Dear Letter to the Editor:
Anika Veerarghav (Calling Attention to Female Genital Cutting) treats Islam — the 800 pound gorilla in the room — as an untouchable subject. On the other hand Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the world’s most famous victim of genital cutting, has no such politically correct compunction.
In her book, “The Caged Virgin” Hirsi Ali states the obvious:
“This ( female genital cutting)happens in more than thirty countries, including Egypt, Somalia and Sudan. Although it is not prescribed in the Koran, for those women who cannot do without the labor that girls perform outside the walls of their home, this originally tribal custom has practically become a religious duty, and is defended as such. Proponents point to the fact that the circumcision of women existed in the period before and during Muhammad’s time, and the Prophet Muhammad did not explicitly prohibit it. The so-called infibulation ( literally ‘ stiching up’) offers a guarantee over women and is implemented under the watchful eye of mother’s, aunt’s, grandmother’s and other female guardians.”
It is disappointing that in such a lengthy article Ms. Veerarghav failed to avail herself and her readers of the easily available personal knowledge and wisdom of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Richard Sherman POB 934853, Margate, Florida 33093. (646)267-7904.