Perhaps the gatekeepers of Facebook should take a break from ensuring that no dissident conservative news items pollute the feeds of good digital citizens and take a stern look at the new community page promoting the “health benefits” of Islamic female genital mutilation.
Foreign Desk News reports the mission statement for the page is to “clear misconceptions of the Islamic practice of female circumcision and counter misinformation against it.”
Part of that agenda is, of course, an effort to replace the term “female genital mutilation” with “female circumcision.”
Also unsurprisingly, the page’s offerings are served up with a side order of anti-Semitic paranoia. For example, one post spotlighted by Foreign Desk News is titled “Female Circumcision – The Hidden Truth: How Misogynists and Feminists are feeding upon each other to denigrate an Islamic practice that brings untold benefits to women.”
The author claims that these health benefits have been “overlooked to conform to Islamophobic sentiments expressed by a largely Jewish controlled media,” which is naturally far less critical of male circumcision because “male circumcision is a Jewish practice and female circumcision is not.”
There are even infographics touting both the alleged health benefits and religious justification for FGM, which the page assures women is part of their duty to both Allah and their husbands:
The Facebook page even asserts that men contract oral cancer by engaging in certain sexual activities with women who have not been circumcised.
As of press time, the Facebook community page has not been taken down.
Foreign Desk News reports that another post approvingly links to an e-book on “safe female circumcision” by a doctor in Sudan. Women looking for medical opinions from a more reputable source should know that the World Health Organization recognizes no known health benefits from FGM, instead considering it “a violation of the human rights of girls and women.”
“Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths,” warns WHO, which “strongly urges health professionals not to perform such procedures.”
WHO notes that the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on the elimination of female genital mutilation in 2012. Later this year, WHO plans to publish a set of guidelines for managing health complications from female genital mutilation, “to support health care professionals in their care to girls and women that have undergone FGM.”
As it happens, Nigeria just held a summit on eliminating the practice of female genital mutilation, which resolved to “increase community awareness and knowledge on the health hazards associated with FGM.”
One of the major obstacles addressed at the Nigerian summit was the need to provide professional female circumcision experts with alternative means of earning their livelihoods.
“They do it for money, it’s their livelihood. They’ll tell you it’s what keeps my family, it’s what I use in training my children and feeding,” nurse Gift Abu, an anti-FGM activist, explained to the Premium Times of Nigeria. “So money is very important for those who don’t have what to do. Some of them don’t have any other thing they are doing apart from circumcision. It’s like a profession to them. So leaving the practice, it’s like where will they start from?”
Abu estimated that roughly 70 percent of circumcisers in Nigeria had been persuaded to halt the practice. She added that activists were attacking the demand side of the problem as well, contesting the widespread belief among Nigerians that young girls will be less promiscuous if they are subjected to the procedure.