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DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Reza Aslan is Wrong About... » Reply #8

Response to pbmus (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 12:53 AM

8. His intent is to put the focus of FGM primarily on Muslims & ignore the history of the practice

Last edited Mon Oct 6, 2014, 01:46 AM - Edit history (2)

Reading his article you would almost get the idea that it originated because of the Muslim religion which is not true. He very, very briefly mentions that it "may have originated in the Middle East or Africa" and fails to mention that, that is precisely WHY it's so common in central Africa. Not because of Islam but because it was already firmly in place and a common practice. Sure there are pockets of it outside of Africa but Aslan is 100% correct that it is primarily an African problem and stems from religions that pre-date Islam. Why not give the whole history of the practice unless your intent is to just smear Muslims across the board? While it's true that some Muslim sects have adopted it (only a fraction outside of Africa) though his article makes it sound widespread outside of Africa. Looking at the Wikipedia article I link to below, I don't get that idea in the slightest. For example he mentions it's in Iraq but the only place you see it is in a few Kurdish villages. There is also no mention of it in the Quran or the Bible and of course it's commonly seen in Africa because it was already widely done there before Muslims and Christians arrived.

Think of the SW United States. The Spanish lived with the Pueblo Indians and forced Christianity on them for hundreds of years but the Pueblo Indians still practice most of their ancient beliefs while many also consider themselves Christian. Fact is they are a blend of both Christian and Native American cultures. It's not easy for ancient cultures to change even when new religions take over.

He says Aslan cherry picked? Sorry but his reporting is extremely one sided and gives a false picture of its origins and how the practice spread.


its origins are pre-Islamic, FGM became associated with Islam because of that religion's focus on female chastity and seclusion.[102] In 2007 the Al-Azhar Supreme Council of Islamic Research in Cairo ruled, according to UNICEF, that FGM had "no basis in core Islamic law or any of its partial provisions."[103]

FGM is also practised by animist groups, particularly in Guinea and Mali,[104] and by Christians.[105] In Niger, for example, 55 percent of Christian women and girls have experienced FGM, compared with two percent of their Muslim counterparts.[106] There is no mention of FGM in the Bible, and Christian missionaries in Africa were among the first to object to it.[107] The only Jewish group known to have practised it are the Beta Israel of Ethiopia; Judaism requires male circumcision, but does not allow FGM.[108]



The origins of the practice are unknown. Gerry Mackie has suggested that it began with the Meroite civilization in present-day Sudan. He writes that its east-west, north-south contiguous distribution in Africa intersects in Sudan, and speculates that infibulation originated there with imperial polygyny, before the rise of Islam, to control access to women and increase confidence in paternity


Clearly a fucked up practice from very ancient religions and was originally meant to control women. Eventually picked up by a few Muslim and Christian sects mostly in Africa where it was already widely in practice.

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
pbmus Oct 2014 OP
Scootaloo Oct 2014 #1
pbmus Oct 2014 #2
Donald Ian Rankin Oct 2014 #11
Scootaloo Oct 2014 #12
Donald Ian Rankin Oct 2014 #15
Cicada Oct 2014 #3
muriel_volestrangler Oct 2014 #14
Quixote1818 Oct 2014 #4
pbmus Oct 2014 #6
LineLineLineNew Reply His intent is to put the focus of FGM primarily on Muslims & ignore the history of the practice
Quixote1818 Oct 2014 #8
liberal_at_heart Oct 2014 #5
mr_liberal Oct 2014 #7
FarrenH Oct 2014 #9
Skidmore Oct 2014 #13
Spitfire of ATJ Oct 2014 #10
EX500rider Oct 2014 #16
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