But I’m here with some good news reported recently in the New York Times.
(Warning, this report may contain irony.)
Yessir, the Times reported that there has been a documented, gradual decline in the practice of female genital cutting, known in Africa as female genital mutilation. That’s right, over the next decade young women are somewhat less likely to have their clitorises hacked off with crude instruments under septic conditions by old people with filthy hands. Man, that really raises my hope for the female gender! Only 30 million young women are projected to have their external genitalia mutilated in the next ten years. BTW, in Egypt, 91% of women between 15 and 49 have already undergone the “procedure.”
I was surprised and somewhat relieved to learn that genital cutting is not a religious practice per se and that major branches of Islam denounce it. Others, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, are supporting the barbaric practice in some places. So while religion doesn’t bear the lion’s share of the blame, it is clear from the numbers that religious leadership is not concerned enough to undertake a serious effort to end it. And there are still areas where it has strong ties to religion.
So two faint cheers for a “gradual fall” in an insane and brutal cultural custom. And a half-hearted, reluctant, muffled cheer for some religious organizations, but in this instance only.