Now that Muslims in the U.S. have been arrested for brutalizing children via FGM, the ACLU is suddenly interested and of course opposed.
One of the eight high-risk areas in the country
The American Civil Liberties Union launched a vocal opposition this week against a Maine bill criminalizing female genital mutilation (FGM), Mainely Media reports.
Republican Rep. Heather Sirocki is sponsoring the bill, saying that it would classify performing FGM as a Class B crime in the state, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. The bill would also punish the parent or guardian of the victim.
However, the Maine ACLU staunchly opposes the protection. ACLU spokesman Oamshri Amarasingham said that the risk of mutilation isn’t worth expanding Maine’s criminal code. The Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault also supported the ACLU, arguing that FGM is not happening in Maine.
Sirocki, however, pointed to a 2012 report from the Center for Disease Control, which found 500,000 victims of FGM in the US. Furthermore, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement found that 400 individuals have been arrested and 785 deported for FGM violations nationwide since 2003.
Maine, Sirocki said, is one of the eight highest-risk areas in the US for FGM. The practice has proven to be so rampant in the state that it has received special federal funding to combat it.
Sirocki’s bill would also criminalize “vacation cutting,” the practice of flying briefly overseas to subject minors to FGM in nations that haven’t banned the practice.
While FGM has been a crime federally since 1996, Maine is one of the highest-risk areas in the country for the practice, and Sirocki said that law enforcement needs to be able to try offenders on the state level.
“Federal prosecutors take a very small amount of cases,” Sirocki said. “The state of Maine deals with thousands of cases. If a situation would occur and this is the issue, if the federal government doesn’t have enough prosecutors, it doesn’t get prosecuted.”
The bill, LD745, only criminalizes the practice on those under 18. It does not apply to adults who choose to undergo mutilation, “though it probably should,” Sirocki said. If the bill passes, Maine would be the 25th state to protect its residents against FGM.
Sirocki said that the Committee of Criminal Justice and Public Safety was divided in its support of the bill, but eventually recommended the bill favorably with a 7-5 vote. The Maine House of Representatives will first review the bill, then it will go to the members of the state senate.
As Robert Spencer writes:
“Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) (by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the bazr ‘clitoris’ [this is called khufaadh ‘female circumcision’]).” — ‘Umdat al-Salik e4.3, translated by Mark Durie, The Third Choice, p. 64
Why is it obligatory? Because Muhammad is held to have said so: “Abu al- Malih ibn Usama’s father relates that the Prophet said: ‘Circumcision is a law for men and a preservation of honour for women.’” — Ahmad Ibn Hanbal 5:75
That’s why it is so common around the world, and why it is certain to become increasingly common in the United States, particularly with help from the ACLU, which doubtless wants to avoid appearing to be “Islamophobic.”