Kandra, a Noweigan Somali activist, who is known only by her first name for security reasons, was beaten by eight Somalian men in Oslo. The men shouted Allah-o-akbar and shouted that she had defamed the Koran during the beating, but the real reason behind the attack is assumed to be her filmed expose on how imans at Norwegian mosques urge parents and women to travel overseas to have female gential mutilation performed on them and their female children.
I have written elsewhere about the horrors of type III female circumcision, which is the type practiced in North African countries that are mainly Islamic, but which predates Islam and is also practiced by Christians and those with traditional religion in parts of Africa.

Most African countries are trying to stop this practice, but have not the will or the means to stop it.

Unlike male circumcision which assists in hygiene in countries without a lot of water, female circumcision is mainly traditional, and the extreme but most common form actually is dangerous. The whole perineum is removed, leaving hard scar tissue with a small hole. Alas, not only does this make sex difficult and less pleasurable, but the strong scar tissue can prevent or delay childbirth, leading to the death of the mother or child, and is one of the major causes of vaginal vesical fistula, where the pressure of the child’s head during a prolonged second stage of labour leads to a hole in the bladder. Those who suffer this injury often leaks urine and are constantly infected, and often end up social outcasts due to the odor.

Most of the Muslims in Europe do not practice this terrible custom, but with the increase in fundamentalist Islamic mosques that are funded by Arab charities associated with the more extreme sects of Islam, there is worry that these imans will tell parents that this custom is in the Koran (it is not…Mohammed, knowing he could not stop this long standing practice in his converts, merely urged those doing the procedure “Do not cut too severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband, i.e. if they wished to circumcize their girls, they should perform the less radical and minimally harmful type of female circumcision).

So instead of helping Muslims practice their faith in a foreign land, these imans too often try to impose a rigid set of rules followed by few Musilms outside of the Middle East. .As a result, often parents are urged to send their pre teen and teenaged daughters back to their home country for the procedure.

Yet i,t should be noted that most Muslims are not from the Middle East. The country with the largest Muslim population is Indonesia, and the country with the second largest Muslim population is India. Female genital mutilation is rare in both these countries,although some Indonesian tribes perform a minimal ritual on young girls. Turkey, the home country of many immigrants in Europe, also does not practice this custom.

That is why ordinary pious Muslims, including many women, are aghast at this revival of a barbaric and non Islamic custom that has been condemned by fatwas by Egyptian clerical leaders (Egypt is the center of Islamic scholarship). And several of these women have been outspoken in their fight to stop the practice. However, often these women, such as Kendra or the Dutch activist Hirsi Ali, end up having to hide for their own safety.

Kendra became famous when she posed as a girl not wishing to undergo the procedure, and filmed three clerics instructing her that this procedure was “not dangerous” and that she should ignore the laws of Norway against it.

The government of Norway, not aware of what was being preached in these mosques, promised publically to persecute the immans. (In Norway, anyone assisting a girl to have FGM can be jailed for three to five years)

Kandra attibutes today’s attack to her remarks that the Koran’s views on wome needs to be reinterpreted. (as indeed, they have been in many countries).

The Norwegian Islamic council, of course,  condemned the attack.

This article relates the story in detail and says that the clergy involved were going to be prosecuted by the Norwegian government. However, I could not find evidence of this in a google search of their names in English. Perhaps it could be found in the Norwegian language, or on European websites.

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She treated many victims of FGM while working in Liberia. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket, but she posts medical essays on HeyDoc Xanga blog.

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