We see it again and again with feminists: defending Islam trumps their concern for the rights of women, just as we see with gay rights activists such as Theresa Sparks and Chris Stedman that defending Islam trumps their concern for the persecution of gays in Muslim countries. What is behind this odd calculus is a mystery, but there is no doubt that in the Leftist hierarchy of pet causes, the defense of Islam today overrides everything else.
Greer is, of course, flatly wrong about female genital mutilation, which is indeed sanctioned in Islam (as is child marriage). “Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) (by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the bazr ‘clitoris’ [this is called khufaadh ‘female circumcision’]).” — ‘Umdat al-Salik e4.3, translated by Mark Durie, The Third Choice, p. 64
Why is it obligatory? Because Muhammad is held to have said so: “Abu al- Malih ibn Usama’s father relates that the Prophet said: ‘Circumcision is a law for men and a preservation of honour for women.’” — Ahmad Ibn Hanbal 5:75
“Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah: A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to her: ‘Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.’” — Abu Dawud 41:5251
“Do not cut severely,” but not “Do not cut.”
That’s why it is so common around the world. A Muslim cleric in Russia said that “all women should be circumcised.” A Muslim cleric in India likewise urged that it be done. A Muslim cleric in Australia said that Islamic law permitted the practice. A leading U.S. Muslim jurist from the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) said it was an “honor” in Islam. A marabout — a Muslim holy man — was arrested in France for having it done on his daughters. In the UK, there were 5,500 cases of FGM in 2016 alone. It is commonly claimed to be an East African problem, but 93% of Muslim women in Malaysia have suffered this procedure, and it is common in Indonesia. In one province in Iran, 60% of the women have suffered FGM.
“Citizenships, Skilled Workers and Mushrooms,” ABC.net.au, April 24, 2017 (thanks to Sidney):
Well, I mean, one thing we do know, there appears to be questions about child marriage, genital mutilation and striking your spouse. Are they likely to feed fears about Islam, or answer fears about Islam?
Well, certainly domestic violence is a challenge across the whole of our country. Across the whole of our country. And any attempt to narrow down domestic violence as anything other than a national crisis, I think is a misrepresentation of what we’re dealing with.
But are you suggesting that might be the case here?
Well, no, no. You just put that to me and I’m saying that I don’t accept a reference to domestic violence should ever be seen…
But the three things together – genital mutilation, domestic violence, striking your spouse. And considering the background of those women from Hizb-ut Tahrir who put out the video saying that it’s OK for their husbands to strike them, do you think these things are related?
Whether they’re related in terms of motivation is an issue for the government to say. They have claimed that they’re not related in terms of motivation. Issues that you go through are not issues that characterise Islam.
This is a…
I’ll come back to you, I promise.
This is a deliberately loaded gun and I support the government on it. Because if you say yes or no on your application about domestic violence or child marriage, which is child rape, and then you…and genital mutilation, if down the track you are found to have been involved in any of that, the government can go back and say, “You lied on your application, therefore it’s a fraud and we can deport you.” And I think that’s a wise thing to have. It’s an insurance policy for the government, I applaud them for it.
So, just going back to the question I asked Tony Burke, do you think that fear of Islam has anything to do…?
Yes, I do. I think the government is fudging this. I think that’s what it’s there for, but I accept it and I applaud it.
Germaine Greer, do you accept that?
No, I don’t, really, because it’s not Islam. And it’s the sort of caricature of Islam that we keep promulgating. But it… All of this is weird. I mean, one of the commonest operations in the United States is reduction of the labia minora. And it costs you $8,000 or something, and it’s carried out massively. Huge, thousands, hundreds of thousands of cases a year.
But do you class that as genital mutilation?
Well, I class circumcision as genital mutilation. Sorry, guys. If you’re going to really deal with this question of genital mutilation, start paying attention. Find out what happens to human genitalia. It’s not pretty and you mightn’t like it, but you’re going to be in a pretty silly situation if you start, you know, doing the – what did we used to call it? – the short-arm test, at the passport control. “Let me see if you’ve been mutilated.” And why does that particular mutilation have this kudos? Why is it such an important thing? Why does God like it? I don’t think God likes it at all. I think God should take issue….
The thing you’re assuming is that in child marriage, there will be sexual intercourse. Now, if you actually look at the background to the way in which families marry, say, in village India, it’s not expected that the little girl will be subject to sexual intercourse. That will be controlled by her mother-in-law, probably, and access to the child will only be allowed when she’s considered to be old enough to be able to deal with it.
And this… Well, that used to be the British age…
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