Now that I have your attention…
Federal officials arrested two Muslim women who drove from their Minnesota homes to Detroit to subject their seven-year-old daughters to the horrific — and illegal in the U.S. — practice of female genital mutilation, or female circumcision.
“Haseena Halfal, 34, of Plymouth, Minnesota, and Zainab Hariyanawala, 31, were indicted five months after federal prosecutors unveiled the first female genital mutilation case in U.S. history,” according to the Detroit News. The arrests and indictments were made public Thursday.
The practice of FGM involves cutting away the clitoris, inner labia and outer labia to repress sexual desire and encourage fidelity. It is most often inflicted on girls 15 years old or younger.
Halfal is a U.S. citizen but Hariyanawala’s citizenship status isn’t known. Both women are members of a Muslim sect based in India known as the Dawaoodi Borha. Also indicted was Dr. Jumana Nagarwala who with others has subjected as many as 100 girls to FGM in the past 12 years, according to federal prosecutors.
Dan Homstad, Halfal’s attorney, said “this is a very complex case and there are a lot of cultural issues at play that the (Dawoodi Bohra) community up here is struggling with.”
Actually, FGM is no mere cultural issue, though Muslim defenders of the practice will undoubtedly claim otherwise. There are fundamental spiritual issues here that shape the way a society’s men view women.
It’s not unique to the Islamic religion, but FGM is mostly found in countries in Muslim-majority countries, according to the UN, which estimates that 200 million women and girls alive today were subjected to FGM. Expect to find FGM where women are viewed primarily as tools for satisfying men’s sexual lusts and reproductive preferences.
An estimated 92 percent of Egyptian women aged 15 to 49 were mutilated, according to a 2015 Egyptian government report cited by Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer in the advanced text of a forthcoming book. The figure in Malaysia is 93 percent.
“These extraordinarily high rates are directly related to the encouragement that Muslim clerics give to the practice,” Spencer writes.
Outraged Americans should think twice before getting on their high horses because we have our own way of devaluing women — “cheap sex.” That’s also the title of sociologist Mark Regnerus’ new book, available from the Oxford University Press, which provides comprehensive, data-driven analyses of the consequences of the 1960’s sexual revolution.
To cite just one area, George Mason University Law Professor Helen Alvare points to Regnerus’ analysis of digital dating services: “Regnerus identifies the most important aspect of online dating as its ‘enabling people to sort through sexual and romantic ‘options’ more efficiently.’
“In practice, it has become a ‘remarkably efficient cheap sex delivery system … It’s like a platter of people.’ Consequently, it discourages investment in any partner who seems imperfect, and fosters overlapping sexual partnerships and keeping options open.'”
Cheap sex discourages marriage, child-bearing, family permanence and social stability, with a result that, as the Institute for Family Studies documents, America is riven with illegitimacy, divorce, poverty-stricken single mothers and children, and declining family, education and career aspirations among young men.
But there was nothing cheap about how Jesus treated women. It was no coincidence that women first encountered Him after His resurrection, or that He encouraged them to go tell the (then-cowering male) disciples that He was alive, as He had promised He would be (See Luke 24).
Jesus thus upended two ancient cultural maxims that made females unreliable witnesses and forbade them from contradicting men, as they did when the disciples initially refused to believe the women had actually seen and talked to Jesus.
Consider, too, this foundational truth of Christianity, (which Christians admittedly have too often through the ages ignored or disobeyed): “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
These thoughts are but a tiny slice of the abundant evidence for the truth of Sue Bohlin’s observation that “as a result of Jesus Christ and His teachings, women in much of the world today, especially in the West, enjoy more privileges and rights than at any other time in history.
“It takes only a cursory trip to an Arab nation or to a Third World country to see how little freedom women have in countries where Christianity has had little or no presence. It’s the best thing that ever happened to women.”
Mark Tapscott is executive editor of the Daily Caller News Foundation and chief of its Investigative Group. Follow Mark on Twitter.