Saturday, September 08, 2007
Right now I'm reading a book called Infidel, the memoir of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I became aware of her when Theo van Gogh was shot and stabbed to death in 2004. Theo (great grandson of the brother of Vincent van Gogh) was a filmmaker and with Ayaan Hirsi Ali made a short film criticising the (inherently Islam-sanctioned) abuse of Muslim women.
Muslims (and Islam) often get a bad rap these days, and they complain about the unfairness of it all, but is it surprising when we learn about this stuff?
Ali grew up in Somalia, an exclusively Islamic African nation. I had heard of the practice of female circumcision, and it sounded cruel and barbaric. In her book Ali describes the procedure (called 'excision' here). She knows about it because it was done to her. Her father and mother were against the practice, but her grandmother wanted it done, so she waited until Mother and Father were both out of the house on a trip and organised it herself. In this operation, the clitoris is snipped off, the labia sliced off then sewn together, leaving only a small hole for urinating. Many girls die from infection. If they don't die, they experience at least a week of excruciating pain while the scar tissue forms. Later, when the girl grows up and is married (usually an arranged marriage, often to a man many years older than herself), on the wedding night the bride and groom go into the bedroom with all the family waiting outside. The man must push his penis through the scar tissue, but sometimes he can't do it so the bride has to be taken to hospital to have it done surgically. But if the man manages it, he grabs the bloody sheet and races outside to display it to the families impatiently waiting outside, and receives loud applause, the womenfolk ululating triumphantly.
There are many other examples throughout the book of alarming cruelty and inhumanity.
It was horrible. Everyone in that camp called themselves Muslims and yet nobody helped these women in the name of Allah. Everyone was praying - even the woman in that hut had been praying - but no one showed compassion.
Most unmarried Somali girls who got pregnant committed suicide. I knew of one girl in Mogadishu who poured a can of gasoline over herself in the living room, with everyone there, and burned herself alive. Of course, if she hadn't done this, her father and brothers would probably have killed her anyway.
These are ostensibly religious, devout people. I would say they are no such thing. Rather call them 'savages', their concept of Allah, or God, completely perverse and corrupt, even 'demonic', 'evil'. They are cowardly, morally bankrupt, theologically retarded, emotionally cockroach-like, and, ultimately, an abomination and blot on the face of humanity.
P.S. I urge you to read this important book.