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The EU asks the UN to ban genital mutilation while failing to stop it at home.

Lee Phillips
June 20, 2012

The European Parliament has asked the United Nations to ban female genital mutilation. This is a welcome step. I wince in advance at the objections that may be raised by some of the UN’s Islamic members when and if the proposal is considered in September.

Of course a UN “ban” will not begin to actually stop the barbaric practice in those societies where it is entrenched. But it will provide some support to the courageous groups who are working to eradicate the (unofficial, but exclusively Islamic) custom.

But while the European parliamentarians are lecturing the rest of the world, it would befit them to watch their tone. 500,000 women and girls have already been mutilated within the borders of Europe, and a multitude remains at risk of attack. This holocaust of clitorises must be one the the major law-enforcement failures of modern times. It is not due, entirely, to a lack of resources or their misallocation. A large part of the failure of European governments to protect these women is a symptom of the hand-wringing cultural relativism described so eloquently by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She has spent many years attempting to get Western governments to extend the protection of their laws to the female members of families that have immigrated from Islamic countries. This would seem to be a no-brainer, but, bizarrely, she has encountered resistance on the part of European politicians who hesitate to interfere in the traditional practices of the societies (largely non-wealthy, non-white, and confined to immigrant slums) festering within their peaceful and civilized countries. The direct result of this misplaced cultural sensitivity has been an extended festival of genital mutilation, endemic beatings of women, and even “honor killings” – not in Saudi Arabia or Somalia, but in England and Holland.

So I hope the European Parliament succeeds in its laudable goal and the UN does ban genital mutilation. And I hope they take the next step and find the courage to put a stop to the Islam-based abuse of women within Europe.

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