Islamic sharia law states circumcision is obligatory for men and women.¹ Why this sanctified butchery of females, the slicing of flesh, the excising of up to and including the clitoris²? What is the purpose of this hacking of little girls and sewing up the remaining shreds of flesh or simply binding the legs together create numb scar tissue in place of the sensitive womanly parts she was endowed with at birth.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, in her 2007 book “Infidel,” relates her own harrowing personal experience and uses the word “kintar” to describe a culturally despised body part that could grow long and is to be reviled.³ Why is this considered in some schools of thought a “courtesy to the husband”? How many millions over the centuries have been so cut or died as a result of this action? How many today? Some say it is not Islamic, but simply cultural, but so what of it? If Islam has codified it into law, and by the references below it has, then its origin is of little consequence.
Why a practice that eliminates a woman’s pleasure but maintains a man’s? Is this a culture that values control over its women or which devalues women generally? Is this culture so honor-bound that it reduces a woman’s desire and potential to stray; to be destined to be house maids, brood mares and ready sexual subordinates for their husbands? Or is this practice to prevent men from acting on lustful desires? To maintain the purity of a girl so that she can be inspected at marriage and proven unmolested?
This repudiation of the very idea of women as independent, whole and sentient beings should disgust the world. I applaud existing efforts to eliminate FGM around the globe. However, the world could do more: shame the practice, ostracize the cutters and protect the uncut. Is it our ignorance or moral incapacity that allows millions to still be so harmed, so permanently and heinously altered?
Are we collectively, through our inaction, condoning this practice that creates such biological dysfunction? Imagine the ongoing pain just for being, the potentially agony of normal bodily functions, the prospect of life-threatening infection, the further damage and pain when “used” by the husband, especially for the first time, and the fatal blow to normal sexuality. Can you imagine? How many don’t need to imagine because they live it daily. And finally, consider the all too real possibility of unsuccessful child birthing and resultant death of both child and mother.
How can a world stand by mute as its women are maimed, degraded and simplified; their full self-actualization denied them and handing all power and pleasure to their male overlords.
End Female Genital Mutilation:
For women, for daughters, for humanity.
- “Reliance of the Traveller–A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law (‘Umdat al-Salik)” by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 769/1368) in Arabic with Facing English Text, Commentary, and Appendices Edited and Translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, page 59, e4.3. Circumcision is obligatory.
- “In English is says to cut only the ‘prepuce of the clitoris, but not the clitoris itself’; however in the adjacent Arabic it is reported to say cut out the clitoris.”
- “Infidel,” Ayaan Hirsi Ali, 2007, Free Press, Page 32.