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FGM defended as "will of Allah"


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Some of my friends come from Ethiopia (black Jews moved to Israel) told me the muslim women want this. Its a prepoberty ritual and they celebrate with all the women as a joyful thing that save the girls from sex before mary. The men dont say any thing about it, its women liking to do this to their daughters. The clitoris is remove, but sexual sensation is still there with the internal nerves during intercourse. They believe a woman must orgasm to have pregnant. But this is Ethiopians muslims not Egyptians.

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Sheikh Yussef al-Badri is one of Egypt's biggest advocates for what he refers to as female circumcision, and has petitioned the country's courts to make it legal again.

maybe if he had to have the end of his dick chopped off then he could say something. no surprise a man would want this but I am sure he is an expert on how a woman feels.

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It is always amazing how far people are willing to twist religion to suit their own will.

In saying that, I know a married Muslim man who says that since Allah designed the clitoris to serve no other purpose than to give women pleasure, it is my friend's sacred duty to give pleasure to his wife. I think that's the type of buffet religion I can get behind ;)

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i am a Muslim and I can't understand how FGM can be the will of Allah. Its a practice that should be banned completely not made legal.

Fundies everywhere just twist anything that fits with their cruel views and push it on other people by saying its the will of whoever they worship.

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Right. Tattoos are forbidden because they change your body (I still have one - sorry, Allah...) but removing your clitoris is the right thing to do. :angry-banghead:

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FGM is performed by women on young girls and is part of female culture in the countries where it is practiced. The practice is embedded, and it's going to be very difficult to stop it. This is a traditional cultural practice, a cultural norm dating back, in some cases, for thousands of years. However there are voices, even movements, against the practice from within the cultures themselves. There's an excellent film that talks about this, among other things, called Femmes Aux Yeux Ouverts, which, sadly, isn't widely available.

Changing women's lives overall is the best way to end the practice. Many men in these countries simply refuse to marry a woman who isn't circusized. The fact is, in societies where women have few economic options, marriage is virtually a necessity. Educational and economic opportunities for women are key in improving their lives in many, many ways. The film I mentioned said that it's easier to sell the message of not mutilating girls by framing it as a health issue. Self-righteous indignation is not very helpful in ending this practice, practical education is.

From the book Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

Not long after that first fight of mine at the madrassah, Grandma decided that the time was right for us to undergo the necessary and proper dignity of purification. My father was in jail and my mother was away for long periods, but Grandma would ensure that the old traditions would be respected in the old ways.

After she made the arrangements, Grandma was cheerful and friendly all week long. A special table was prepared in her bedroom, and various aunts, known and unknown, gathered in the house. When the day itself came I was not frightened, just curious. I had no idea what was going to happen, except that there was a festive atmosphere in the house and we -- all three of us -- were going to be cleansed. I wouldn't be called kinterleey anymore.

Mahad went first. I was driven out of the room, but after a while I stole back to the door and watched. Mahad was on the floor, with his head and arms on Grandma's lap. Two women were holding down his spread-eagled legs, and a strange man was between them.

The room was warm and I could smell a mixture of sweat and frankincense. Grandma was whispering in Mahad's ears, "Don't cry, don't stain your mother's honor. These women will talk about what they have seen. Grit your teeth." Mahad wasn't making a sound, but tears rolled down his face as he bit into Grandma's shawl. His face was clenched and twisted in pain.

I couldn't see what the stranger was doing, but I could see blood. This frightened me.

I was next. Grandma swung her hand from side to side and said, "Once this long kintir is removed you and your sister will be pure." From Grandma's words and gestures I gathered this hideous kintir, my clitoris, would one day grow so long that it would swing sideways between my legs. She caught hold of me and gripped my upper body in the same position as she had put Mahad. Two other women held my legs apart. The man, who was probably an itinerant traditional circumciser from the blacksmith clan, picked up a pair of scissors. With the other hand, he caught hold of the place between my legs and started tweaking it, like Grandma milking a goat. "There it is, there is the kintir," one of the women said.

Then the scissors went down between my legs and the man cut off my inner labia and clitoris. I heard it, like a butcher snipping the fat off a piece of meat. A piercing pain shot up between my legs, indescribable, and I howled. Then came the sewing: the long, blunt needle clumsily pushed into my bleeding outer labia, my loud and anguished protests, Grandma's words of comfort and encouragement. "It's just this once in your life, Ayaan. Be brave, he's almost finished." When the sewing was finished, the man cut the thread off with his teeth.

That is all I can recall of it.

But I do remember Haweya's bloodcurdling howls. Though she was the youngest -- she was four, I five, Mahad six -- Haweya must have struggled much more than Mahad and I did, or perhaps the women were exhausted after fighting us, and slipped, because the man made some bad cuts on Haweya's thighs. She carried the scars of them her whole life.

I must have fallen asleep, for it wasn't until much later that day that I realized my legs had been tied together, to prevent me from moving to facilitate the formation of a scar. It was dark and my bladder was bursting, but it hurt too much to pee. The sharp pain was still there, and my legs were covered in blood. I was sweating and shivering. It wasn't until the next day that my Grandma could persuade me to pee even a little. By then everything hurt. When I just lay still the pain throbbed miserably, but when I urinated the flash of pain was as sharp as when I had been cut.

It took about two weeks for us to recover. Grandma tended to us constantly, suddenly gentle and affectionate. She responded to each anguished howl or whimper, even in the night. After every tortured urination she washed our wounds carefully with warm water and dabbed them with purple liquid. Then she tied our legs again and reminded us to stay completely still or we would tear, and then the man would have to be called back to sew us back up.

After a week the man came and inspected us. He thought that Mahad and I were doing well, but said Haweya needed to be resewn. She had torn her wound while urinating and struggling with Grandma. We heard it happening; it was agony for her. The entire procedure was torture for all of us, but undoubtedly the one who suffered the most was Haweya.

Mahad was already up and about, quite healed, when the man returned to remove the thread he had used to sew me shut. This was again very painful. He used a pair of tweezers to dig out the threads, tugging on them sharply. Again, Grandma and two other women held me down. But after that, even though I had a thick, bumpy scar between my legs that hurt if I moved too much, at least my legs didn't have to be tied together anymore, and I no longer had to lie down without moving all day.

It took Haweya another week to reach the stage of thread removal, and four women had to hold her down. I was in the room when this happened. I will never forget the panic in her face and voice as she screamed with everything in her and struggled to keep her legs closed.

Haweya was never the same afterward. She became ill with a fever for several weeks and lost a lot of weight. She had horrible nightmares, and during the day began stomping off to be alone. My once cheerful, playful little sister changed. Sometimes she just stared vacantly at nothing for hours. We all started wetting our beds after the circumcision. In Mahad's case, it lasted a long time.

When Ma came back from her trip this time, she was furious. "Who asked you to circumcise them?" she yelled, more angry with her mother than I had ever seen her. "You know their father doesn't want it done! Allah knows, I have never in my life been so betrayed as by you. What possessed you?"

Grandma turned on my mother in fury. She yelled that she had done Ma a huge favor. "Imagine you daughters ten years from now -- who would marry them with long kintirs dangling halfway down their legs? Do you think they'll remain children forever? You're ungrateful and disrespectful, and if you don't want me in your house I'm going to leave." This time she really meant it.

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It's not just Muslims in Ethiopia. Christians too. Even the small Western-influenced evangelical Christian population battles this. Pastors will say "I know it is not right, but how will my daughter marry well without it?" Sometimes girls in progressive families who oppose FGM will scrape together the money and have it done to themselves in their teen years, because they face horrific bullying if they are 'dirty, uncircumcised' girls. :( AFAIK it is not the extreme form that Ayaan Hirsi wrote about but it is still all kinds of damage and risk for zero physical benefit. :(

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