Homeland Security

UK Has 5,000 New Female Genital Mutilation Cases in Just the Past Year

Alexia Palma with her dog, Chiclets. Photo is courtesy of First Liberty Institute.

Female genital mutilation, common in some African and Asian countries, is becoming a health crisis in Western countries.

European countries are seeing reported FGM cases explode due to immigration and open support for the practice by Islamic leaders:

Meanwhile, at least two U.S. states have seen anti-FGM legislation blocked this year. Those opposed to the bills are claiming “racism” and “Islamophobia” — meanwhile, federal prosecutors have charged four individuals in Detroit in a case that may have more than 100 FGM victims:

The BBC reported yesterday:

The NHS in England recorded 5,391 new cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the past year, data reveals.

Almost half involved women and girls living in London, NHS Digital found.

A third were women and girls born in Somalia, while 112 cases were UK-born nationals.

The practice is illegal in the UK and it is compulsory for family doctors, hospitals and mental health trusts to report any new cases in their patients.

FGM — intentionally altering or injuring the female external genitalia for non-medical reasons — carries a sentence of up to 14 years in jail.

NHS officials treated 9,179 women with FGM from April 2016 to March 2017. The 5,391 cases were victims recorded for the first time during that period:

Despite education efforts against the practice, the numbers have barely dropped:

At that present rate, the practice would take decades to eradicate. So despite being made illegal, why is FGM persisting in the UK? One obvious reason is that UK authorities won’t pursue prosecutions:

As thousands of new cases are added annually, UK officials defend their refusal to prosecute offenders:

Among the reasons offered as to why there should be no prosecutions for FGM offenders are claims that doing so would target minorities and immigrants, or incite “Islamophobia.”

In the U.S., where reports of FGM have tripled over the past 20 years, there has been similar pushback and lack of prosecution:

Those same claims of racism and targeting immigrants used in the UK were trotted out by FGM defenders when Minnesota took up legislation earlier this year:

Thereby slowing or stalling the anti-FGM bills:

A similar anti-FGM bill was stopped in Maine just last week:

What’s remarkable about the defeat of the state anti-FGM legislation is that the practice has been banned in the U.S. under federal law since 1996.

The law was amended in 2013 to stop the transport of victims across state lines.

And yet only 24 states have passed anti-FGM laws:

And some states are like Tennessee, where officials refuse to prosecute the state law:

There has only been one federal prosecution for FGM in 20 years, a case that is currently ongoing in Detroit involving victims as young as seven:

The case illustrates how prevalent FGM may be in certain segments of the U.S. population:

So why hasn’t the establishment media made more of this case? Well, the fact that immigrants and Muslims are involved as both victims and those charged make the media establishment queasy. They do not wish to be accused of fostering racism and Islamophobia, just like the UK and the state legislators targeted to prevent taking action against the practice.

In fact, not only are those charged devout Muslims, but a mosque paid for the FGM to occur:

Lawyers for the suspects are claiming their clients did nothing wrong since it was a religious procedure:

And they’ve enlisted famed attorney Alan Dershowitz to support their religious claim:

https://twitter.com/alimhaider/status/873519053419278341

There appears to be plenty of support for FGM among U.S. Islamic leaders. In 2012, a fatwa issued by a senior member of the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) described FGM as “an honor”:

The fact that Hatem al-Haj, aka Hatem Elhagaly, was a licensed pediatrician working at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota raised concerns. After Dr. Elhagaly’s fatwa was translated and made public, he and the Mayo Clinic parted ways.

More recently, Shaker Elsayed of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, in the D.C. area publicly made statements in support of FGM to prevent “hypersexuality”:

As I reported here at PJ Media last month, the Washington Post’s Abigail Hauslohner, the paper’s Islam and Arab Affairs reporter, took to twitter to defend the mosque:

Following public outrage over Imam Elsayed’s remarks, Dar al-Hijrah suspended him:

But he still had many supporters:

Amazingly, FGM supporters have had the American Academy of Pediatrics on their side since 2010, when a bioethics panel determined they could support “genital cutting” as a compromise with supporters despite the practice being banned by federal law:

As government statistics and now confirmed anecdotal evidence indicate, FGM is now common in Western countries.

Legislators and prosecutors must decide if women’s health is of greater concern than false accusations of racism and “Islamophobia.” As we’ve seen in Minnesota, Maine, and Tennessee this year, it’s unfortunate that this has been a tough choice for them to make.