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Anti-mutilation drive 'at risk' - Comments

mmurray's Avatar Comment 31 by mmurray

Comment 28 by DCTenner :

Somehow it seems very acceptable that boys get mutilated. Don't ever bring up that subject with anybody, including lawmakers. There is no public discussion about this, no outrage. But what is exactly the difference? Is it the level of damage and pain and fear to be inflicted?

There are degrees of FGM. You can find them on wikipedia. Except for the very mild forms it typically results in a lot more long term damage than male circumcision. This is why there was such a push to get it renamed FGM in the media and not female circumcision.

Would it be OK if girls just were to receive a cut? Or should we just protect the physical integrity of all children? No knifes ever, unless it is a medical necessity.

Agreed. The situation in Holland you described sounds appalling.

Michael

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 11:00:20 UTC | #609658

sunbeamforjeebus's Avatar Comment 32 by sunbeamforjeebus

Surely to take a sharp weapon to a child,either boy or girl, is grevious bodily harm or aggravated assault or malicious wounding or some form of offence against the person.Oh it's cultural ! Why didn't you say !Ok no problem ,go ahead, carry out the most disgusting practices against your small children.Fucking Savages,both the perpetrators and the craven politicians who refuse to act.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 11:12:37 UTC | #609662

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Comment 33 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 26 by ANTIcarrot

Comment 20 by MarkOnTheRiver :

Of course not. No votes in protecting mutilated children, and plenty to be lost by pissing off the mutilators.

Unless you're suggesting we subcontract to the Roman Catholic Church (who apparently have a lot of experience in doing this kind of thing without upsetting people) then yes there are plenty of votes to be lost in state sponsered kiddy fiddling. Even for medical reasons.

Sorry, I’m missing your point here. Are you equating a medical examination with genital mutilation?

Another minor issue is whether you need to train the small army of licensed inspectors this would take.

Why would you need an army of inspectors? They might possibly be needed for those victims that have healed from the mutilation, but new victims could probably be spotted even by you.

Do you know how small an eight your old girl's clit and libra minor are? (If so, how exactly do you know?!)

If you mean labia minor, then no, I don’t, but it looks like something you’ve given some though to. But then again, if nothing else, I’m sure I could (hypothetically) recognise a new mutilation by the recent scarring. These “operations” are not usually carried out in operating theatres.

I do know that in adults size and shape of this anatomy varies enormously. How do you tell the difference between a girl with cut anatomy and a girl with naturally small anatomy?

Oh I don’t know, how about the pain, infection and emotional trauma for a start.

And how do you plan to compensate the families involved in the inevitable false-positive for the embarressment, humiliation, and abuse they will suffer? How will you compensate the child for the bullying they will recieve from the child protection services who (in their rightous indignation) are determined to wring an accusation/confession out of the child, determined that it's for their own good, no matter how the child tries to 'hide the truth'?

Yeah you’re right. Best to do nothing then, and just let them suffer in silence.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 11:13:36 UTC | #609664

phil rimmer's Avatar Comment 34 by phil rimmer

Comment 25 by aball

I am not sure the kind of schools these girls attend will have sex ed classes.

Entirely agreed, in a high proportion of at risk cases, but not all. (We need anyway to create essential nuggets in the National Curriculum that all schools must include.) The main effects will be rather more indirect and on the population as a whole. Moving FGM explicitly into the category of child sex abuse partially reframes the debate and the public perception. It says the state will support children against abusers. It puts resources like "Childline" up front and centre. (Note how this excellent resource for kids has nothing on FGM at present.) They'll need to step up to the plate. Their current cultural nervousness will be allayed by its inclusion in a national sex ed program.

Having children savvy about the problem means that not-at-risk peers may be able to help their at risk friends.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 11:32:04 UTC | #609669

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 35 by Peter Grant

Comment 26 by ANTIcarrot

Another minor issue is whether you need to train the small army of licensed inspectors this would take. Do you know how small an eight your old girl's clit and libra minor are? (If so, how exactly do you know?!) I do know that in adults size and shape of this anatomy varies enormously. How do you tell the difference between a girl with cut anatomy and a girl with naturally small anatomy?

What about scarring? It's not like these "operations" are being performed by plastic surgeons.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 11:46:32 UTC | #609675

Alan Dente's Avatar Comment 36 by Alan Dente

re: Comment 17:

Going back to your comment about teachers do you have examples of teachers who are too worried about being accused of being racist or similar to report a suspicion? I don't know any teachers in the UK so happy to be educated on this. I've just never seen this problem as easily solved as everybody else seems to think it is.

I agree. This is not a problem that will be solved by bobbies on the beat. Nor should it be. The risk with that is the ghetto-isation and alienation of our communities, which does not help anyone.

I work in Public Health in a city with a large Somali community. We do a lot of work around education of women, and empowerment. We also are currently training teachers in how to most effectively deal with situations in which abuse is suspected, including FGM. The idea that nothing is being done or achieved is false. Just recently there was a small march through a certain area of my city by women from communities affected by this, which, I'm sure you appreciate, is quite something when we consider that Islam doesn't always tend to view vocal objection in the most positive light. Especially opposition of women. Small steps like these are the way to deal with FGM.

The sorry fact is that the axing of this post is simply the tip of the iceberg. There are cutbacks in many Public Health bodies around the UK, and 'reorganisations', which will have a hidden impact on campaigns such as the anti-FGM campaign. There will be less people educating individuals within communities, less dialogue and more fear and hidden shame.

Thanks, Dave.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 12:09:19 UTC | #609679

mlgatheist's Avatar Comment 37 by mlgatheist

Comment 5 by Richard Dawkins

But I conjecture that it is true that virtually all, if not literally all, the 24,000 girls referred to come from Muslim families.

The majority of the families that mutilate their daughters are probably muslims. But that is most likely to be due to the fact that the majority of the areas that these families are from are NOW islamic countries. But these areas have practiced the horrific ritual for thousands of years. Islam did not go against this ritual, possibly to not see additional resistance to their taking over the areas. All religions are bad, Islam is as bad today as the christian religion was during the dark ages. But, that doesn’t mean that islam is responsible for this ritual.

the reason the police turn a blind eye to this disgusting practice is that they THINK it is sanctioned by Islam,

If a religion isn’t trying to stop people from doing something that they do, does that mean that it “sanctions” it?

or they think it is no business of anybody outside the 'community', and they are TERRIFIED of being called 'Islamophobic' or racist.

Do the police feel the same way about honor killings?

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 12:13:02 UTC | #609681

Nunbeliever's Avatar Comment 38 by Nunbeliever

We can argue all day how to deal with this problem in the most efficient way. Still, I think the solution is in PRINCIPLE quite easy. The law is equal for everyone and we have to make it clear that if you want to live in the western world then it is your duty to follow the law or suffer the consequences. I think many of the muslims mutilating their children are not really aware of that it is a serious crime according to the law. I think it is quite natural since very few have been convicted or even tried for genital mutilation crimes. This is not about discrimination. This is not islamophobia. It is common sense. In a multicultural society we have to have common rules! Yes, muslims and other minority groups are probably going to complain about being persecuted. So what! Let them complain. Byt time they will realize we are dead serious about this issue and that they will go to jail if they mutilate their children.

Yes, upholding the law is not enough. We have educate, educate and educate som more. But, looking the other way is not going to help a single bit. We have to start by upholding the law. Yes, perhaps we will shatter some families in the short term. Still, if we can save children from having their genitals mutilated I think it is a fair price to pay. Just make a comparison with child abuse in general. A person who thinks we should not uphold the law when a person abuses his/her child would be regarded as insane. We throw the abuser in jail without hesitation. If necessary we remove the child from an abusive environment. Yes, we shatter families. But, I think any sane person realizes that is a necessary evil. Which is not to say that the problem with child abuse in general can be solved just by upholding the law. Of course we need other measures but upholding the law is the very first thing to do.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 13:21:30 UTC | #609709

foundationist's Avatar Comment 39 by foundationist

Comment 37 by mlgatheist :

The majority of the families that mutilate their daughters are probably muslims. But that is most likely to be due to the fact that the majority of the areas that these families are from are NOW islamic countries. But these areas have practiced the horrific ritual for thousands of years. Islam did not go against this ritual, possibly to not see additional resistance to their taking over the areas. All religions are bad, Islam is as bad today as the christian religion was during the dark ages. But, that doesn’t mean that islam is responsible for this ritual.

Only partly true. Islam plays an additional role here. The problem is that the perpetrators think it is mandatory under Islamic law. Religion is being used as a justification, that makes the custom harder to eliminate. That's why the 2006 Fatwah from the conference in Cairo was such a huge step forward, however shady the motives of many of the signing "scholars" were.

If a religion isn’t trying to stop people from doing something that they do, does that mean that it “sanctions” it?

Well, for what it's worth, the religious justification brought forth by proponents of FGM is a hadith whose authenticity is heavily disputed by most islamic "scholars":

'Um Atiyyat al-Ansariyyah said: A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (pbuh) said to her: Do not cut too severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband'.

Especially the Saudi "scholars" seem to hold that any hadith concerning "female circumcission", as they call it, are not authentic.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 13:25:29 UTC | #609711

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 40 by Richard Dawkins

Apologists for Islam would carry more conviction if so-called 'community' leaders would ever go to the police and report the culprits.That would solve, at a stroke, the problem that has been exercising posters here.'Community' leaders are best placed to know what is going on on their 'communities'. Why don't they report the perpetrators to the police and have them jailed?

Richard

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 13:50:04 UTC | #609718

Alan Dente's Avatar Comment 41 by Alan Dente

In regards to upholding the law to the letter for everyone- I don't think anyone disagrees with that.

The problem is that there are people who don't fully appreciate the fact that FGM is viewed so negatively, or even appreciate the need for it to be illegal. I think the point being made about education etc. is valid- when combined with the threat of prosecution.

The simple fact, for me, is that if someone truly 'believes' something (there's that word again) then threatening punitive measures will only make them try harder to avoid detection and prosecution. We end up with people travelling abroad for FGM procedures, secretive sub-divisions of society and an atmosphere of silence and non-engagement in the NHS and social services in general. At best, we end up with court cases, prosecutions, and jail, which for me is not a good outcome anyway (prevention is better than cure).

If we can fight the idea at the root of FGM, then we can beat it. Racism in the UK, another bad idea, hasn't been effectively combated by the threat of prison per se- it has been combated more by a change of social climate and defeated, mostly, in a battle of ideas. The same is required for FGM.

It's more difficult, and takes more time, but it's the only way to win.

Locking people up in jail or prosecuting is only ever the least-bad option in my opinion.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 13:50:39 UTC | #609719

Nunbeliever's Avatar Comment 42 by Nunbeliever

To mlgatheist:

All religions are bad, Islam is as bad today as the christian religion was during the dark ages. But, that doesn’t mean that islam is responsible for this ritual.

Yes, I agree with you that this problem is not only about islam. And I think it is wrong to use genital mutilation as a way of criticising islam per se. Still, I do not agree that it is possible to separate these two issues all together. Genital mutilation is based on superstition. These people believe that a woman who is not circumcised is not pure and clean. Besides this clearly spiritual idea there are a lot of weird beliefs that genital mutilation can prevent diseases and stuff. But, in the end these customs reflect a disturbing attitude toward women. What I am trying to say is that although genital mutilation may not be an explicit part of islamic doctrine it fits very well within this particular religious framework. The attitude that women ought to be submissive pleasure slaves. Islam means "submission to god". This very concept allows for irrational ideas to flourish despite being harmful. The very idea that purity is more important than the physical or mental health of individuals is something that is in my opinion nourished by islam. It would be much harder if not impossible for irrational traditions like genital mutilation to survive in a secular society.

The fact that earlier harmful traditions are easy to incorporate within the framework of islam is actually quite worrysome. If a quite large part of the muslim population find genital mutilation compatible with the teachings of islam it says something about islam in itself. At best it makes people immune towards the suffering these acts cause. At worst it encourages people to continue doing them.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 13:51:38 UTC | #609721

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 43 by aquilacane

Comment 5 by Richard Dawkins

Presumably we shall hear all the usual accommodationist bleats about "Nothing to do with Islam", and "It's cultural, not religious" and 'Islam doesn't approve the practice".

Unfortunately, cultural adherence is as irrational as religious adherence. It is no more a recipe for behavioural control as religion. It develops familiarity syndrome similarly to religion, via the provision of comfort through repetition and routine.

To demand respect on the argument of culture is not a legitimate reason based argument. It was culturally acceptable to hate Jews during second-world-war Germany, so, it cannot be possible for culture to be respectable simply because it is culture.

Culture must be broken down into its specific behavioural dogmas and evaluated based on the merits of each cultural tradition. Cutting off foreskins and labia, that part of your culture sucks. Piercing the ears of your newborn, that part of your culture sucks. Covering your female population with a blanket and denying them the right to be people, that part of your culture sucks.

Eating haggis at a certain time of year (even though a haggis supper is available all year round), that part of your culture is basically irrelevant and only required for those incapable of remembering what to do on Jan 25. That being said, the recipe and technique for making haggis may still have value (yet to be determined). So, the cultural activity of making haggis has a reasoned argument for existing and; therefore, should be adopted outside of the cultural context and placed into the knowledge base of the general population. Deculturalised for the greater good, so to speak, it has value beyond familiarity to a small tribe.

Culture has the ability to preserve good behaviour as much as it does bad behaviour. To avoid the bad behaviour, culture needs to be smashed into its respective pieces and picked apart behaviour by behaviour. Good keep, bad pitch.

I generally couldn’t give a damn what my great, great grandfather did with a twig of spruce on the fourth day in June when the sun is halfway below the horizon and his hot rum is boiling on the open flames of a cedar fuelled bonfire… unless it is proven to cure cancer or something like that.

I guess I take my comfort from the personal comedic tradition of provoking people into the attempted reasoned defence of doing such stupid things. Good thing my personal comedic tradition has the tendency to force people into questioning why they do half the shit they do. There would be no use for it; otherwise.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 14:05:27 UTC | #609727

green and dying's Avatar Comment 44 by green and dying

Comment 2 by Stevehill :

Law enforcement is a matter for the police and prosecutors.

How many people have been prosecuted as a result of this person's role? I think I know the answer.

If there are no measurable benefits, it's a non-job.

Do you actually think the only beneficial outcome of this work is prosecution for FGM that has already happened? I'd rather one girl was saved than 1,000 mutilators went to prison.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 14:08:38 UTC | #609731

Nunbeliever's Avatar Comment 45 by Nunbeliever

Alan Dente:

The simple fact, for me, is that if someone truly 'believes' something (there's that word again) then threatening punitive measures will only make them try harder to avoid detection and prosecution. We end up with people travelling abroad for FGM procedures, secretive sub-divisions of society and an atmosphere of silence and non-engagement in the NHS and social services in general.

Change the word 'something' to 'child porn'. Clearly some pedophiles don't find their acts immoral. Clearly our laws make child porn more secretive. Clearly child porn will be produced abroad. Do you still stand by that statement. If not, then why not?

Of course upholding the law is not enough. I have not seen anyone here claiming anything such. That is a complete strawman. But, we live in societies governed by law. You seem to have a very simplified view of judicial systems indeed. You are only talking about deterrence in the most naive form. You completely forget protection and rehabilitation. Nevermind the fact that the law reflects a society's basic moral framework and sense of justice. Yes, sometimes upholding the law might have negative consequences. But, unless you suggest we should abandon rule of law all together that is the price you have to pay. If something is illegal we should prosecute offenders, or make it legal. It is a very dangerous slippery slope to start making exceptions whenever we find the law unpleasent to uphold. There is a reason why we call it blind justice.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 14:09:18 UTC | #609732

Alan Dente's Avatar Comment 46 by Alan Dente

re: 45

I never suggested that we make exceptions, and indeed went to great lengths to not do so.

My point is that pursuing criminals who are involved in FGM is not enough- if you read back, there are posts on this page that seem to suggest that we should simply be kicking down doors, lifting skirts, and making arrests.

Your comparison with child porn does not serve to clarify this issue, rather it muddies the waters (and is somewhat strange considering your accusation to me re: straw men). I do not stand by the statement that you have made on my behalf. Child porn is not an ingrained social problem among certain communities- if it were, then perhaps there would be an argument for battling such ideas in the manner I suggested, on top of the threat of legal action, as I also suggested.

You say upholding the law is not enough, and yet our Govt. is currently moving to make enormous cuts in the social services that display less 'measurable' outcomes. How then will we support the police, with little investment in Public Health, and a pared-down service. It's not so much of a strawman then, is it, being as this appears to be close to the future for Britain?

If, as you say, the law reflects societies basic moral framework (I do not fully accept the proposition, as if it did then the death penalty would still be part of it) then do you not think that the goal ought to be a reduction in human suffering? If so, then the law ought to pursue such a reduction.

My contention is that putting people in prison does not really serve this goal. I don't accept your descriptions regarding rehabilitation, and would suggest that you examine our current probation system, and so-called rehabilitation, in more detail if you do.

I think your argument re: slippery slope is actually invalidated by current policing anyway. For example, smoking marijuana is illegal, yet it can be smelled on many streets round my way. Do the cops break down every door, and seize every gram? Of course not- because to do so does not ultimately win the day. If we arrest every man or woman who takes part in FGM practices, then do we eliminate the practice? I would say certainly not.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 14:25:04 UTC | #609742

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Comment 47 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 44 by green and dying

Do you actually think the only beneficial outcome of this work is prosecution for FGM that has already happened? I'd rather one girl was saved than 1,000 mutilators went to prison.

No, but I'd still rather 10,000 girls were saved by the example made of 1,000 imprisoned mutilators.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 14:35:43 UTC | #609746

Alan Dente's Avatar Comment 48 by Alan Dente

FGM is technically illegal, but no arrests are ever made, and no prosecutions brought. No girls are protected because it is illegal. How then is this illegality helping the fight against the practice, or lessening human suffering?

Currently, teachers are being trained in schools and women (the key to resolving this issue) are being empowered and helped to recognise that FGM is not necessary or beneficial. Why not spend the money wasted on illegalising and (not-)policing FGM on health awareness drives? Especially as much of this good work is currently under threat from the Great Satan (aka the Tories).

Would it not be better to de-illegalise (rather than legalise) the practice, and approach this problem from a medical/social stance than a legal one? Is it really the case that there are many individuals in this country that would have gone in for FGM, but were dissuaded because it's illegal? I doubt it.

I do, however, know of cases where women have refused to allow the practice on their daughters after attending support and information groups, funded through Public Health initiatives.

(Though this is purely anecdotal evidence, on my part, of course...)

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 14:39:51 UTC | #609747

green and dying's Avatar Comment 49 by green and dying

Comment 34 by phil rimmer :

Having children savvy about the problem means that not-at-risk peers may be able to help their at risk friends.

That's a really horrible burden to put on children. It's not their responsibility.

Comment 47 by MarkOnTheRiver :

No, but I'd still rather 10,000 girls were saved by the example made of 1,000 imprisoned mutilators.

Well luckily they aren't mutually exclusive. I'm not saying don't prosecute but other people seemed to be saying that anything but prosecution is worthless.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 14:44:35 UTC | #609749

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Comment 50 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 49 by green and dying

Comment 47 by MarkOnTheRiver :

No, but I'd still rather 10,000 girls were saved by the example made of 1,000 imprisoned mutilators.

Well luckily they aren't mutually exclusive. I'm not saying don't prosecute but other people seemed to be saying that anything but prosecution is worthless.

Proper education is certainly not worthless, and will, in the long run, probably produce the better results. In the short term however, more immediate results might be achieved by a stricter enforcement of existing laws against practicing members of the "FGM community".

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 14:55:02 UTC | #609752

phil rimmer's Avatar Comment 51 by phil rimmer

Comment 49 by green and dying

That's a really horrible burden to put on children. It's not their responsibility.

I intend no obligation whatsoever. That would, indeed, be horrible. I am just suggesting what might quite naturally happen in a situation such that, for instance, a friend who knows that Childline offer confidential support may simply mention the fact to another who is fearful that she is at risk. Children are quite naturally supportive of one another without any hinting that they must be. What children do need, though, is a licence to talk about it. One of the points about sex ed and discussions of abuse is granting that licence.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:26:53 UTC | #609768

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 52 by hungarianelephant

Comment 46 by Alan Dente :

My contention is that putting people in prison does not really serve this goal. I don't accept your descriptions regarding rehabilitation, and would suggest that you examine our current probation system, and so-called rehabilitation, in more detail if you do.

Surely that's an argument for prison reform, not decriminalisation? On this basis, why not decriminalise murder?

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:27:10 UTC | #609769

cerad's Avatar Comment 53 by cerad

Criminal prosecution would be difficult. Better to hit them where it hurts. Daughter shows evidence of FGM? Cut the family off from the dole. The remote threat of losing their welfare benefits will be far more persuasive that any hypothetical jail time.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:35:11 UTC | #609772

jez999's Avatar Comment 54 by jez999

Comment 19 by aball :

Comment 15 by MarkOnTheRiver :

Comment 13 by mmurray

You have to look. Who is looking if they don't take their daughters to the doctor and even then a vaginal inspection is hardly a routine part of any doctors visit.

What? None of these girls go to school? If a teacher suspects any kind of child abuse, they are expected to act on that suspicion.

Do you honestly think that the physical symptoms of genital mutilation are so undetectable, that a teacher, who is made aware of the practice and its consequences, would have not the slightest suspicion and raise an alarm?

I suspect that the kind of famillies that prescribe FGM for their daughters also send them to a nice respectable fundamentalist islamic school. Teachers in those kind of schools are more likely to support FGM, not report it!

Nail on the head. One of many strong reasons for the abolition of faith schools.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:37:27 UTC | #609774

Nunbeliever's Avatar Comment 55 by Nunbeliever

To Alan Dante:

Let's cut to the chase. Do you think the law is for everyone or not? On the one hand you say that you never suggested that we make exceptions, but on the other you say that we should treat "ingrained social problem among certain communities" in a special way. It is impossible to have a discussion if you can't be even remotely coherent.

I think this statement says it all actually:

Would it not be better to de-illegalise (rather than legalise) the practice, and approach this problem from a medical/social stance than a legal one? Is it really the case that there are many individuals in this country that would have gone in for FGM, but were dissuaded because it's illegal? I doubt it.

De-illegalise is the same as to legalise. Either something is legal or not. You are just playing with words in order to conceal what you are actually saying. We can argue all day about how to improve our legal system. But, what you are suggesting is that the law is not for everyone. A muslim girl's genitals are not protected by the law to the same extent as the genitals of non-muslim girls. If that is what you are suggesting, then at least have the courage to say so.

And if that is what you think. Then exactly why should not child-abuse in general be treated this way? Surely one can argue that laws don't prevent children from being abused either. So why bother to prosecute child-abusers in general? There are some religious communities who think beating their children is ok. Clearly by your logic we better not prosecute religious parents who beat their children either. Yes, prosecution is not enough. But no one is saying anything such. Or at least they are a small minority on this site. The question is whether the law is for everyone or not. If you think it is not, then say it for goodness sake!

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:39:06 UTC | #609776

Crimbly's Avatar Comment 56 by Crimbly

Would it not be possible to have doctors break their confidentiality agreement to the police if they found during a check-up (for whatever reason) a female child has had their genitals mutilated? Correct me if I'm wrong, I think they are obliged to report murder etc to the police if they - or any other person in a position of confidentiality - finds out about it.

I know it wouldn't catch every poor young mutilated lass in the country but it'd be one way. One problem is obviously if the mutilators know that sending their child to a hospital would risk their being "found out" then they're less likely to send their child to have a check-up.

It's a sad state of affairs.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:39:54 UTC | #609777

Alan Dente's Avatar Comment 57 by Alan Dente

Prison reform would be good, no doubt.

However, I think that there are better ways of stopping FGM than prison. And I think that there's a danger that prison undoes some of the other good work that can be done towards making FGM less prevalent.

But it's been a long day, maybe you're right... :)

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:40:19 UTC | #609779

Alan Dente's Avatar Comment 58 by Alan Dente

To Nunbeliever:

I thought we were debating a difficult problem and having some back and forth regarding the issue.

You clearly have become in some way enraged by this, so I'm going to duck out for the sake of my sanity. If you would like to think that you have in some way 'won', then please go ahead.

"I should have the courage to say such-and-such, I am undermining the law of the country, remote coherence, blah blah blah...". Please... I appreciate that this is an emotive issue, and it is one in which I am very interested, but I'm not about to be spoken to as if I'm some kind of undercover apologist for FGM practitioners.

'Should the law be for everyone or not'? It's not everyone that mutilates the genitals of their children, is it? Do I think that the genitals of everyone should be protected equally? yes. Do I think that the genitals of all children require as much thought into how they are protected? No.

My point remains: how is FGM's illegality lessening human suffering? Perhaps you could engage with that rather than becoming so painfully het up over whether or not I 'play with my words'?

If this issue is so emotive for you then please give some thought to campaigning to save PCT/social work that currently goes towards dealing with the matter.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:49:13 UTC | #609785

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 59 by God fearing Atheist

On the original topic:

I note HM Govt. are willing to pay £800,000 a pop for Brimstone missiles to assist "Arab dawn" in Libya, but are cutting this post. I wonder what gives better value for money in reducing suffering.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:53:32 UTC | #609788

Dirty Kuffar's Avatar Comment 60 by Dirty Kuffar

If a child turns up at school with a black eye & lacerations - teachers are expected to do something about it, similarly, we do not - any longer - turn a blind eye to Catholic Priests comitting sexual abuse, similarly, steps should be taken to end this practise. I am sick and tired of the way teachers,police,CPS,NSPCC,child welfare organisations, and for that matter feminists have all ignored this problem for the 25 years it has been illegal and there has not been a single prosecution - perhaps this dept. was axed because they have'nt been doing the job the taxpayer bloody well payed them to do.

All young girls from Somali muslim backgrounds are at risk (as are the lesser numbers of Sudanese and Egyptian communities living here), and so should be inspected by medical professionals, if fgm is discovered, the parents should be prosecuted and given lengthy jail sentances with deportation at the end as they have plainly rejected the values of a civilised society.

If we, as a civilised democracy can not - or worse still, will not - protect children from what is in effect a mass child abuse and torture cult - then we have become morally, ethically,emotionally and politically bankrupt.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 16:33:15 UTC | #609811