Female Genital Mutilation: Our Silence And The Lambs
Another Muslim Doctor in Michigan has been charged with mutilating little girl’s genitals in the name of his religion. Clearly this has now become an American problem and no longer something reserved for faraway hellholes we see only on TV. This is a problem that is already far more widespread than anyone would care to admit and one we simply cannot ignore. This must be met head on and stopped for all of our sake.
The truth is sobering and repulsive. This is just the beginning of such revelations in The United States the question is, what are we prepared to do about it?
The 53 year old Doctor, Fakhruddin Attar and his wife 50 year old Farida Attar are both jailed after charges were filed by the FBI for performing Female Genital Mutilation on young girls at a clinic in suburban Detroit. This comes just days after another local Doctor was arrested, charged with FGM and denied bail for the same cruel practice.
Prosecutors say the first Doctor, Jumana Nagarwala mutilated two 7 year old little girls, in observance of her Muslim beliefs. The doctrine she followed has left more than 200 million women scarred both physically and emotionally around the world. At least 500,000 here in the United States have been savagely assaulted in this way and disfigured for the rest of their lives. They have been violently indoctrinated into a culture where women are not even second-class citizens but in many cases are relegated to a much lower plane to an existence–on par with slavery. They are merely cattle available for sex, slaughter, or exploitation.
These women have been systematically programmed into believing their lives are not as valuable as their fathers and brothers. They have been taught that rheir lives are not as valuable as animals in the street. It is grotesque, although I think that is woefully inadequate in describing the horrors visited upon girls as young as four or five.
To understand the true depth of this depravity, you must understand fully and in graphic, specific terms. Female Genital Mutilation is classified in four categories according the World Health Organization. Those classifications are one of the following:
Type 1- Most commonly referred to as a clitoridectomy involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris but in some rare cases just the fold of skin surrounding the small sensitive portion of the female genitalia is removed.
Type 2- Most commonly called excision is the partial or total removal of the clitoris and labia minora and labia majora. These are the various folds of skin both inner and outer of the vulva.
Type 3- Infibulation is the actual sewing shut or narrowing of the vaginal opening and creating a cover by manipulating labia minora and labia majora. This occurs after the removal of the clitoris either partially or totally.
Type 4- Covers all other barbaric procedures to the female genitalia in addition to the first three that have no medical purpose and includes: incising, cauterizing, piercing and dismembering the female genitalia altogether.
As you can imagine, the violent sexual assault on these little girls is just the beginning of the nightmare. The World Health Organization reports that the damage is immediate and involves severe pain, excessive bleeding, genital swelling, fever, infections, urinary tract malfunctions, injury to surrounding tissue, shock and death.
As if that isn’t enough, long term issues listed on the WHO website include: painful urination, bacterial infections of the vaginal area, menstrual problems, vaginosis, scar tissue and keloid, sexual dysfunction and severe pain, increased risk during childbirth, higher infant mortality rates from excessive bleeding from the mother, additional surgeries to re-open vaginal access, psychological issues, depression and other long term debilitating physical and mental health issues.
Barbarism is far too gentle of a word for these reprehensible horrors visited upon these children. The medieval practices are usually performed when the girls are anywhere from 5 to 15, but can happen to women into their late 40’s. They are usually forcibly held down while the assault occurs and often by those that are supposed to be protecting–the doctor, their mother and other loved ones. The pain is unfathomable.
So it is time for some serious, sober questions about who we are and how we confront this deviance.
If we cannot protect these children that are as defenseless as lambs in the field then what does that say about us as Americans? How can we pontificate about American values of any sort on any level if we don’t put defending these children first and foremost? I do not care from where they come or if they are here legally or illegally. I do not care what religion they practice or what language they might speak. We must stand up for them, speak for them and ultimately protect them. If they are here and being brutalized it is up to us to look out for them. And that means all of us. This compassion and dedication to doing what is right is not easy but it is what makes us Americans.
Being appalled by this vile butchery is not Islamaphobia, it is not racist nor bigoted and should have nothing at all to do with being a Liberal or a Conservative or anything else. It has only to do with being a human being with just a modicum of common decency and the will to do the right thing, which of course is hunting this monster down and destroying it, no matter where it leads or what it takes.
As Americans we embrace those from many cultures, backgrounds, faith, persuasions, races and upbringing but we do not accept the violent sexual assault of children. We do not accept in any way Female Genital Mutilation and we never will. There is simply nothing to be argued here in the contrary.
Even more unsettling are these two facts; Michigan is 1 of 26 states that has no law on the books against these specific practices and worse, these people graduated from medical school. These Doctors has licenses to practice medicine or at least they did until now. How is that even possible? They know what they are doing is harmful and causes irreversible physical and psychological damage. They know it could kill the children they traumatize in this way. Yet somehow they made their way through school, passed their ethics classes and became medical doctors in America.
Several things must happen and must happen quickly. First, the Michigan Legislature must put forth strict laws with sentences on par for 1st degree criminal sexual conduct. I am calling on all state lawmakers to set aside any partisan politics and do what is without question the only right thing and that is protect these women and girls. This is not a partisan issue. This is not about politics or at least is shouldn’t be. This is a question of humanity.
I am also calling on Michigan’s two Senators, Democrats Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters to get moving on passing Federal Laws that will enact strict rules if children are carried over state lines to suffer FGM. Our members of Congress should also step forward and be heard on this issue. Similar laws should apply if the girls are taken out of the country on ‘vacation’ for the procedures to be performed. Willfully leaving the country to commit criminal acts against children only to return later should be dealt with harshly.
Furthermore the parents that knowingly allow FGM to occur or even worse go so far as to facilitate the barbarism; should face the most severe and rigid penalties possible for child endangerment, neglect, abuse and possibly more. They should be ashamed of what they have done and they should pay a very high price for such behavior. They should lose custody of their children as well.
Those of us standing up to defend little girls from being cut up, often in unsanitary conditions that can lead to infection, incontinence and often times painful deaths is not based in bigotry, or xenophobia or any other rhetorical talking point, it is rooted deeply in common decency, common sense and yes, common American values.
It is time for you to decide. Do you stand with me and against this horrible violent crime often perpetrated upon children or will you just stand silent and allow this slaughter of innocence to continue? I for one will not sit idly by while it goes on and believe me it is going on a lot more than you know. It is going on all over this country and around the world. It is time to stand as one and declare no more violence against little girls.
What are you going to do?