful Jesus is, and that we need to believe in Him, but THE DECISION WILL BE ENTIRELY HERS, WITH ABSOLUTELY NO COERCION ON MY PART!

    And she will be able to marry WHOMEVER SHE CHOOSES! Or she can stay single, if that is her choice.

    And her scumbag male relatives better not even THINK of setting foot in my town, or they will get a “Walker Texas Ranger” style greeting from me. (I’ve already spoken with Chuck Norris about it!)

  6. If we let this woman is it will be another case of us cleaning up the messes the Muslim world creates. No- I’m not in favor of her being here unless she gives up Islam the slave master religion

  7. Every woman from a Muslim country who can prove she has previously suffered violence in the name of Islam, and who justifiably fears further religiously-motivated abuse if she returns to her country, should be granted asylum. How to keep this policy from being taken advantage of? Immediately deport every immigrant Muslim, male or female, who supports religously-motivated abuse and enslavement of women. I think that would more than balance it out nicely.

  8. The comment about the woman being forced into a marriage with a cousin is telling; the world was justifiably horrified by the recent story from Austria about the father who imprisoned and repeatedly raped and impregnated his daughter for years. But that kind of abuse happens every day in the Muslim world, doesn’t it? Islam may not condone fathers raping their own daughters, but it has no problem with fathers forcibly marrying their daughters to uncles and first cousins, or simply to any man willing to pay the price, even when their daughters are still undeveloped little girls, as in that recent case in Yemen. Thankfully, that child was rescued by a caring family member, but it is unlikely that either the so-called “father” or the scum he sold her to will ever pay for their crimes. In the Muslim world, fathers enable and profit from the rape of their own daughters on a daily basis, and no-one bats an eyelid.

    A woman in a traditional Muslim marriage is as much a slave as that pitiful young Austrian woman in the basement was: forced to have sex, forced to bear children over and over again, beaten and threatened if she objects in any way, deprived of proper health care, of any intellectual stimulation, or of the company of others, and kept from the outside world. I wonder if anyone else has raised this point?

  9. And what about the millions of other women, are they also to be granted asylum at once ?

    Giving asylum to just one woman is no solution, especially when she is using FGM as a pretext when her visa is running out.

    No she should not be granted asylum,nor should the millions of others.

    How many of these will be muslims, and be bringing more Islam into the west.So or efforts should be to stop FGM at its roots, not import more islam, because most of these women are muslims, and they seek our protection against what is being practiced in their islamic hell holes, but they will not break away from islam.

    FGM is not a reason to grant asylum, but is reason for us to bring pressure upon any government that does not make a hundred procent effort to stamp this foul praxis.

    Myself, I strongly believe ,that sanctions, all aid stopped and war should be declared on all governments that do not take firm action to eradicate FGM.

    As for this women, she is planning to be a nurse, if she obtains a visa, so she is basically seeking a visa so as to make here situation better, but has no intention of return to Mali, where Medical facilities in Mali are very limited, and medicines are in short supply.

    It should also be pointed out that she comes from a family that could afford to give her an education, where as most because families are unable to cover the cost of uniforms, books, supplies, and other fees required to attend.

  10. God created woman whole and perfect – but this evil man made religion destroys her, body, mind & soul.

  11. I agree with infidelk9.

    There have been other African females before who used FGM as an excuse to get a visa to stay. Not everyone of them is a Hirsi Ali, and I wouldn’t bet on it that some of these females go back to their old practices once they’re allowed to stay.

    Call me a sceptic, but I’m not buying any.

  12. Angloirishslav, you’re so right.

    When you see muslim women imprisoned in the black tent that they wear, how far removed is it from being imprisoned in the cellar?

  13. Posted by: Voltaire
    Angloirishslav, you’re so right.

    When you see muslim women imprisoned in the black tent that they wear, how far removed is it from being imprisoned in the cellar?

    When you see these black clad ghouls in the west, I dont see the as imprisoned. I see them as arrogant fascists, pushing their foul agenda in our faces.

  14. “In the Muslim world, fathers enable and profit from the rape of their own daughters on a daily basis, and no-one bats an eyelid.”

    In the Islamic world, men’s rule over women and girls is ABSOLUTE. 101% ABSOLUTE.


    If we let this woman is it will be another case of us cleaning up the messes the Muslim world creates. No- I’m not in favor of her being here unless she gives up Islam the slave master religion

    Posted by: dennisw at May 3, 2008 10:47 PM

    Is it established that she’s Muslim? Because the African countries mutilate female genitals whether Muslim or not. It’s cultural – has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with misogyny. Read Jomo Kenyatta’s defense of FGM from his book in the 1950’s.

  15. FGM: Strategies For Eradication (Africa) –warning, illustrations graphic.


    Also, excuse me, the Kenyatta book I was referring to, “Facing Mount Kenya,” is from 1938. It has a chapter on FGM in which Kenyatta spews forth all sorts of propaganda such as how IT DOESN’T EVEN HURT! I can’t find my copy right now, but the chapter on FGM is worthwhile reading for it’s insensitivity, African Patriarchal Misogyny, and outright lies.

  16. When you see muslim women imprisoned in the black tent that they wear, how far removed is it from being imprisoned in the cellar?

    Posted by: Voltaire at May 4, 2008 6:45 AM

    Well, a long way actually.

    Muslim women *can* physically remove the tents. That poor imprisoned daughter could not physically remove herself from that accursed cellar and her evil, so evil, father.

    Also, the first has to do with a religion, or what calls itself a religion. The second, the cellar, has only to do with secular human evil. No religion involved.

    I see you’re trying to make a point about female imprisonment, both physically and sartorially, but for me your analogy’s a stretch. If forced to choose, I’ll take a tent any day over that cellar.

  17. Does this mean that the US should become a dumping ground for potentially millions of women from the Muslim world? Its even worse than that because with family reunification chain immigration they will end up bringing in the very family members that are inflicting these horrible procedures on them. And ultimately where are American women going to find asylum from our newly Islamized culture?

    No, asylum is a very bad idea. It would be far better for her to go back and fight to change that horrible culture from within.

  18. On the other hand, the circumcision of male infants isn’t a pretty sight, either. I caught a YouTube video on the subject, and nearly fainted.

  19. Posted by: darcy

    Is it established that she’s Muslim? Because the African countries mutilate female genitals whether Muslim or not.

    You can safely bet she is moslem as an estimated 90% of Malians are Muslim

    It’s cultural – has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with misogyny

    Darcy, you should look at the link you refer to, and look at the map, the area covered by FGM corresponds almost exactly as the area covered by Islam.

  20. “According to a February statement from 10 United Nations agencies, between 100 million to 140 million women and girls have had the procedure done, most in African countries”

    We’re supposed to let in anyone who comes from a repressive society? There are over 6 billion people in the world, America can’t take care of them all.

    What about OUR cultural stability and cohesiveness? What about other western countries that are threatened because they were overly generous with their asylum policies?

    How many WESTERN children haven’t been born because western parents have been kept busy subsidizing the welfare state for non-natives?

    Enough already.

  21. “It’s cultural – has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with misogyny.” –Darcy

    Darcy, you should look at the link you refer to, and look at the map, the area covered by FGM corresponds almost exactly as the area covered by Islam.

    Posted by: InfidelK9 at May 4, 2008 12:04 PM

    Well, that’s fine. OK. But, as I said previously, FGM is committed on African girls and women no matter what their religion, courtesy the African male patriarchy. I don’t believe Jomo Kenyatta was a Muslim, for example, and he was all for it.

  22. “We’re supposed to let in anyone who comes from a repressive society? There are over 6 billion people in the world, America can’t take care of them all.” –posted above

    Agree with that. And SHOULDN’T have to “take care of them all.”

    My husband had another experience recently while driving on the Interstate in my vehicle with the “DEFEAT JIHAD/JIHADWATCH.ORG” sticker on the back. A car filled with “dark-skinned people” “sped up, slowed down, sped up, slowed down, sped up, slowed down” (etc) making their presence known to him, until finally the car sped off.

    Islam promotes aggression against others. Duh! There should be no more Mohammedan immigration to the U.S.

  23. Something like 95% of Egyptian women are circumcised.

    Abcedere: There is no comparison between male and female circumcision. Males can still experience sexual pleasure, females cannot as the clitoris is removed at the root. Also, due to infibulation (sewing up of the vagina with only a tiny opening left for urine and menstruation) on the “wedding night” the groom has to break through solid tissue to reach the vagina and it is extremely painful for the woman.

    People, this is going on in the USA, in my suburb of the Twin Cities. Authorities (Blue state, the ultimate PC and multicultural population) consider it cultural and look the other way.


  24. My husband heard this from Somalis, but they won’t turn each other in. It’s against the law here but Law Enforcement is worried about losing their jobs, pensions and even their lives if they enforce it.

  25. My husband heard this from Somalis, but they won’t turn each other in. It’s against the law here but Law Enforcement is worried about losing their jobs, pensions and even their lives if they enforce it.

    Posted by: CGW at May 4, 2008 6:18 PM

    Perhaps people from states other than Minnesota here on JW should e-mail or write LE about the Somalis you mention? Hey – what about e-mailing or writing Mohammedan Keith Ellison of your state? Think that would help?

  26. darcy:

    If others from JW would email LE in Eden Prairie, Minneapolis and the State capitol, St. Paul, I would weep with gratitude. The Somalis ELECTED Ellison; he’s on their side. That’s how he won. he wouldn’t go against them.

    Help me, people, please. For the little girls who will never experience sexual pleasure but only excruciating pain.


  27. Eden Prairie
    The TIPLINE is designed to report suspicious activity while remaining anonymous. This line is checked once a day. Situations requiring immediate assistance should be directed to 9-1-1.
    General Police Lines
    This is the non-emergency main line for the Eden Prairie Police Department. This line is for general questions or to reach a specific individual. The fax number is 952-949-6203.

  28. CGW,

    I’m certainly not an advocate of the procedure. I hope that isn’t the impression I’ve made. I was just thinking about the claim made by some practitioners that “it doesn’t even hurt”.

    Yes, you’re exactly right–as another poster said, female circumcision is, for the woman, exactly what total castration would be, for a man.

  29. I never argued that the U.S. (or other Western countires; please remember this is not an exclusively American site!) should let in everyone from repressive countries. I was just making a rhetorical point. If they let in women and ONLY women (children of both genders O.K., no adult men) who were justifiably in fear for their lives and had stated and demonstrated their opposition to Islamic supremacy, and kicked out every non-citizen Muslim (along with their families) who refused to do so, I still think it would more than balance it out. Call me sexist: I know there are female jihadists, and I detest them with every fibre of my being, but it’s overwhelmingly the adult males of the House of Islam who are doing the damage. Discrimination? Absolutely. And it’s every nation’s right.

  30. > Alima Traore should be granted asylum at once

    Well, this is one of the very rare occasions where I have to disagree with this website.

    I see no basis whatsoever for granting this woman “asylum.”

    She is 29 years old and suffered from FGM, which was performed on her as a small child. As abhorant as this practice is, do we then open the doors to every woman at any age who has had this done to them?

    Keep in mind that, according to this article, this includes 95% of the adult female population of Mali. Should we give them all asylum?

    And, by extension, would that not set a precedent for giving asylum to anyone who was abused in any way as a child?

    Regarding her arranged marriage, this is a common practice for Muslems. We may not agree with it, but does that mean we should automatically offer asylum to any adult visiting this country who does not want to go through with such a marriage, or any other custom from their home country?

    Our government should do everything within its power to encourage other countries to outlaw abusive practices such as FGM, arranged marriages etc. But that should not be a basis for granting asylum.

    My question is… has she renounced Islam? If she has indeed renounced Islam then there might be a genuine basis, as she likely would be subject to persecution and/or death.

    The last thing we need to do is grant blanket asylum to individuals who simply disagree with the consequences of their own ideology/religion, but who are not willing to give up the ideology/religion that is the source of those consequences.

  31. StephenDVD:

    I agree. They must renounce islam if they want protection.

    However, the wedding night is excruciating and the husbands demand that they be re-infibulated after every childbirth. That is torture, with no anaethesia.

  32. I am not a citizen of Alima’s country of Mali but I did live there for several years and my wife is from there. And yes, my wife underwent FGM as a little girl. It’s definitely true that FGM is widely practiced in Mali (although infibulation is not–FGM in this part of Africa usually takes the form of a partial clitoridectomy).

    What is unclear to me is the link between FGM and Islam. There are many non-Muslims in West Africa who practice FGM, and many Muslims (in Africa and elsewhere) who don’t. While some Muslims may choose to justify the practice in religious terms, I’ve never seen any evidence of an Islamic scriptural basis for FGM. Perhaps someone can provide some? Otherwise, I’m not sure why this issue is even under discussion on this website. The practice of FGM may overlap with Islamic belief in some places, but that doesn’t imply a causal relation one way or the other. Look at this map ( you’ll notice that FGM doesn’t exist in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey, Algeria, and Morocco.

    FGM and male circumcision have long been carried out in Mali, in fact before most Malians became Muslim (which only happened in the 19th century, though the region was home to a small Muslim minority since the 12th century). Taken together, these two practices were believed to remove a “male impurity” from females and a “female impurity” from males. FGM is also an old tradition in parts of southern Nigeria, for example, where Islam never reached.

    Finally, it is not usually the case that a woman who’s undergone FGM is incapable of experiencing sexual pleasure. If there are some forms of FGM (infibulation, perhaps) which have this effect, they are not used in Mali.

    If it were up to me FGM would never occur anywhere, but it’s not up to me: in countries where FGM is widespread, it’s up to the people (mostly women) who value the practice and keep it alive to change their mindsets. They’ll only do that if they don’t think the change is being imposed on them by outsiders. So please, let’s refrain from easy generalizations and blanket condemnations of people we don’t know very much about. (Unless that’s what this website is really for, and if that’s the case I will respectfully bow out.)

  33. The below is an extract from a post that I am preparing for another forum
    I have taken it from an Islamic site.

    Shari’ah (Islamic law) divides actions into five categories; mandatory, commendable, permissible, detestable and strictly forbidden. Female circumcision falls within the category of the permissible. It was probably on this basis that some scholars opposed a sweeping ban of this practice. Before discussing this view, it is important to distinguish between different types of procedures that were and still are called circumcision.

    a) Removal of the hood (or prepuce) of the clitoris. This procedure is, to some degree, analgous to male circumcision since in both cases, no part of the sexual organ is cut off. In both cases also, it is only the foreskin, or outer fold of the skin, which is cut off. Properly done, it is not likely to cause any “matrimonial” problem. While some may call it “sunnah circumcision,” this is their own appellation and not that of the Prophet (P) who used the term Sunnah only in the context of male circumcision.

    b) Removal of the entire clitoris (clitorectomy) along with part of the labia minora, which is satured together leaving an opening. This is a form of mutilation.

    c) Removal of the entire clitoris, labia minora and medial part of the labia majora, whith both sides of the female organ stitched together leaving a small opeing. This procedure requires tying together the child’s legs of nearly three weeks. [9] It is called the Pharaonic procedure but may as well be called “mutilation”.

    It is obvious that the second and third procedures were never mandated, encouraged or even consented to by the Prophet. They even violate a known rule in Shari’ah prohibiting the cutting off of any part of the human body except for unavoidable reasons (e.g. medical treatment, trimming nails or hair, or for an explicitly specified reason such as male circumcision). Such necessity or need does not exist in female circumcision. Nothing justifies genital mutilation. In fact, no mutilation is allowed by Islam even in the battlefield. Not only are these two procedures unjustifiable, they are brutal, inhumane and in violation of Islam.
    The remaining question then relates to the first procedure. Some (e.g. the late Rector of Al-Azhar University, Sheikh Gad Al-Haque) argued that since the Prophet did not ban female circumcision, it falls within the category of the permissble. As such, there is no ground for a total ban on it. However, it is within the spirit of Shari’ah to restrict something that is permissible if discovered to be harmful. For example, all fish are permisible to eat. Should a particular type of fish be proven to be poisonous or harmful, it could be banned based on a known Shari’ah rule (Al-dharar Yozaal), or harm must be removed. The real issue then boils down to whether the first procedure is harmful or not. Granted that such a procedure may not be seriously damaging like the other two, it may be argued that it is painful, traumatic and often performed in an unhygienic setting leading to infection and other problems. Even if the procedure is performed by a physician, it is so delicate that not all physicians master it.

    It should be noted that some people oppose female circumcision as part of their opposition to any “tradition” as old and invalid. This is as inappropriate as practicing female circumcision because it is a “tradition,” regardless of its consistency with Islam or not. The practice should be evaluated objectively, on the basis of

    a)whether it is required religiously or not

    b) whether there are medical and other relevant issues to be considered in evaluating this practice.

    While any form of female circumcision is already legally banned in some countries and may be banned in others in the future, it is not suggested here that this is the only option. In societies and cultures where the practice is well entrenched and socio-cultural pressures for it are great,abrupt legal banning may not end the practice. It may cause it to be practiced “underground” and under more problematic circumstances. However the problem is serious enough that some action is needed. A starting point, perhaps, is to begin by educationg the masses in countries where female circumcision is commonly practiced. All possible media should be used in the process. The contents of this appendix may serve as an outline of such an educational program, or it is so hoped. In any case, the conclusion which appears to be certain is that there is no single text of the Qur’an and Hadeeth which requires female circumcision.

    this was posted by SHIVA in 2005..

    the fact of the matter is that Muslims feel this barbaric procedure to be of utmost importance and the rule of thumb is ok to cut but keep quiet.

  34. malimogo:

    Was your wife’s entire clitoris removed at the root (see my earlier links)? If so, sexual pleasure is impossible – it’s like cutting off the penis. Was she infubulated?

    Did she marry you to get away from Mali? Is she still a muslim?

  35. malimogo:

    Was your wife’s entire clitoris removed at the root (see my earlier links)? If so, sexual pleasure is impossible – it’s like cutting off the penis. Was she infibulated?

    Did she marry you to get away from Mali? Is she still a muslim?

  36. First, thanks to pulsar182 for a very helpful posting on how some Muslim scholars view the relationship between Islamic scriptures and the practice of FGM. It seems to prove my point: Islam does not force anyone to mutilate their daughters’ genitals. Sure, there are Muslim scholars who condone FGM, but there are many others (including top clerics at Egypt’s Al-Azhar University) who have condemned it as criminal. This is why it’s problematic to cast FGM as a “Muslim practice,” particularly when millions of non-Muslim Africans have been doing it for centuries.

    When pulsar182 writes, “the fact of the matter is that Muslims feel this barbaric procedure to be of utmost importance,” I wonder exactly what fact, and what Muslims, pulsar182 is talking about. Apparently we have to exclude Iraqis, Libyans, Turks, Algerians, Iranians, Afghanis, and most Pakistanis from the category “Muslim.” Even in those zones on the map (like Mali) where FGM is practiced and which are predominately Muslim, one finds growing numbers of people opposed to FGM.

    Responding to CGW: “partial clitoridectomy” does not entail removing the clitoris at the root. And as I stated, infibulation–though common thousands of miles to the east, in Somalia and Sudan–is not practiced anywhere in West Africa (or at least, I’ve never heard of it there). Finally, while I cannot know for certain what my wife’s motives were in marrying me, I do not believe that getting away from Mali was among them. We have gone there and stayed with her family twice in the 5 years we’ve been married, and plan to continue doing so. Her father is very religious (my wife is quite secular), yet our daughter remains uncircumcised and no one has ever even suggested differently.

    I don’t know about the rest of Africa or the Middle East, but I firmly believe that in Mali FGM will fade away over time as more people wake up to its inherent injustice and health risks. And as pulsar182’s post indicates, much of the initiative to educate the public on the dangers of FGM has come from Muslims themselves.

    To return to the issue at hand, Ms. Alima Traore: her case has been a hot topic on Malian internet forums, and most of the postings I’ve seen are from people who find something fishy about her story. Forced marriage is rare in Bamako these days (not to mention officially illegal), and there are usually ways to get out of it. Ms. Traore could be grasping at any pretext to avoid deportation. In her situation most of us would probably do the same thing–after all, the standard of living is immeasurably better in the US. And if fear of forced marriage is legitimate grounds for granting asylum, how many other women (not least from places like India) might follow in her footsteps?

  37. malimogo:

    Would you consent to have a part of your penis cut off to the same degree (not just the foreskin)? And your daughter is too young. I would keep her away from Mali once she reaches the appropriate age.

    Why is it that the women are the ones that seem to perpetuate this monstrosity, even after experiencing the horror themselves? It’s so the girls are MARRIAGEABLE, because without it they are not and are a burden on the family and the family’s honor, since their chastity cannot be guaranteed. THEY DO IT TO SATISFY THE MEN.

    Locally in the USA muslim doctors are performing this abomination on Somali girls under the table, or the parents take them back to Somalia at the appropriate age to have it done. Somalis go the whole nine yards. (Read my links.) Keep your daughter out of Mali as she ages.

    Read Hirsi Ali. Her grandmother did it while her parents were away. Your in-laws obviously believe in it. Trust them at your daughter’s peril.

  38. There are some fundamental misconceptions at work and I will do my best to clear them up with these three points.
    1. There is no single, homogeneous practice called “FGM” carried out everywhere the same way. A wide variety of practices are carried out for a wide variety of reasons. What happens in Somali, and what happened to Hirsi Ali, has little or nothing to do with what happens in Mali.
    2. Times change. What was commonly done to girls in Mali (Muslim and non-Muslim) a generation ago is less commonly done today, and I predict it will be even less common in the future–UNLESS Western activists latch onto the issue, in which case there will be a backlash from those who practice it.
    3. Most importantly, there is nothing specifically Islamic about FGM in any of its guises.

    CGW, you seem all too ready to judge individuals you’ve never met. (Or is that what this website is really for?) I have no qualms about bringing my daughter back to Mali because I trust my in-laws. This isn’t to say that we always get along perfectly, but the fact that they happen to be Muslim ultimately isn’t that important. (To quote comedian Emo Phillips, “Why hate anyone for their race, religion, color, or creed when there are so many REAL reasons to hate people?”) Moreover, the fact that my daughter’s genitalia remain intact is, as far as the Malians I know are concerned, just NO BIG DEAL. Of course she’d be marriageable–she’s got an American passport!

    In making these posts, I think I’ve been clear that I am opposed to the practice of FGM, and I neither defend nor justify it. But I’m also opposed to this tragic practice becoming another battlefront in the Clash of Civilizations, because I think its relevance in that context is minimal.

    And to answer CGW’s last questions, I think so, possibly, and most definitely. Not that it’s any of your business really 😉

    So what about Ms. Traore? Should she stay or should she go?

  39. malimogo:

    You didn’t answer the question about getting the same proportion of your penis sliced off.

    FGM is EVIL in all its permutations, just like islam.

    Hirsi Ali’s parents trusted her grandmother, too.
    “Trust but Verify.”

    And your daughter may be considered marriageable due to her passport, but unmarriageable due to a lack of insurable fidelity. (No pleasure, no extra-curricular fun and games necessary.)

    To answer your question, I neither trust nor believe anything that comes from islam. “allah” is a demon and muhammmad was his messenger – their work can be seen worldwide. Period.

  40. Regardless of whether or not Islam requires FGM, the fact is: Islam has stamped out all sorts of other things, yet seems to have had enormous difficulty mustering any interest in stamping out this particular custom.

    When modern Christian missionaries entered China they were horrified by the custom of breaking and binding little girls’ feet to make the feet fashionably tiny (again, the mothers did it to their daughters, in the belief that it made them ‘marriageable’). They did everything they could to educate and work against the practice; and to their credit, both the Nationalist Chinese government authorities, and after them the Maoists, threw their weight into the counter-footbinding campaign, such that the practice, despite having been entrenched for centuries, in every part of China, was totally eradicated.

    And yet – Islam, despite its totalitarian nature, despite its notorious encouragement of despotic dictatorships, and its ability to ruthlessly enforce all kinds of petty regulations (as in, for example, the dress regulations for dhimmis in 18th century Turkey – wear the wrong thing in public, and DIE), when confronted with the widespread practice of FGM within its African jurisdiction, has done NOTHING.

    If FGM is pre-Islamic or un-Islamic isn’t it part of JAHILIYYA, to be condemned and stopped?

    By the way, it HAS spread outside of Africa. Here is an excerpt from Geraldine Brooks’ ‘Nine Parts of Desire’. She was visiting the Islamic University of Gaza, and while interviewing one Ahmed Saati, she asked: Why weren’t the scholars speaking out against clitoridectomy, which had made its way to Gaza while the Strip was under Egyptian rule?

    “‘It is a sensitive subject. Some people say it makes women calmer. But of course Islam is against it. Every part of the body that is created has a function. It’s like tonsils: only if it is threatening health should you remove it; if it is not threatening, leave it be. Perhaps the women preachers are preaching against it. Of course, we don’t have such operations here. IN Egypt; but not here.’
    “‘Among the older women…’, Asya began, but Ahmad interrupted, ‘Not here. Never among Palestinians.’
    ‘Asya was silent. The night before, she had told me that her mother’s clitoris had been removed.’ {NOTA BENE}.

    “This is an Eastern society, ‘ he continued. ‘There are many things to do with women in Eastern societies that are not correct according to Islam. But it takes time to change them. First we must get an Islamic state. All the disasters in the world are from not adopting Islam. {note: but FGM has been practised, essentially unchallenged, in countries governed by Islam, such as Egypt, for over ONE THOUSAND YEARS; countries that, in the past, lived under sharia enforced much more strictly than it has been in any country in modern times – and that did nothing to stop FGM}. When Islam is adopted, all will be right”…

    Note that, essentially, Ahmad Saati dodges the issue by postponing any real attempt to stop the practice of FGM, UNTIL the installation of the ‘pure’, ‘perfect’, Islamic state. In the meantime…the women in those Muslim-majority lands where FGM is tolerated, can continue to suffer…

  41. The previous posting was helpful and raises important questions, to which there may be no brief or simple response. But I’ll give it a shot anyway, and try not to waste too much of our time.

    There’s a widespread view that culture and religion are to human beings what software is to computers: they are the systems we operate by, they make us do certain stuff and keep us from doing other stuff. But social scientists don’t see things this way. Culture and religion do not exist independently of individual human minds, but are constantly re-invented by people according to their own interests, interactions and circumstances. Computers can’t rewrite their code, but humans are always reworking their own understandings of their culture and religion. Hence culture and religion evolve. (Consider that 2-3 centuries years ago, many of our ancestors not only thought that slavery was acceptable, but that it had a Biblical justification. No Jew or Christian today would justify slavery on any grounds, least of all religious, regardless of what Leviticus says about it.)

    Some people, like Bernard Lewis and Irshad Manji, believe that Islam has been insulated from this evolutionary process, that the “gates of ijtihad” were slammed shut in the Middle Ages and no progress has been possible since. But others, myself included, have found that Muslims are constantly re-interpreting their scriptures, even if not in ways we approve of.

    To me, certain questions posed in this forum (Does Islam force people to mutilate their daughters’ genitals? If not, why doesn’t Islam STOP people from mutilating their daughters’ genitals?) miss a key point. ISLAM can’t DO anything–it’s just a disembodied set of ideas in people’s heads. MUSLIMS, however, can. Now the question becomes, “Why haven’t Muslims stopped FGM?” To which I reply, many of them have, through the above process of re-interpretation. But many more need to do so, and I believe they will in time.

    In short, I don’t accept the notion that there’s something inherent in Islam, or any religion, that makes its followers do things (FGM, intolerance, suicide bombing, authoritarianism, slavery, etc.). These behaviors arise in response to local social, political and economic factors. Interpretations of religious duty are never static through history. This argument may be unpopular here, but that’s what experience and research have led me and many others to believe.

    It’s interesting that nobody wants to get into the specifics of Alima Traore’s asylum case here–perhaps people find it easier to traffick in vague generalities about Muslims than to bother with messy details that don’t fit their master schemes. And that’s too bad. Peace, y’all.

  42. You’re fudging, Malimogo.

    Your second paragraph is pure evasion.

    It may best be answered by some remarks of Jacques Ellul’s concerning the observable character of Islamic society. Jacques Ellul lectured in law at the University of Bordeaux, where he was Professor of the History and Sociology of Institutions.

    Ellul, as a trained sociologist, was struck by the peculiar fixity and rigidity of Islam (not just the ideology but the actual social system created by that ideology), its resistance to change.

    In 1983 he wrote, in the preface to Bat Yeor’s “The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam”, the following:

    “But precisely what seems to me interesting and striking about Islam, one of its peculiarities, is the fixity of its concepts.

    ‘It is clear enough that things change to a far greater extent when they are not set in a fixed ideological mould. The Roman Imperial regime was far more susceptible to change than the Stalinist regime because there was no ideological framework to give it a continuity, a rigidity.

    ‘Wherever the social organization is based upon a system, it tends to reproduce itself far more exactly.

    Islam, even more than Christianity, is a religion that claims to give a definite form to the social order, to human relations, and claims to embrace each moment in the life of every person. Thus, IT TENDS TOWARD AN INFLEXIBILITY THAT MOST OTHER FORMS OF SOCIETY HAVE NOT HAD.

    ‘Moreover, it is known that the whole of Islamic doctrine…took on a juridical form. All the authoritative texts were subjected to a juridical type of interpretation and every application (even on spiritual matters) had a juridical imprint. One should not forget that this legalism has a very definite orientation: to fix – to fix relationships, halt time, fix meanings…to fix interpretations. Everything of a juridical nature evolves very slowly and is not subject to any changes.

    ‘Of course, there can be an evolution (in practical matters, in jurisprudence, etc.) but when there is a *text* which is regarded in some way as an ‘authoritative’ source, one has only to go back to that text and the recent innovations will collapse.

    ‘And this is exactly what has happened in Islam. Legalism has everywhere produced a rigidity (not an absolute rigidity, which is impossible, but a maximal one) that makes historical investigation essential. One should be aware that when one is dealing with some Islamic term or institution of the past, as long as the basic text – in this case, the Koran – remains unchanged, one can always return to the original principles and ideas whatever apparent transformations or developments have taken place, especially because [NOTA BENE] Islam has achieved something THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN VERY UNUSUAL [my emphasis added]: an integration of the religious, the political, the moral, the social, the juridical and the intellectual; thus constituting a rigorous whole of which each element forms an integral part’.

    And he notes, furthermore, of the condition of dhimmis, that: ‘this condition is UNVARYING throughout the course of history; it is not the result of social chance, but a rooted concept.’

    And he continues: ‘For the conquering Islam of today, those who do not claim to be Muslim do not have any human rights recognised as such’; and he adds ‘the Muslim world has not evolved in its manner of considering the non-Muslim’.

    That is the considered view of a trained sociologist; one of France’s great modern religious and political thinkers, author of ‘The Technological Society’ and ‘Propaganda’.

    Furthermore, on the clearly demonstrable relationship between the core Islamic texts and the remarkable continuities of actual Muslim practice at many different times and in many different places, under many varying circumstances, I offer links to two articles which you, ‘malimogo’, will undoubtedly ignore or treat with contempt, but which may prove enlightening for other people who may read this discussion, now or in the future.

    The first deals with women in Islam; the second, with slavery.

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