Is Female Genital Mutilation Religious or Cultural?

The following letter appears in the Toronto Sun today:

No to FGM

Re “Religious tolerance is no excuse for female genital mutilation” (Farzana Hassan, May 11): The issue here is, as Hassan suggests, very simple: “Religious rights” must not be permitted to trump “universal human rights”. To permit FGM as a religious right would be for us to abandon our humanity in favour of a brutish religion which engages in “honour killings” and punishes defectors with death. “Gender egalitarian surgeries”? Our moral and legal standards are obviously meaningless to such people, and they should be removed from Canada as they are clearly unsuitable to live in a civilized society.
Jeff Goodall

(FGM isn’t a religious practice. It’s basically tribal and unacceptable in Canada, no matter who does it, no matter why)

Here is my response to the Sun’s editorial comment:

Re: “No to FGM” (Letters, May 16).

Dear Editor:
Re “No to FGM” (Letters, May 16): In your response to my letter, you state that “FGM isn’t a religious practice”. While FGM is not a religious commandment, the Prophet Muhammad condoned it (*), thus it cannot be banned. Muslim practitioners regard FGM as a “right”, and will not tolerate it being suppressed as that would be contrary to Muhammad’s example. Simply stating that “FGM isn’t a religious practice” obscures the realities and makes the issue that much more difficult to deal with.

Jeff Goodall.

(*) – See “Religion or culture” here.

See also: “Hawaii lawyer: Trump exec order violates 1st Amendment because honor killings are Islamic” here.

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