There are many forms of female genital cutting that are quite deserving of being called Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Such practices are crimes committed against those women who suffer their damaging consequences.
Those crimes are fueled by many human traits and many players. I will try here to mention some of those key obstacles in the way of stopping these oppressive practices.
Firstly, the direct perpetrators of the crime
Those are the people who continue to practice harmful forms of female genital cutting. They are of diverse origins: Muslims, Christians, and Jews, though mostly from East Africa, and mostly Muslim. Those individuals may be committing this crime with good intentions, but it is ignorance that is the main trouble and obstacle in their case. This ignorance could be simple, being easy to cure by education. It may also be complex, which is mixed with stubbornness, zealotry, or unfounded biases, making it more resistant to the remedy of education.
Secondly, the silent contributors
Those who are aware of the harms of this procedure, yet, continue to give a blind eye and a deaf ear to its existence. Of the most responsible groups are clergy men and physicians from those communities, where those harmful procedures are practiced. This is because the clergy men know that those harmful procedures are not based in religion, but rather an offense to any religion of Divine origin. This is most obvious in the case of Islam, where the only clear communication from its Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) about the practice contained clear condemnation of excessiveness and a recommendation to cut the slightest cut that may be called such.
Thirdly, most of the campaigners against FGM.
There are variant problems with this group.
Some of them share the problem of ignorance with the perpetrators of the crime. Both groups have good intentions, emotional motivations, and excessive zeal for their opposing views, yet, they share the same ignorance of the consequences of the various forms of this procedure. Still, the ignorance here may be simple or complex. Whenever it is complex, they won’t listen to science or acknowledge any truth. They act too proud to listen, as if they have all the answers, and they must act now to save those poor victimized African women from the barbarism of their cultures.
Some of those campaigners are not concerned the least about the health of those poor victims, but they are rather using this issue as a launching pad to wage their attacks on people of other cultures and religious affiliations, and pacify their endless hunger for and pursuit of supremacy and sovereignty over the planet and its inhabitants. Those people may go to the farthest extremes in sabotaging any logical debate and rebuffing any credible science.
The way out:
- To counter the ignorance by science and education.
- To counter the silence by courage and integrity.
- To counter the bigotry, prejudice, and illusions of supremacy by opposing the environment of conflict and mistrust between the various peoples, and encouraging tolerance and understanding.
- Allow the scientists to study the various forms of this practice and speak candidly about them.
- Aside from the obvious forms of mutilation, the rest of the forms of female genital cutting should be subject to scientific evaluation of their consequences.
- Educate the people where those practices are common about the damaging consequences of the forms proven by science to be harmful.
- Educate the people, also, about the lack of religious support for any of the forms that are proven harmful.
- Guide the people to the correct practice of the harmless forms, if they desire to maintain that part of their cultures, or if it is part of their religious convictions.
- Limit the practice, wherever possible, to trained medical practitioners.
From zeal for that we think we know, and contempt of that we know not, God deliver us all!