Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Genital Mutilation Barbarism

The article below is stunning firstly for revealing how this barbarism of female genital mutilations (FGM) is today being progressively sanitized within mainstream Indonesia, now being performed en-mass within the schools.  Of course, male genital mutilations (MGM) are performed on boys in all Muslim nations, and even in the USA where it is declining from a high of around 80%  in the 1950s to now "only" around 50% of all baby boys.  Even Jews are questioning this practice.  But in the Muslim world, female genital mutilations constitute the worst of the problem, and they are increasingly sanctified and approved by Islamic clergy even as international organizations oppose them.  Many non-Muslims in the West tend to facilitate the spreading of FGM, via the multicultural dictum of "don't criticise", and generous applications of Orwellian double-speak.

It is revealing how the barbarism of FGM is justified by Muslims as a measure to "stamp out female sexual feeling".  They are quite open about it.  But in the West, Muslim apologists cloak everything behind a mask, as if they really didn't mean it when they said such things about crushing female sexuality.  So while Muslims continue to speak about the devilish and dirty nature of female sexuality and sexual organs, Westerners fall over themselves trying to fabricate excuses for them.  As with the new term "genital cutting" which is the politically-correct thing to say instead of genital mutilation.  We aren't supposed to remind people that having your genitals cut with knives and razors constitutes a mutilation, aimed at stamping out your capacity for sexual pleasure.  As opposed to something "surgical" as with "cutting".  And of course, "cutting" suggests a legitimate reason, as with doctors and hospitals, while the term "mutilation" exposes the motivations of sexual hatred, which stands behind the urge to mutilate the healthy genitals of children.  Such barbarism now being done in the schools also no longer requires a cultural context, as the extended family or village no longer is involved.  It is now so "space age" and "high-tech", being done right in the schools by a squad of "medical specialists" (in reality a gang of brutal, cold and hateful women).   It is now "hygienic" and "for the health".

The article below is secondly stunning in how the NYT tries to soft-pedal all these components of sexual hatred, even with the outrageous quack-medical statement "The circumcision of boys... has demonstrated health benefits, namely reduced risk of infection and some protection against H.I.V."  Outrageous lies from quack academics and emotionally-fixated penis-cutters.  They won't tell you, the same worthless "correlation" studies which are abused to justify MGM, also showed correlations to female genital mutilations -- but they didn't have the audacity to claim that "female genital mutilation ... has demonstrated health benefits, namely reduced risk of infection and some protection against H.I.V." !!

This is not surprising, as the NY Times has a long history of general ridicule and misrepresentation of the anti-male-circumcision movement in the USA, as have most other self-described "progressive" news media, something they also generally did/do with social movements embracing home-birth, gentle child-birth, free schools and home-schooling, anti-vaccination, AIDS criticism, and holistic or natural healing social movements.  Such is the contempt the "progressives" have for living life, and the background to their chronically derogatory remarks about insightful social pioneers like Wilhelm Reich.

The mutilations in Indonesia are not as severe as in North Africa, where the infibulation requires a girls' entire clitoris and labia to be cut and scraped away, the vaginal opening sewed up almost completely, and the girls in a nearly paralytic coma over weeks. But the Times does not reveal the historical connections between the two regions, or why they are more severe in the one region, as compared to others.  The worst of the genital mutilations historically existed in NE Africa, which may reflect their origins in ancient Egyptian society.  But they spread and became more severe over time through outward-spreading migrations and invasions.  By the first millennium AD, infibulation was used to "certify" the virginity of captured slave girls destined for harems of the Middle East. Boys of the same regions, captured to make eunuchs for the pedophile Sheiks, were fully castrated, a barbarism leaving up to 90% of them dead.  Survivors were marched north, in chains, to feed a barbaric slave trade.  The brutality of Arab Muslim slavers and rapers continues in those same regions today, as seen in Darfur, which has become a magnet for Jihad-fanatics across tribal North Africa, whose men are flocking to that miserable region to get their "free land" and "free women" even as the world does nothing of substance about it, except perhaps to willfully turn their heads away from the gruesome scenes.  Sudan now has oil to export, you see, so everyone must genuflect to the God of Petroleum.

Male genital mutilations in some Red Sea areas were also far more brutal than anything imaginable elsewhere, almost as bad as castration, and you'll have to buy my book (below) to get the details, as they are simply too horrific to repeat in polite society, worse than FGM in fact.  This is perhaps a "hidden reason" for the severe sex-hatred and genital anxiety of adult men from those same regions today -- Saudi and Yemini Wahhibism (from which the likes of Osama Bin Ladin came) appears so founded, and around 1900 the men who suffered those ordeals were on a mission to kill everyone who wasn't so badly mutilated as themselves.  The worst of the Wahhabs were beaten back by British forces during WW-I, and now of course they have Trillions in petro-dollars to spread their violence globally.  Socially, these sexual issues stand behind the fanatical demand to isolate themselves from "foreigners" (who do not mutilate) so as not to "contaminate" their society with -- by their words -- the "filth" of the infidels (meaning, their intact genitals and healthier attitudes about body functions).  From those regions, Islamic traders, raiders and slavers settled across Indonesia and brought these ghastly practices (an a whole lot more) with them, but geographical distance from the African and Middle East zones of slavery and most-severe genital mutilations, coupled with intermarriage with local people, and much time, reduced the worst of the genital mutilations into milder forms.  Native Indonesian converts to Islam were loathe to inflict the full measure of mutilation and pain upon their children.

But now the practices are at risk of amplifying and spreading further, through the agency of the unified approvals and organization of both Mosque and State.  Indonesia is going Islamic Full Bore, and so the State will take over and do it assembly-line manner even in the schools!   Even while certain members of the Indonesian health-care system speak out against such practices, the whole thing stinks of a "New Medicalization" of a barbaric act, which by virtue of getting the sanitization-certification by "teachers" in the official schools, funded by official Islamic charities, will spread further. While it is only special "nurses" who perform the acts, you can bet local doctors and hospitals or clinics are not protesting this, because if they dared to do so, they would become social outcasts, possibly with their lives at risk.

Once such practices become institutionalized, organized within state or school or medical structures, they become damn near impossible to eliminate.  Especially when supported by government funding -- being "free" adds to the easy shrugging-off of the practices by fence-sitting parents who might otherwise object.  And it is not clear if a parent could object in these cases.  Would the local Islamic clergy allow someone to "object" and keep their daughter intact?  To "remain unclean"?  In most Islamic societies, it is nearly impossible to be a social dissenter on anything of importance.  The article below, typical of the NYT, doesn't mention that by the standards of cultures which emphasize genital mutilations, a woman with a clitoris, or a man with a foreskin, are considered "filthy" and "unclean", something like a dog which "fornicates in the street" and "rolls in the mud".  In the Arab Muslim world, the worst insult one can possibly hurl at another man is to call him the "son of an uncircumcised woman".

I predict this sort of sanitization of genital mutilations, with the "official" stamp of approval and now the claim they "prevent AIDS", will pave the way for similar approvals of them within Muslim populations living in the Western nations, particularly within "Islamic schools", and from there even into non-Muslim populations.   Don't believe that's possible?  Look what already is happening in New York among Muslim populations, where public rituals of self-flagellation are already occurring:
Little boys are also "trained" to do this to themselves, a public sado-masochism no different from what the Catholics do in the Opus Dei cult.  A high percentage of Catholics once self-flagellated, and the bell-ringing in the church, at the time of my childhood, required everyone to make a symbolic chest-touching, a remnant practice from the days when people used whips on themselves.  Islam has not reformed on any of these things, except in very small measures due to geographical distance from the dead heart of Arabia.

This article exposes what appears to be an attempt to render the horrific genital mutilations into something hygienic and more globally acceptable, an effort by Muslims to rid themselves of the condemnations of more civilized cultures... so FGM is no longer performed down in the dirt, with village women beating on drums and tambourines, chanting loudly to drown out the hysterical screams of the young girls.  No, they have figured out, the West will object far less if the most sensitive parts of the genitals are cut away under "sanitary conditions", in rooms similar to a "dentist's office", a "room with toys".  The push is on, to make FGM as "acceptable" within the medical community as MGM is within certain Western nations, "acceptable" as in American hospitals where baby boys have their sensitive foreskins shred away, where the stunned reactions of babies are muffled behind closed doors, and all the masked and gowned mutilators consider themselves better than the Voo Doo sadist-priests who do it in the jungle or temples, or who do it to little girls.  One could forget, these all are barbaric acts designed to stamp out sexual feelings, with MGM to "tame the penis", and FGM to wipe out sexual feeling totally, to cut away parts of the emotional and sexual lives, and humanity of the victims, and make them into something deadened and less alive, more cold-heartedly fanatical, just like those who celebrate or perform the mutilations.

All of these aspects are elucidated in greater detail in my Saharasia book:

James DeMeo




A Cutting Tradition

When a girl is taken - usually by her mother - to a free circumcision event held each spring in Bandung, Indonesia, she is handed over to a small group of women who, swiftly and yet with apparent affection, cut off a small piece of her genitals. Sponsored by the Assalaam Foundation, an Islamic educational and social-services organization, circumcisions take place in a prayer center or an emptied-out elementary-school classroom where desks are pushed together and covered with sheets and a pillow to serve as makeshift beds. The procedure takes several minutes. There is little blood involved. Afterward, the girl's genital area is swabbed with the antiseptic Betadine. She is then helped back into her underwear and returned to a waiting area, where she's given a small, celebratory gift - some fruit or a donated piece of clothing - and offered a cup of milk for refreshment. She has now joined a quiet majority in Indonesia, where, according to a 2003 study by the Population Council, an international research group, 96 percent of families surveyed reported that their daughters had undergone some form of circumcision by the time they reached 14.

These photos were taken in April 2006, at the foundation's annual mass circumcision, which is free and open to the public and

held during the lunar month marking the birth of the prophet Muhammad. The Assalaam Foundation runs several schools and a mosque in Bandung, Indonesia's third-largest city and the capital of West Java. The photographer Stephanie Sinclair was taken to the circumcision event by a reproductive-health observer from Jakarta and allowed to spend several hours there. Over the course of that Sunday morning, more than 200 girls were circumcised, many of them appearing to be under the age of 5. Meanwhile, in a nearby building, more than 100 boys underwent a traditional circumcision as well.

According to Lukman Hakim, the foundation's chairman of social services, there are three "benefits" to circumcising girls.

"One, it will stabilize her libido," he said through an interpreter. "Two, it will make a woman look more beautiful in the eyes of her husband. And three, it will balance her psychology."

Female genital cutting - commonly identified among international human rights groups as female genital mutilation - has been outlawed in 15 African countries. Many industrialized countries also have similar laws. Both France and the U.S. have prosecuted immigrant residents for performing female circumcisions.

In Indonesia, home to the world's largest Muslim population, a debate over whether to ban female circumcision is in its early stages. The Ministry of Health has issued a decree forbidding medical personnel to practice it, but the decree which has yet to be backed by legislation does not affect traditional circumcisers and birth attendants, who are thought to do most female circumcisions. Many agree that a full ban is unlikely without strong support from the country's religious leaders. According to the Population Council study, many Indonesians view circumcision for boys and girls as a religious duty.

Female circumcision in Indonesia is reported to be less extreme than the kind practiced in other parts of the globe - Africa, particularly. Worldwide, female genital cutting affects up to 140 million women and girls in varying degrees of severity, according to estimates from the World Health Organization. The most common form of female genital cutting, representing about 80 percent of cases around the world, includes the excision of the clitoris and the labia minora. A more extreme version of the practice, known as Pharaonic circumcision or infibulation, accounts for 15 percent of cases globally and involves the removal of all external genitalia and a stitching up of the vaginal opening.

Studies have shown that in some parts of Indonesia, female circumcision is more ritualistic - a rite of passage meant to purify the genitals and bestow gender identity on a female child - with a practitioner rubbing turmeric on the genitals or pricking the clitoris once with a needle to draw a symbolic drop of blood. In other instances, the procedure is more invasive, involving what WHO classifies as "Type I" female genital mutilation, defined as excision of the clitoral hood, called the prepuce, with or without incision of the clitoris itself. The Population Council's 2003 study said that 82 percent of Indonesian mothers who witnessed their daughters' circumcision reported that it involved "cutting." The women most often identified the clitoris as the affected body part. The amount of flesh removed, if any, was alternately described by circumcisers as being the size of a quarter-grain of rice, a guava seed, a bean, the tip of a leaf, the head of a needle.

At the Assalaam Foundation, traditional circumcisers say they learn the practice from other women during several years of apprenticing. Siti Rukasitta, who has been a circumciser at the foundation for 20 years, said through an interpreter that they use a small pair of sterilized scissors to cut a piece of the clitoral prepuce about the size of a nail clipping. Population Council observers who visited the event before the 2003 study, however, reported that they also witnessed some cases of circumcisers cutting the clitoris itself.

Any distinction between injuring the clitoris or the clitoral hood is irrelevant, says Laura Guarenti, an obstetrician and WHO's medical officer for child and maternal health in Jakarta. "The fact is there is absolutely no medical value in circumcising girls," she says. "It is 100 percent the wrong thing to be doing." The circumcision of boys, she adds, has demonstrated health benefits, namely reduced risk of infection and some protection against H.I.V.

Nonetheless, as Western awareness of female genital cutting has grown, anthropologists, policy makers and health officials have warned against blindly judging those who practice it, saying that progress is best made by working with local leaders and opinion-makers to gradually shift the public discussion of female circumcision from what it's believed to bestow upon a girl toward what it takes away. "These mothers believe they are doing something good for their children," Guarenti, a native of Italy, told me. "For our culture that is not easily understandable. To judge them harshly is to isolate them. You cannot make change that way."


PS. from James DeMeo:  The last paragraph of the article above is a falsehood. Firstly, only SOME "anthropologists, policy makers and health officials" are warning against what they claim is "blind judgement".  Those "professionals" who "warn" against clear-speaking in fact appear more sympathetic towards the people who do the mutilations, than they are to the victims.  While parents and nurses and doctors may exhibit "outrage reactions" in having their knife-attacks upon the sexual organs of children being called "mutilations", and themselves identified as "mutilators", in fact such clarity and public condemnation is a strong social vaccine which, when coupled with public education on the severe dangers and crippling nature of those mutilations, tends to convince more people against them, and more quickly.  Education is paramount, but this demands clear plain speaking, unapologetic total opposition to such practices, and an end to smooth-talking apologisms.  For example:  Starting in the 1800s, in areas of East Africa where the Catholic Church established clinics, faced with high rates of deaths and infections of girls subjected to genital mutilations, a decision was made by the Church leaders to make female genital mutilation more "sanitary" -- and so they trained their midwives how to do the dirty deed in their clinics.  That immediately lowered the complication rates from FGM, but led to their persistence over time. The Protestant missionaries also established clinics, but refused to allow their midwives to do such things, firing any of their staff who did so.  They made a public education program against the mutilations, publicly identified and condemned the mutilators, and worked to convince local leaders to outlaw the practices.   By the 1960s, female genital mutilation had declined dramatically in the Protestant regions, but had persisted or even increased in the Catholic areas.  The lesson is, you make changes in life-negative social institutions through clear and unapologetic public education statements in opposition to them, by publicly identifying the worst perpetrators, by not soft-peddling barbaric practices through politically-corrected language and "making nice", and by making emotional alliances with the victims of atrocity and not with those who perpetrate such abuses.

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