LONDON, England (AP) — Female genital mutilation, commonly associated with parts of Africa and the Middle East, is becoming a growing problem in Britain despite authorities’ efforts to stamp it out.
I enjoy learning about other cultures, and enjoy many of the gifts that those cultures bring — music, art, food, architecture, literature. However, to criticize any aspect of another culture often provokes accusations of ethnocentrism, if not downright racism, from many on the left, who seem to behave as though the only culture with flaws is our own.
We can appreciate that which is good about African and Middle Eastern cultures, and still decry female genital mutilation (FGM) as a barbaric, backwards practice. This practice is an affront to women, and is an affront to our Creator. To take a helpless child and to disfigure her body is horrible, and though I would not presume to know the mind of God, I cannot help but think that it must be a grave sin.
Female genital mutilation usually involves the removal of the clitoris and other parts of female genitalia. Those who practice it say it tames a girl’s sexual desire and maintains her honor.
Horsefeathers. Teaching girls respect for themselves, their families, and their God is what maintains her honor. Honor is in the brain and the heart, not in the genitals. If a girl has sin in her heart, then it matters not what is between her legs. This practice is not only barbaric, backward, and horrible, but it is based on false assumptions and does nothing to actually teach girls and women to behave honorably and with virtue.
It is practiced by Muslims and Christians alike, deeply rooted in the Nile Valley region and parts of sub-Saharan African, and is also done in Yemen and Oman. Through migration, the practice has spread to Western countries like Britain.
Between 100 million and 140 million women are believed to have been subjected to the practice in Africa and an additional 3 million girls face the threat of female genital mutilation every year, according to UNICEF
The thought that any of my fellow Christians would do this to a young girl saddens me deeply. I would urge everybody here to contact their religious and political leaders, to ask them to bring this problem to the forefront. If the world’s religious leaders and political leaders can unite in speaking out against this atrocity, we might be able to relegate FGM to the history books, and show those subsets of African and Middle Eastern culture that a woman’s honor and virtue can be controlled by her own mind and heart, and that they do not need to be instilled by force.