Where as most immigration talk in America is dominated by the issue of illegals, even legal immigrants are moving in with their cultures and traditions. A practice called female genital mutilation (FGM), predominantly seen in Muslim-controled countries, is now an issue in the United States.
Worldwide, an estimated 6,000 girls are subjected to the practice each day. For centuries, women performed FGM on family members or neighbors, anywhere from infancy to puberty. The practice is most common in parts of Africa and the Middle East.
Many girls do not survive the ordeal due to bleeding and infections and those who do are scarred both physically and emotionally for life.
Female genital mutilation is the cutting off or, in fewer cases, the mutilation of the external female genitalia. This procedure is often done without anesthesia using dull and dirty razor blades or scissors.
Female genital mutilation is unspeakably painful for its young victims.
To make matters worse, often the vagina is sewn closed until marriage. And sometimes, a girl’s legs are bound together for a period of time during which scar tissue grows over the vaginal opening.
In either case, only tiny holes remain for urination and menstruation, causing a number of health problems, such as constant pain, urinary tract and bladder infections, kidney problems including kidney failure, irregular periods, cysts and infertility.
In addition, childbirth can be life-threatening to both the mother and baby, and sexual intercourse is often excruciating.
Three Methods of Genital Mutilation
Female Genital Mutilation is usually performed in one of three ways:
- Clitoridectomy: removing part or all of the clitoris.
- Excision: removing part or all of the clitoris and the inner labia (the lips that surround the vagina), with or without removal of the labia majora (the larger outer lips).
- Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening by creating a seal, formed by cutting and repositioning the labia.
Female genital mutilation is commonly referred to as “female circumcision,” but a more accurate term is “female castration” because victims typically lose the ability to become sexually aroused. As a result, they’re not tempted to engage in premarital or extra-marital intercourse.
Female genital mutilation was performed before Islam came into existence and it’s not dictated by the Koran, Islam’s holy book. However, FGM is largely practiced by Muslims, although not exclusively.
There appears to be some disagreement within the Muslim community about whether the practice is tied to their faith.
Sheik Yousef Al Badri, of Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, addressed the issue in a film called “Honor Diaries,” a documentary about abuses against women such as FGM, forced marriage and honor killings.
“Circumcision is the reason why Muslim women are virtuous, unlike Western women who run after their sexual appetite in any place with any man,” he says in the film.
Elsewhere in the documentary, Dr. Qanta Ahmed, a physician and the author of In The Land of Invisible Women, says, “Female genital mutilation is not advocated in Islam in any way, shape or form. It doesn’t appear in the Koran, but has very much been adopted by some Muslim societies.”
FGM Invades the West
Currently there are an estimated 140 million victims worldwide, including in some places that are not predominanly Muslim or Arabic, such as Canada, Western Europe and America.
An astounding half a million girls and women in the United States have either undergone female genital mutilation or are at risk of having it done to them.
Many live in New York City, New Jersey and other places with immigrant populations from countries where “cutting,” as it’s called, is commonly practiced.
Recently, FGM survivors marched at the U.S. Capitol to raise awareness, including Frances Cole, who described her experience.
“I was 11 years old at the time, and I was told that we, my sister and I — she was 13 at the time — we were told that we were going somewhere to be made into women,” she recalled.
FGM survivor Mariam Bojang, who also marched on Washington, found it difficult to describe the torturous event.
“The experience of FGM is, oh my, I don’t even think there is a word on earth I can describe it with. It’s cruel, gruesome, no one on earth, I wouldn’t even wish it on my enemy, that’s how gruesome it is.”
Congress passed legislation making it illegal to perform female genital mutilation in the United States and making it a crime to take girls out of the country to do it, a practice known as “vacation cutting.” Twenty-four states have enacted similar legislation. CBN News