There are pieces on both topics from the title of this text in my book Islamophobiaⁱ, which do not differ much in size, but about female genital mutilation (FGM) I actually wrote calmer than about the beheadings.
After I had seen a video clip of the truly Furious Ann Barnhardt (with three capital letters), famous for the expression “sniffing on men’s toilets” in addressing RINO Lindsey Graham ⁱⁱ, it gradually dawned on me how that was possible and what was wrong with it.
At first I noticed the mistakes and indiscriminations in her story.
I am rather keen on avoiding conspiracy theories, exaggerations and sweeping statements because they can be counterproductive. But you can also go too far in this.
First, I compare the beheadings ii-2 with the mutilations, then I deal with the phenomenon of ‘pharaonic circumcisions‘ and I conclude with remarks on Ann’s disturbing, upsetting and baffling presentation on Islamic Sexuality [A Survey of Evil]ⁱⁱⁱ.
The inhumanity of the beheadings by the jihadists -combined with the proud distribution of their images -in a way exceeds that of the gas chambers.
The cruelty is so unimaginable that hardly anyone dares to look at it.
And it is precisely that looking away, that lack of courage, that ultimately constitutes one of the greatest threats to the civilised world. Only when I realised that, I started to look for myself. Even if you realise in advance that they are only colour-changing pixels on a screen: it remains appallingly gruesome. Above all it is the time it takes to behead a person with a knife: incomparable to the death penalty by guillotine or executioner’s axe. The perpetrators clearly do not regard the victim – sometimes a random hostage – as an enemy, criminal or thoroughly evil person, but as a piece of cattle. And they cut. They cut and cut and cut.
When you watch a video like that, your thoughts automatically go to the bloodiness of the Muslim slaughter feast. [And if you are Dutch to the Linnaeusstraatⁱᵛ.]
Looking away from FGM’s disgusting practice is more shameful
The UN organization UNFPA, which is supposed to fight FGM, indicates that some of the girls, after the mincing and cutting in their genitals, die from complications as a result of this ‘surgery’, but does not give any figures. Strangely enough, no estimates even!
Every year, however, millions of girls are mutilated and hundreds of thousands of them are subjected to the most horrific category, type III, which is what this article is about. The number of deaths per year from this prehistoric custom alone is probably greater than the number of beheadings according to Muslim custom by jihadists or at the behest of the tribal chiefs and warlords who rule locally, as in Saudi Arabia and Somalia. By ‘alone’ I mean: in addition to the millions of mutilated lives.
In Ann Barnhardt’s presentation, she shows an image of a victim of the torture/mutilation/humiliation of this category III.
Clitoris and labia minora are completely excised in this pharaonic ‘circumcision’. Circumcision within quotation marks, because that word is a weird, condoning word for this horrible practice. The child’s vagina is made into a large wound that is then sewn shut except for a very small opening. Look at the photo (in the clip) if you can handle it, and force yourself to realise what it means that this mutilation as ‘surgery’ has been relatively successful: With this victim, no large amount of scar tissue or strange deformity can be seen from the outside. The vagina is just gone, removed. It now looks like this person has two anuses. Zahra Abdi Hersi, a Somali woman “in the know” (experience expert), gave her book about large-scale mutilation the title: My womanhood taken away [‘Mijn vrouw-zijn ontnomen’].
What goes through the minds of adults from these sick, disgusting cultures when they see a girl who has not yet been mutilated naked? Abdi Hersi gives a hint to the answer. At the beginning of 2007, the Dutch newspaper Trouw had a curious articleᵛ about ‘female circumcision‘ for which she was interviewedᵛⁱ. Hersi:
Often the physical consequences of circumcision are mentioned. But pain gets used to, your body adapts. At the heart of the problem is the woman’s psyche. These women are traumatised. And as long as they don’t do anything about it, the problem remains. They are full of anger, hatred and revenge. It even goes so far that these mothers feel that their own daughters should feel what they have felt. They must also suffer as women.
But what would go through the mind of a father from such a culture?
After the traumatizing torture itself and the weeks that follow, when her thighs remain bound together, the misery is far from over, even if no complications have occurred after the mutilation itself. Not only has sex definitely taken on a completely different meaning for the victims: deliveries are accompanied by new chopping and cutting, because many victims are sewn up again after every birth, according to the UNFPA. (When discussing the video, I will return to this last statement).
There are no words that are adequately condemnatory to describe this absolute pinnacle of misogyny. UNFPA – the UN organisation that fights against it – gives an absurdly formulated explanation of what ‘deinfibulation’ means:
Often circumcised (sic) women are cut open on the first night of marriage (by the husband or by someone who performs circumcisions) so that the husband can be intimate with her.
The idea of using the word ‘intimate’ in this context…
‘If only the imam was against it’
This was the subtitle of the aforementioned article in newspaper Trouw.
So there seems to be a relation with the teachings of Muhammad …
However, the backwardness in civilization level evidenced by the practice of type III genital mutilation, is not measured in decades or centuries but in millennia. These crimes against femininity have been around for much longer than Mohammedanism has existed. Just like the name of Allah by the way, or the rituals around the Black Stone, so in itself this does not say much about the relation between the two phenomena.
Four factors contribute to the fact that the endless filth of Pharaonic mutilations is far from being eradicated. Not all four carry the same weight and their interdependence is actually the biggest obstacle in combating them.
In the first place, only women are the victims. Worldwide, women have less power and, moreover, women are on average less supportive of each other than men.
Remember that the male equivalent of pharaonic mutilation is not castration, but eunuching. The difference is that most women (in a way: unfortunately) do not become infertile because of that mutilation. Imagine if one hundred thousand men were made eunuchs every year! When someone merely exclaims that child rapists should only be castrated for punishment, this is already cause for great indignation!
Furthermore, there is a lot of uncertainty about the big difference between the mutilations in the different forms. The persistence of this ambiguity is facilitated by the widespread, sickly tendency (nowadays, in the West) to turn everything into theoretical matters of principle. Effectively, that is perhaps the worst form of relativization that exists. For example, you can lump the most colourful and casually worn headscarves together with burqas, but it promotes rather than curbs the petty evil of headscarves, while it has no effect on the horror of the burqas, the real ones.
And then there are those two giant taboos: sexual organs and Mohammedanism.
Just another short century
To begin with, these four factors together already ensure that it is still difficult to obtain reliable information.
Not about what FGM entails or more specifically the mutilation of type III: that is crystal clear.
On the wikipedia page about Female genital mutilation there is a link to the incredible reportᵛⁱⁱ of the above pictured Mrs Lightfoot-Klein. How infinitely far the compassion, commitment and integrity of this former English teacher surpasses that of cynical power politicians like Mahatma Gandhi or Obama Barack!ᵛⁱⁱⁱ
One quote from the long, dazzling story:
In some women, the scar tissue is so hardened and overgrown with keloidal formations that it can only be cut with very strong surgical scissors, as is reported by doctors who relate cases where they broke scalpels in the attempt.
A chastity belt of hardened scar tissue. Read the full story.
It is much more difficult to get a good picture of the numbers of victims. Many figures, for example, relate to all types of mutilation together.
This is also the case, for example, in statistics from the American PRBⁱx.
For example, the overall percentage for Egypt is almost as high as in the absolutely disastrous countries of Somalia and Djibouti, but there is no data by type. The UNFPA regularly uses uplifting headlines in its reporting about reducing the phenomenon. For example, they write about ‘8,000 communities’ who have renounced cutting, or about the number of ‘spiritual leaders’ who have explicitly spoken out against it. Quite distorted. At best, there is talk of ‘keeping up the courage’, but there is also a painful amount of PR for one’s own organisations.
The PRB provides figures from a number of countries on the occurrence at two points in time at intervals of a number of years. Then you can calculate how long it would take, at this rate of reduction, before the phenomenon is eradicated. For Gambia and Chad, there is no decline at all.
In countries such as Côte d’Ivoire and the Central African Republic it could take ‘just’ 25 years, but for Ethiopia, Mali and Egypt, it could take another 100 years or so.
The anger of Ann Barnhardt: this is evil
Is everything she says correct? No, certainly not. Does she exaggerate? Yes, definitely. Does she generalise? Yes, a lot, and that is the weakest side of her story.
However, there is something in return.
At the same time, her video clips contain more and more important truths than can be heard in a year’s time from the mouths of all speakers together in the UN General Assembly.
The fact that Ann is furious does not alter the fact that she is also very intelligent. I therefore decided to write to her about what I think was wrong with her claims. It turned out not to be easy. I noticed that I hadn’t given enough thought to a number of questions and there was more to her story than I had realised after the first viewing.
She makes a direct link between pasthun-style pedophilia on the one hand and severe genital mutilation on the other. In this hideous culture that rages on in Afghanistan and Pakistan, there is a saying: “Women are for procreation, boys for pleasure and melons for pure pleasure“. Barnhardt suggests that part of “Islamic sexuality” is to modify the genitals of the women so that they become more like a boy’s anus.
What a sweeping statement! There is also a lot that is wrong with it.
The severe mutilation of women is an African practice that predates Christ and Muhammad. Christians in Africa have made far too little effort to combat this evil, but Mohammedans have exported this practice to other parts of the world! The Islam apologists can fend off the fact that it does not occur in Saudi Arabia and in large parts of the Muslim world, but that that mutilation also takes place in Kurdistan and Indonesia is really thanks to Mohammedans.
They also brought the custom to a part of India. Under a pseudonym, a woman raised this issue with the Leader of the relevant Muslim sub sectxⁱ at the end of 2011:
Tasleem further states: “This is an African custom dating back to Before Christ. Even the Christian tribes in some African countries perform this. Some Maulla (Bohri priest) brought it to India and they think it is an Islamic mandatory. The funny thing is that most Bohri men do not even know about this (sic). (…) A lot of bullshit reasons like it ‘prevents cancer’, ‘prevents white discharge’ etc is given. However, the bottomline is to keep the girl in control.”
And that is what appeals to Mohammedans who matter, people with a Muslim agenda.
The founder of Mohammedanism was familiar with the practice and spoke about it in vague terms. Intentionally, it seems. Not in the Qur’an, but in the Hadith it is noted that he urges ‘not to cut too deep’. Which can therefore be understood both as consent to this sordid practice and as a kind of ‘call for moderation’. With the latter, this statement is in accordance with the tenor of the Qur’an:
There too, ‘moderate’ statements often follow shortly after pronounced ‘extremist-like’ ones, to use another euphemism.
Most of the girls are subjected to the torture/mutilation/humiliation when they are between 7 and 11 years old. This contrasts particularly with the relatively insignificant male circumcision. Ann says this is intentional.
She’s right: deliberately not sedated and at an age when they can still remember.
Ann is right: this is ‘evil’.
Islam ‘scholars’ speak out
In the mind of the ulama, the teachings of Muhammad have five possible attitudes towards all types of behavior: >obligatory, >recommended, >permitted, >discouraged and >forbidden.
An unequivocal rejection only stems from recent years. In previous centuries, genital mutilation was often considered ‘permitted’. The organisation Religious Tolerance listed a number of fatwas on the subject, from the Egyptian Fatwa Committee.
28 May 1949: It was indicated that rejecting FGM is not wrong.
23 June 1951: It was indicated that FGM is desirable because (sic) it reduces (sexual) lust. The statement went on to say that medical considerations regarding the practice were irrelevant. 29 January 1981: The Sheikh of Al-Azhar stated that parents should follow the teachings of Mohammed and not listen to medical authorities because they often change their minds. Parents should do their duty and have their daughters circumcised.
And then on 24 June 2007: The Mufti of Egypt, Ali Gum’s announced that: “… this practice is prohibited.”
The organisation also mentions that a major breakthrough in this area was achieved in 2006 at a conference where the sheikh and mufti of the Al-Azhar university were also present. The conference was sponsored by a German human rights organisation …
The change in position of a number of Muslim leaders obviously means progress, but the question of whether it would have happened without outside pressure is, in fact, already answered. The men of Al-Azhar have a big name in the Muslim world, but they have no formal authority.
Because one wants to remain optimistic against one’s better judgement, I went to the website of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation. What I suspected and feared: just as there is no news about Kurds or Biharis, there is no news about FGM. They are busy enough propagating the suffering of the Palestinians, lying about ‘Islamophobia’ and supporting Muslim separatist movements, terrorist or otherwise, in all parts of the world.
The teachings of Muhammad know this concept of ‘jahilliya’, steeped in contempt. It is not used by all Mohammedans, but in my opinion, not one of them disputes that this concept exists. It means something like “the dark age before Islam“xⁱⁱ.
The history of conquered countries is adapted to Arab lies. And there is an official doctrine about that! With that in mind, think again about the excuse that Pharaonic mutilation predates Islam.
The quality of women’s lives is not a priority for those with a Muslim agenda.
It is monumental hypocrisy.
As far as the link with homosexuality is concerned, it is the superlative of that. The idea that in homosexual contact only one of the two is actually gay and the other a real macho does not originate from before the era but from before humanity. It’s just monkey behaviour.
My very first experience with the world of Mohammed was with a gay like that. As a 17-year-old I did an internship on the work floor of a shipyard and was groped by a big fat Turk. Totally bewildered, I just scolded him and pushed him away. Now I would aim at his larynx.
Initially I wanted to throw at Ann that the Pashtun culture is, literally, very far removed from the pharaonic mutilation. But after reading Mrs. Lightfoot’s story, I had to take some of that back:
The penetration of the bride’s infibulation takes anywhere from 3 or 4 days to several months. Some men are unable to penetrate their wives at all (in my study over 15%), and the task is often accomplished by a midwife under conditions of great secrecy, since this reflects negatively on the man’s potency. Some who are unable to penetrate their wives manage to get them pregnant in spite of the infibulation, and the woman’s vaginal passage is then cut open to allow birth to take place. A great deal of marital anal intercourse takes place in cases where the wife can not be penetrated– quite logically in a culture where homosexual anal intercourse is a commonly accepted premarital recourse among men-but this is not readily discussed.
The little phrase in bold (by me) points back to that ‘deinfibulation’ from the beginning of this article. Seeing Ann’s clip forced me to think about the comment I had taken from Religious Tolerance. Physically, this could not be right, could it? Surely the chastity belt of flesh would not be restored after the birth of a child? I now read with Lightfoot about a case of a woman who remarried and where this happened: to give the new husband/owner again that special feeling when enlarging the fuck hole…
Had Religious Tolerance misinterpreted this one mention or was Ann’s sweeping statement correct after all? The wife as a surrogate for paedophile homosexuality? I hope the former, but I’m not so sure anymore.
The former idol of Achmed Marcouch
The final number goes to the man from the subtitle: Yusuf Al Qaradawi.
The Center for Islamic Pluralism -the most honourable organisation of Muslims that I have discovered so far- quoted him extensively in their report A guide to shariah law and Islamist ideology in western Europe.
However, the most moderate opinion and the most likely one to be correct is in favour of practising circumcision in the moderate Islamic way indicated in some of the Prophet’s hadiths – even though such hadiths are not confirmed to be authentic. It is reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said to a midwife: ‘Reduce the size of the clitoris but do not exceed the limit, for that is better for her health and is preferred by husbands.’ (…) ‘Actually, Muslim countries differ over the issue of female circumcision; some countries sanction it whereas others do not. Anyhow, it is not obligatory, whoever finds it serving the interest of his daughters should do it, and I personally support this under the current circumstances in the modern world. But whoever chooses not to do it is not considered to have committed a sin for it is mainly meant to dignify women as held by scholars’
He says himself that he relies on unreliable hadith…
I repeat this: he says himself that he bases himself on unreliable hadith.
Yes, in a way Dutroux -the Belgian raper and murderer of young girls- compares favourably with this ‘Islamist scholar’ creature.
This article is a lightly edited and updated version of a piece with the same title and subtitle I published the original version on islamofobie.nl, 19-02-2012
That version was seen there by about 20000 people
Notes after the appendix
Tasleem states: “This is an African custom dating back to Before Christ. Even the Christian tribes in some African countries perform this. Some Maulla (Bohri priest) brought it to India and they think it is an Islamic mandatory. The funny thing is that most Bohri men do not even know about this. In most of the cases, it is only after their marriage they are informed about this by their respective wives. I also spoke to some Bohri fathers who didn’t know that it had happened to their wives and daughters. A lot of bullshit reasons like it ‘prevents cancer’, ‘prevents white discharge’ etc is given. However, the bottomline is to keep the girl in control. And like they say a slave falls in love with his chains, the mother forgets the ordeal she went through and gets it done to her little girl. And so the tradition continues. If you can help me raise awareness and get signatures, I’d be extremely grateful to you on behalf of all Bohri girls.”
The issue of Female Genital Mutilation amongst Bohra Muslims raised by Tasleem is surely an important one, particularly when it is being practiced in the name of Islam. This also brings into sharp focus the unholy and absurd role being played by the Bohra clergy, as well as by the clergy of other Muslim sects on most occasions. This important issue has also highlighted the vulnerability of Muslim masses and the stranglehold that the Muslim clergy seeks to further tighten on the community. And, this sad spectacle by the Muslim clergy is being displayed at a time when Muslims in large numbers are gaining modern education and seeking to empower themselves.
The practice of male circumcision is universal in the Islamic countries, while female circumcision (sunna) is not. In Saudi Arabia, which is considered the cradle of Islam, the practice of female circumcision doesn’t take place at all. In Asia, the countries where female circumcision is practiced, includes Malaysia, Indonesia, southern parts of the Arab Peninsula, along the Persian Gulf, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, South Yemen and among some sects in Pakistan and Russia. However, in India FGM is widely prevalent among a Muslim sect called the Daudi Bohras, which is an Ismaili Shia sect, numbering approximately half a million and concentrated in the western states of Maharastra and Gujarat. Those residing outside India are primarily found in Pakistan and Eastern Africa. A highly organised sect, they have a spiritual head known as Dai, Maulana or Syedna. Despite the fact that the sect prides itself on being modern in terms of education, occupation and family planning, His Holiness Dr. Syedna Muhammad Burhanuddin continues to exercise considerable control over his followers.
The Bohras of India belong to the Shia Ismaili faith. [My emphasis, FG] The Ismailis effectively challenged the Abbasids— the Arab Sunni rulers, and succeeded, with the help of the Berber tribe, in establishing their own state called the Fatimid state, in North Africa which later extended to Egypt and Yemen. The Ismaili movement, from its inception was a proselytising mission which had spread the network of its missionaries to countries like Persia, Central Asia, Yemen and India. In the eleventh century two missionaries from Egypt and later a few from Yemen landed at the port of Cambay and sought converts to the Ismaili faith. The Bohras imbibed the traditions of the new religion in a thorough manner. Its followers in India have been very scrupulous followers of all the practices prescribed by the shariat.
Besides Bohras, there are similar two other Muslim sects — the Khojas and the Memons. All the three sects are petty business communities from Gujarat, are well structured, and have similar and contemporaneous origin. Though these three Muslim sects hold similarities, but the Khojas and the Memos do not undertake the practice of female circumcision.
ⁱ I wrote it in 2010. Unfortunately, it has hardly lost any of its topicality. This book -in Dutch only- is still available: Here
ⁱⁱ She used that expression in a video, which unfortunately was viewed by less than one million people. She discussed statements by Lindsey Graham who had made exceptional statements about a Texan minister who wrote a Qur’an went to burn. After that meeting, Ann burned a number of pages from her copy of the Qur’an. A direct link to YouTube
ii-2 Take note: there is an important difference between ‘decapitation’ and ‘beheading’: the first is cutting off the head of a dead body, the second is the jihadist practice.
ⁱⁱⁱ The YouTube clips in the original location are gone. Now (July 2017) mirror versions appear to have been placed. Here is one
ⁱᵛ The place where Mohammed Bouyeri on 2 November 2004 shot Theo van Gogh and then started cutting off his head.
ᵛⁱ The left-wing smear campaign against Hirsi Ali, not slowed down by the murder of Theo van Gogh (or inspired by it, there’s no telling) was already well underway, but she had not yet been effectively chased out of the country. Out of Hersi’s mouth, Trouw was able to record a sneer at Hirsi Ali too …
ᵛⁱⁱ Direct link
ⁱx The Population Reference Bureau. Report can be downloaded (PDF) Here
x Fancy that: I came across a file by UNFPA and UNICEF that seemed to be almost entirely devoted to their exemplary mutual cooperation…
xⁱ The link to the original article is now dead. That is why I have included its text as an annex. A few years later, the letter writer started a petition – addressed to that ‘Leader’ – which was supported by only a few thousand people.
xⁱⁱWhen you download and read this piece it is easier to understand and remember that there is no country in the world where Mohammedanism is hated as fiercely as in Iran.
xiii Mr. Marchouch is a Dutch social democrat politician. Nowadays mayor of middel-sized city Arnhem.