This past Thursday morning I awoke to online news headlines screaming about ISIS in Iraq having supposedly issued an edict that all females in Mosul between the ages of 11-46 would have to undergo FGM. I peeked at the LGF Spy and, sure enough, people were talking about it.
I knew the minute I saw the story that it had to be a hoax, not because ISIS lacks the brutality to do something so sickening, but because it’s not a practice that has its roots in Islam, therefore they wouldn’t be able to back it up with anything Islamic no matter how much they cherry-picked & distorted things. Also, it was another one of those absurd stories like the Texas “Islamist Terror Enclave”, the Muslim Brotherhood using puppies as firebombs, Tunisian girls traveling to Syria for “sex jihad”, or Egypt’s “farewell intercourse” law which supposedly sanctioned necrophilia with a recently deceased spouse—it was just too way out there.
Additionally, like Syria, Iraq is basically in the middle of a civil war, so the various factions are going to be putting out all kinds of disinformation to try and scare or sway the citizenry and discredit their opponents with negative media stories.
Nonetheless, since even (usually reliable) mainstream news outlets like the BBC were running with it, I decided to just ignore it and wait for the inevitable debunking rather than wasting time arguing with people who wanted to believe it.
Sure enough, it was debunked before lunch. Naturally, rabidly right-wing blogs & news outlets (not to mention the professional Islamophopbes) were still running with it late into the afternoon, as our own Charles Johnson pointed out a few hours later: Breitbart “News” Pushes Debunked ISIS FGM Story, Commenters Call for Genocide of Muslims. (Note: As of right now, more than two days later, Breitbart still has the the same article up without any update notifying readers that it has been debunked.)
When I saw that Charles had posted the debunking, I decided to go ahead and join in the discussion. Oddly, though sadly not surprisingly, there were still those who wanted to believe the story despite it having been challenged or dismissed by numerous outlets & individuals, not to mention our own Obdicut reminding everyone that FGM is cultural and NOT linked to Islam [nor is it something radical Islamists tend to focus on, and they’re certainly not shy about expressing their opinions]. I’ll leave it to you, good reader, to ponder what might motivate people to insist on believing such a story.
So that’s the backstory for this Page. I’ve been collecting links for years & years on all sorts of topics, not the least of which is the topic of FGM because it comes up so often and is a powerful emotional trigger (more often than not, one that is also typically—and mistakenly—associated as being rooted in Islam). Too many people don’t have a clue about the facts surrounding it.
Just the Facts, Please
I’ve spent the past four hours or so digging through my bookmarks, organizing URLs, and doing a ton of copying & pasting. None of the reports & articles below are opinion pieces or items designed to support a particular political viewpoint or attract clicks and generate revenue for their respective sites—they’re all from respected health & medical publications and/or organizations dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance & protection to at-risk women and children.
LGF members please take note: After all the effort I’ve put into bringing you the following factual, objective information on the practice of FGM, if you bring up some absurd talking point that isn’t true simply because you couldn’t be bothered to click on the links and read the reports for yourself, then I’m probably going to react with extreme snarkiness, m’kay? ;-)
Reports & Articles
- Frequently Asked Questions on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting - UNFPA
- UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: Accelerating Change
- UNICEF Data: Child Protection >> Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting >> Current Status + Progress
- The State of the World's Children 2014 In Numbers: statistical table on FGM/C (PDF), full report (PDF), previous reports - UNICEF. January 2014
- Female genital mutilation: Fact sheet N°241 - World Health Organization (WHO). Updated February 2014
- Aligning With Local Cultures to End Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (PDF) - UNFPA. 2013
- Joint Evaluation of the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): Accelerating Change 2008-20012 (PDFs available at link, 2 volumes) - UNFPA-UNICEF. September 2013
- Child protection from violence, exploitation and abuse: Female genital mutilation/cutting - UNICEF. Updated 24 July 2013
- Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change (PDF available at link) - UNICEF. July 2013
- Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: Annual Report 2012 (PDF available at link) - UNFPA-UNICEF
- An Overview of Female Genital Mutilation in Nigeria - Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research, Volume 2(1) via the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Jan-Jun 2012
- The dynamics of social change: Towards the abandonment of FGM/C in five african countries (PDF available at link) - UNICEF, Innocenti Insight. 2010
- Global strategy to stop health-care providers from performing female genital mutilation (PDF available at link) - UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIFEM, WHO, FIGO, ICN, MWIA, WCPA, WMA. 2010
- Legislative reform to support the abandonment of female genital mutilation/cutting - UNICEF. August 2010
- Global Consultation on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (PDF available at link) - UNFPA. 2009
- Delinking Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting from Islam (PDF) - USAID. 2008
- Reliability of self reported form of female genital mutilation and WHO classification: cross sectional study - British Medical Journal (BMJ) via the National Center for Biotechnology Information. 16 July 2006
- Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A statistical exploration (PDF available at link) - UNICEF. November 2005
- Female Genital Mutilation - Muslim Women's League. January 1999
UNICEF - Blood on the leaves: Ending FGM/C in Côte d’Ivoire
UNHCR - FGM Too Much Pain: The Voices of Refugee Women (6 parts)
Part 6/6Unfortunately, if you’re in the U.S. you won’t be able to view this last part—I’m not sure why. Here’s the YouTube link to it if you’re somewhere that you can watch it or if you have access to a proxy you can go through. Here’s the web page about it (it seems to be primarily aimed at EU countries).