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Could be a Baptist

Posted by Richard on November 3, 2006

For the first time in the U.S., a man was convicted for genital mutilation the other day:

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – An Ethiopian immigrant was convicted Wednesday of the genital mutilation of his 2-year-old daughter and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in what was believed to be the first such criminal case in the United States.

Khalid Adem, 30, was found guilty of aggravated battery and cruelty to children. Prosecutors said he used scissors to remove his daughter’s clitoris in his family’s Atlanta-area apartment in 2001. The child’s mother, Fortunate Adem, said she did not discover it until more than a year later.

AP reporter Errin Haines went on to warn us against being culturally insensitive and jumping to conclusions about Khalid Adem (emphasis added):

The practice crosses ethnic and cultural lines and is not tied to a particular religion. Activists say it is intended to deny women sexual pleasure. In its most extreme form, the clitoris and parts of the labia are removed and the labia that remain are stitched together.

Khalid Adem could be a Southern Baptist, a Unitarian, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Hindu, or maybe a Wiccan… After all, it’s not as if there’s some particular faith or culture in which men are taught that women are inherently dirty and inferior, that they must be completely subjugated and treated like farm animals, and that they offend God if they express themselves, exercise free will, or experience pleasure.

It’s not as if there’s some particular faith or culture in which women are stoned to death for committing adultery. Or rape victims are whipped for being alone with a man to whom they aren’t married. Or gang-rape victims are compared to "uncovered meat" and accused of "sexually provoking" men by not being "modestly dressed" and by venturing out of the house unaccompanied by a male family member.

No, women are oppressed in all sorts of faiths and cultures. In some, women average only 78% of the pay of men and they can’t become priests. In others, they have the same moral and legal status as goats. It’s all the same, right?

We mustn’t think that some cultures are better than others, or finger-point and criticize those whose values just happen to be a little bit different from ours — why, that would be judgmental and intolerant.

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One Response to “Could be a Baptist”

  1. Jan said

    Oh, how I wish more people “got it”. Radical Islam is the face of true evil in the world today. People don’t want to acknowledge it. Thanks for the post and the links.

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