Female genital mutilation almost universal in Indonesia

Discussion in 'Politics' started by turzovka, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. turzovka
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    turzovka Gold Member

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    Why do I submit this? Because it is an outrage to most people on the planet. It surely is not discussed much in higher places where maybe the U.N. or the West or the Muslim world might say something?

    Also, it is not an honest argument when someone says “religion is the cause of this.” Let each religion’s actions and beliefs stand on their own. Christianity is no more responsible for the actions of fanatic Muslims than they are for our sins. I do not think atheism’s tenets can be indicted because of Pol Pot or Stalin either. It is this grander leap that “religion is the cause of X and Y” which I object to. But I also object to such horrific practices as the following because if this religious group’s particular beliefs.

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    The day I saw 248 girls suffering genital mutilation (from The Guardian, U.K.)

    In 2006, while in Indonesia and six months pregnant, Abigail Haworth became one of the few journalists ever to see young girls being 'circumcised'. Until now she has been unable to tell this shocking story

    It's 9.30am on a Sunday, and the mood inside the school building in Bandung, Indonesia, is festive. Mothers in headscarves and bright lipstick chat and eat coconut cakes. Javanese music thumps from an assembly hall. There are 400 people crammed into the primary school's ground floor. It's hot, noisy and chaotic, and almost everyone is smiling.

    Twelve-year-old Suminah is not. She looks like she wants to punch somebody. Under her white hijab, which she has yanked down over her brow like a hoodie, her eyes have the livid, bewildered expression of a child who has been wronged by people she trusted. She sits on a plastic chair, swatting away her mother's efforts to placate her with a party cup of milk and a biscuit. Suminah is in severe pain. An hour earlier, her genitals were mutilated with scissors as she lay on a school desk.

    During the morning, 248 Indonesian girls undergo the same ordeal… It is well established that female genital mutilation (FGM) is not required in Muslim law. It is an ancient cultural practice that existed before Islam, Christianity and Judaism. It is also agreed across large swathes of the world that it is barbaric. At the mass ceremony, I ask the foundation's social welfare secretary, Lukman Hakim, why they do it. His answer not only predates the dawn of religion, it predates human evolution: "It is necessary to control women's sexual urges," says Hakim, a stern, bespectacled man in a fez. "They must be chaste to preserve their beauty."

    Although Indonesia is not a country where FGM is widely reported, the practice is endemic. Two nationwide studies carried out by population researchers in 2003 and 2010 found that between 86 and 100% of households surveyed subjected their daughters to genital cutting, usually before the age of five. More than 90% of adults said they wanted the practice to continue… The Indonesian method commonly involves cutting off part of the hood and/or tip of the clitoris with scissors, a blade or a piece of sharpened bamboo.

    Last year, the situation regressed further. In early 2011, Indonesia's parliament effectively reversed the ban on FGM by approving guidelines for trained doctors on how to perform it. The rationale was that, since the ban had failed, issuing guidelines would "safeguard the female reproductive system", officials said. Indonesia's largest Muslim organisation, the Nahdlatul Ulama, also issued an edict telling its 30 million followers that it approved of female genital cutting, but that doctors "should not cut too much".

    It is impossible to second-guess what kind of place holds mass ceremonies to mutilate girl children, with the aim of forever curbing their sexual pleasure… The Qur'an does not mention the practice, and it is outlawed in most Islamic countries. Yet leading Indonesian clerics were growing ever more insistent that it was a sacred duty.

    It was early, before 8am, when we arrived at a school painted hospital green in a Bandung suburb on the day of the ceremony. Women and girls clad in long tunics were lining up outside to register. It was a female-only affair (men and boys had their own circumcision gathering upstairs), and the mood was relaxed and sisterly. From their sun-lined faces and battered sandals, some of the mothers looked quite poor – poor enough, possibly, to make the foundation's 80,000 rupiah cash handout as much of an enticement as the promise of spiritual purity.

    Inside, I was greeted by Hdjella, 57, a teacher and midwife who would supervise the cutting. She was wearing a pink floral apron with a frilly pocket. She had been a traditional midwife for 32 years, she said, although, like most dukun, she had no formal training.

    "Boy or girl?" she asked me, brightly. I was almost six months pregnant at the time.

    "Boy," I told her.

    "Praise Allah."

    Hdjella insisted that the form of FGM they practised is "helpful to girls' health". She explained that they clean the genitals and then use sterilised scissors to cut off part of the hood, or prepuce, and the tip of the clitoris.

    "How is this helpful to girls' health?" I asked. "It balances their emotions so they don't get sexually over-stimulated," she said, enunciating in schoolmistress fashion. "It also helps them to urinate more easily and reduces the bad smell."

    Any other benefits? "Oh yes," she said, with a tinkling laugh. "My grandmother always said that circumcised women cook more delicious rice."

    FGM in Indonesia is laden with superstition and confusion. A common myth is that it is largely "symbolic", involving no genital damage. A study published in 2010 by Yarsi University in Jakarta found this is true only rarely, in a few animist communities where the ritual involves rubbing the clitoris with turmeric or bamboo. While Indonesia doesn't practise the severest forms of mutilation found in parts of Africa and the Middle East, such as infibulation (removing the clitoris and labia and sewing up the genital area) or complete clitoral excision, the study found the Indonesian procedure "involves pain and actual cutting of the clitoris" in more than 80% of cases.

    Hdjella took me to the classroom where the cutting would soon begin… The room filled up with noise and people. Girls started to cry and protest as soon as their mothers hustled them inside. Rapidly, the mood turned business-like. "We have many girls to circumcise this morning, about 300," Hdjella shouted above the escalating din. As children were hoisted on to desks I realised with a jolt: this is an assembly line.

    Hdjella led me to a four-year-old girl who was lying down. As the girl squirmed, two midwives put their faces close to hers. They smiled at her, making soft noises, but their hands took an arm and a leg each in a claw-like grip. "Look, look," Hdjella commanded, as a third woman leant in and steadily snipped off part of the girl's clitoris with what looked like a pair of nail scissors. "It's nothing, you see? There is not much blood. All done!" The girl's scream was a long guttural rattle, which got louder as the midwife dabbed at her genitals with antiseptic.

    In the dingy, crowded room, her cries merged with the sobs and screeches of other girls lying on desks, the grating sing-song clucking of the midwives, the surreally casual conversational hum of waiting mothers. There was no air.


    (the full article is in the guardian but I am not allowed yet to post URLs)
     
  2. bucs90
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    bucs90 Gold Member

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    Islam is a filthy religion of the past that is evolving in reverse order, whereas most religions of the world have evolved forward to a more peaceful and civil existence.

    That said, at some point someone other than the United States is going to have to step up in the world and control this filth. We're broke and cant afford it anymore.
     
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  3. JoeB131
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    JoeB131 Diamond Member

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    Female circumcission predates both Islam and Christianity, and there are tribes in both religions that practice it.

    The cause is that if a woman can't enjoy sex, she'll be less likely to cheat on her husband. And frankly the notion of enjoying sex for its own sake is considered sinful in religion in general.
     
  4. turzovka
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    turzovka Gold Member

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    I am curious which tribes that are Christian practice this? (not saying you are wrong)

    The reasons they do this is not because she will be less likely to cheat on her husband, the reasons were stated above. Sex and its pleasures within marriage are not considered sinful in the Catholic teachings and most likely not in most protestant ones either.
     
  5. JoeB131
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    JoeB131 Diamond Member

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    Read and learn...

    Mutilation/Cutting: Promoting Gender Equality: UNFPA

    The origins of the practice are unclear. It predates the rise of Christianity and Islam. There is mention made of Egyptian mummies that display characteristics of FGM/FGC. Historians such as Herodotus claim that in the fifth century BC the Phoenicians, the Hittites and the Ethiopians practised circumcision. It is also reported that circumcision rites were practised in tropical zones of Africa, in the Philippines, by certain tribes in the Upper Amazon, and in Australia by women of the Arunta tribe. It also occurred among the early Romans and Arabs. As recent as the 1950s, clitoridectomy was practised in Western Europe and the United States to treat 'ailments' in women as diverse as hysteria, epilepsy, mental disorders, masturbation, nymphomania, melancholia and lesbianism. In other words, the practice of FGM/FGC has been followed by many different peoples and societies across the ages and the continents.
     
  6. daveman
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    daveman Diamond Member

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    Western cultures no longer engage in this barbarism.

    But, typically, if someone criticizes Islam, some moron has to come along and screech "Xtianity is just as bad!!"
     
  7. JoeB131
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    JoeB131 Diamond Member

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    A barbarism you stopped in the 1950's is hardly far enough back to really justify your "superiority", guy.

    Fact is, clitoridectomies were performed in the US.

    This is a barbaric practice, but all religions have practiced it for the same reason.

    God doesn't want them women enjoying the sex.
     
  8. tyroneweaver
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    tyroneweaver Gold Member

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    indonesia, didn't barry just give them 6b
     
  9. JoeB131
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    JoeB131 Diamond Member

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    No, but tell yourself that he did, because you need to believe that.
     
  10. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Every single time.
     
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