They Oppressed the Wrong Woman


Waris Dirie
Waris Dirie was born in the desert of Somalia. Her family were Muslim nomads. When she was 13 years old, her father announced to her he'd found her a husband and she would soon be wed. Her "groom to be" was an old man. She protested and begged, but the old man had already paid her father, so the deal was done.

The next morning, before her father awoke, she ran away. She took off into the desert knowing only that somewhere was a city named Mogadishu and somewhere in that city she had an aunt. Amazingly, after a very difficult journey, she found her aunt and stayed with her a short time. Then one of her uncles became the Somalian ambassador to the UK and would be stationed in London. Waris begged her uncle to take her with him to be a maid. He consented.

She eventually became a fashion model whose face adorned the covers of many glamour magazines.

At one point in her career, Waris had been interviewed many times. The interviews were always about how a barefoot Somalian nomad became a famous model. But one day as another of these interviews was beginning, Waris took a bold step. She said the rags to riches story had already been told. "Would you like a real story?" she asked.

She told the interviewer about the day she experienced female genital mutilation (FGM), an ancient practice of removing a woman's clitoris, labia minora, and labia majora. Waris was then sewn up with a small hole for urination, which is usually how it's done. This procedure guarantees that she will be a virgin when she gets married, and it ensures she will not feel pleasure during sex (and thus helps prevent infidelity). A girl is not considered marriageable if she is "uncut" — she is considered no better than a whore, so parents make sure she undergoes FGM.

The interviewer was moved and shaken by Waris's story. And the magazine had the guts to print it. This was the beginning of an increasing global awareness of FGM and a movement to do away with it, in the same way that binding girl's feet was banned in China in the early 1900s. Already several countries have committed themselves to eradicating the practice.

Banning FGM would not only save millions of girls from the horror, pain, and death caused by this barbaric practice (it is done to 8,000 girls a day worldwide, with one out of four girls dying from the procedure), it would also help to marginalize, discredit, and disempower orthodox Islam.

The practice is over 4000 years old, and it was taken for granted during Muhammad's lifetime that all women underwent FGM, so he mentioned it a few times as a forgone conclusion, and his mention was written down, so it has now been enshrined in Islamic doctrine as an Islamic practice. Fundamentalists want it to continue because whatever Muhammad said is right for all time.

Banning the procedure would stop this orthodox practice, which would help disempower the fundamentalism itself. Everywhere we can prevent an orthodox practice, like covering women or beating them for disobedience or FGM, we weaken the forces of orthodoxy. If some Islamic fundamentals can be abandoned or seen as wrong, other fundamentals might be more easily abandoned as well.

I encourage you to help your friends and family become aware of FGM. You don't even have to mention the word "Islam." Read Waris's story in her excellent book, Desert Flower (written with Cathleen Miller). And then share the book with people you know. Talk it up. And watch National Geographic's movie by the same name and share that too. This is a way to help innocent girls, a way to pit humanistic empathy against Islamic domination, and a way to get people involved in marginalizing orthodox Islam — people who might never otherwise get involved. The Islamic oppression of women can and should be stopped. Let's start by saving orthodox Islam's weakest and most innocent victims: Girls.


Walter Sieruk 8:06 AM  

This article brings to mind that Brigtte Gabriel exposed in her book THEY MUST BE STOPPED for she wrote "Across the Muslim world, even in moderate Islamic countries, women's rights are almost nonexistent...Women in islam are considered unclean, beem inferior even to dirt."
Islam is a cult of misogyny.

Anonymous 2:27 PM  

and a million babies are mutilated in america each year. everything you think you know about circumcision is a lie. 1 in 16,667 circumcisions are required for medical reasons; the rest are forced on babies because they wouldn't do it as adults (1 in 3000 do it by choice).

Citizen Warrior 3:54 PM  

The circumcisions you are talking about occurring in America are removing the foreskin from male babies. This is a minor surgery. What occurs with FGM is the complete removal of the clitoris, the labia minora, and the labia majora. Not only is this a far more destructive and invasive procedure, the health and quality of life consequences are far more severe.

Although male circumcision can be called "mutilation" and FGM has been called circumcision, they should not be considered even close to the same thing.

Walter Sieruk 10:40 AM  

Much anti-females beliefs in is are based on the Quran. An important question: is the Quran the Word of God or is it a fabrication of a Man. Thus, is the Quran the truth or a fiction and a hoax? The jihadists use many verses from the Quran as the Main source of justification for their violence, mayhem and murders. There, the question is clearly given on pages 145 through 157 in THE ISLAMIC INVASION by Robert Morey in which he wrote a section on the Quran with its self-contradictions. Just two of the many he cited are the following “The Quran differs on whether a day is a thousand years or fifty thousand years in God’s sight’ and “Who was first to believe? Abraham or Moses [Sura 6:14 versus 7:143]? The above is inconsistent and illogical. Further, Morey wrote about “The fact that Judaism and Christianity broke up into different sects was used in the Quran to prove that they are not of God [Suras 30:20-32. 42:13, 14]. Yet Islam has broken up into many warring sects and therefore cannot be true if the Quran is right.” Moreover, Morey in his book shows many more contradictions and absurdities in the Quran, there are and how Muhammad incorporated extra Biblical and Jewish folklore along with pre-Islamic Arabian myth and parts of Zoroastrian and Hindu stories into the Quran. Furthermore, the Muslims claim that “the Quran is the direct, literal word of God unmodified in any way by the Prophet who uttered them at the bidding of God.” Nevertheless, in the book UNVEILING ISLAM by Ergun Mehmet and Eethi Caner has shown that the Quran was modified in the following account on pages 45. “Muhammad felt the need to improve on the words of Allah, since he changed Allah’s wisdom for his own on several occasions. A hadith tells of the nonchalant emendations of Muhammad:’ On a number of occasions he [a scribe] had, with the Prophet’s consent changed the closing words of verses. For example, when the prophet had said ‘God is mighty and wise ‘ Adbollah b. Abi Sarh suggested writing down ‘Knowing and wise’ and the Prophet answered that there was no objection. Having observed a succession of changes of this type, Adbollah renounced Islam on the grounds that revelations, if from God could not be changed at the prompting of a scribe such as himself. After his apostasy he went to Mecca and joined the Qorayshites.’ Other writers reveal that later Muhammad and his people did go war with the Qorayshites and he personally killed Abdollah. Obviously Abdollah knew too much and Muhammad wanted Abdollah’s knowledge to die with him.” In conclusion, the Quran is not only a fiction, it’s also a hoax.

Walter Sieruk 10:54 AM  

The Greek philosopher Plato is one of the contributors to Western Civilization. He may shed some light into the subject of those people who are shackled in the chains and darkness of Islamic thought. In Plato’s REPUBLIC he gave an allegory of a cave where “the condition of men living in a sort of cavernous chamber…Here they have been from childhood, chained by leg and also by the neck, so that they cannot move and see only what is in front of them.” This can fit into what the Imams do in the mosques and how they brainwash the young people in the madrassa’s by always programming Islamic doctrine into their victims and not exposing them to other worldviews. Furthermore, even in Islamic tradition when Muslims have their newborn child the father whispers words of the Quran into the infants ear so that that Quran verses are the first thing the newborn person hears. This programming process takes place all their lives. These are some of the chains that keep them bound in a mosque [cave]. The chains do not let them reach out for dialectic reasoning and let them examine the evidence both for as well as against, or even question whether Muhammad was a true prophet of God or not, and if the Quran is a hoax or not. As the chains and darkness of the cave blinds and holds the prisoners back from reality, so Islamic propaganda holds back the cognition to reason with the question if Islam is true or not. They are forbidden from even thinking to question Islam. Furthermore, if a Muslim by some miracle wakes up to the truth about Islam, it would be like the man in Plato’s cave allegory who was released from his chains and taken outside to the real world. At first direct light would be painful and disorienting, it would take some time for him to understand what the truth is all about, he even might cling to the shadows and still for a time believe some of the illusions to be real. But he would finally come to know “what he had formerly seen was meaningless illusion.” And that was “what passed for wisdom in his former dewelling-place.”And that the other cave prisoners also needed to see the light [the truth] for he “was sorry for them.” and he would re-enter the cave just to rescue them. Nevertheless, the cave prisoners wouldn’t understand and “if they could lay hand on the man who was trying to set them free.” And if they could “they would kill him.” Likewise, when someone escapes from the shackles of Islam, those still in the darkness of this religion would not understand and if possible kill him for leaving Islam, and even more so if he were to try to enlighten them about the truth about Islam. For these people in Islam are chained to an empty imitation of truth and godliness.

Anonymous 4:09 AM  

Citizen Warrior, your arguments that FGM involves the complete removal of the clitoris and labia ignores the half of FGC victims who suffer less invasive forms of the procedure. You're also implying that those less invasive forms are acceptable, and erasing intersex children in the process.

You can't argue ethical differences between different forms of the same human rights violation without your arguments being used to promote all genital cutting. And MGC is a cultural prerequisite for FGC, affecting six times as many children. As long as anyone is being cut, girls will be cut.


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