In a video from The Rebel Media, Tanveer Ahmed, a Bangladesh-born psychiatrist, lambasted leftists and Muslims for denying the intrinsic connection between female genital mutilation (FGM) and Islam. Defenders of Islam dismiss FGM as stemming from African tribal culture, with no true relation to the religion.
“Modern Muslims and progressives keep pushing the line that female circumcision is only about culture,” Ahmed said.
While liberals claim to be a bastion of women’s rights, many on the left outright ignore the plight of millions of women who are victims of FGM and its Islamic ties. Progressives have created a sort of “victimhood Olympics,” and as of now, it seems Muslims have taken the gold medal.
This absurd philosophy of victimhood actually leads to a higher number of victims because it relies on feelings over facts.
FGM is often called an African practice as countries such as Somalia have a prevalence of nearly 100% according to UNICEF. Egypt, the largest Arab country which is 90% Muslim according to the CIA, has a percentage of FGM prevalence that hovers above 80%.
Ahmed slammed radical Australian feminist Germaine Greer, who downplayed FGM as being an equivalent to modern labia reduction surgery during a Q&A in April. This is an absurd comparison, as the latter is an elective cosmetic surgery, while the former is forced upon children by Islamic law.
Greer went on to state that fears of Islam due to FGM, child brides, and domestic violence are unfounded. “It’s the sort of caricature of Islam that we keep promulgating. All of this is weird,” she said.
In the past, Greer has railed against bras as being “a hideous symbol of male oppression,” according to Lisa Jardine, a fellow teacher at Newnham College, Cambridge, a female-only college in England. Greer’s indifference toward the epidemic of FGM is hypocrisy of the highest order and only serves to undermine her radical feminist arguments. It seems Islam is the one religion immune to feminist condemnation.
Guardian Australia columnist Van Badham also rejected FGM’s ties to Islam, referencing the Christian-majority country of Eritrea.
AGAIN: fgm is NOT endemic to Islam but specific to national/community cultures, like in Eritrea which is a majority CHRISTIAN nation. #qanda
— Van Most Stable, Very Genius (@vanbadham) April 24, 2017
However, in 2007, the Eritrean government outlawed FGM and it now carries an up to a three-year prison sentence for those who practice it, making Badham’s claim a moot point. Eritrea now stands above its African neighbors as being one of three countries on the continent to achieve Millennium Development Goal 5, which aims to improve maternal, sexual and reproductive health according to the African Health Observatory. The criminalization of FGM was key to this goal.
Ahmed explains that while FGM existed in cultures that predate Islam, it was Islam that “enshrined it in divine law.” Though FGM is absent in the Koran itself, encouragement of the practice can be found in several verses in the Hadith, which is a collection of the sacred sayings and practices of the Prophet Muhammad.
Ahmed also points to the Shafi’i, one of the five schools of Islamic thought, as mandatorily requiring FGM. Three other schools of Islamic thought see the atrocity as being “optional but preferred,” according to Ahmed. This obliterates the idea that FGM is anything but endemic to Islam.
Indonesia, which adheres to the Shafi’i school of Islam, has a 90% Muslim population and half of Indonesian girls have undergone FGM, “despite having nothing in common with African or Arab countries,” Ahmed said. These facts prove that FGM is far more than an African practice, but actually is an outdated one that was written into Islamic law as divine truth.
“If it was all about the culture of certain tribal groups in Africa, they would expect the practice to be non-existent in cultures far away,” Ahmed said.
However, as evidenced by Indonesia and others, the practice is far from non-existent in the Islamic world. According to the World Health Organization, there are 30 countries where the practice of FGM is commonplace, many of which are Muslim-majority. While the practice may have started by ancient African tribes, it was adopted and venerated by Islam and is now commonplace in much of the Islamic world.
“It’s just another issue that illustrates something: Modern Muslims are more often guilty of sanitising the religion, but are quick to accuse radicals of hijacking the faith incorrectly,” Ahmed concluded. “Its outright denial.”
The denial of these facts both by modern Muslims and liberals is just another piece of evidence showing that many on the left do not truly care about the causes they claim to hold dear such as feminism. They only care about their crusade against non-existent Christian oppressors and will ignore the trespasses of virtually all other world religions.
If atrocities such as FGM are to be extinguished, Islam’s involvement must be considered in a truthful matter. Women who are victims are better served by the truth than they are by feminists who defend Islam out of fear of being politically incorrect.