Darrow Miller and Friends

FGM: Coming to a Community Near You?

“Women have no need for their genitalia …” “…unless you are a whore.”

Those words were allegedly found in a pamphlet promoting sharia law in Britain. The article making the allegation, with this stark announcement, was sent to me by a friend named Ana who works in Southern Europe with trafficked women from North Africa. She knows firsthand the plight of abused women.

A global war is underway against women. It is rooted in various forms of sexist culture. One front of this war is the murder of 200,000,000 women. These females have been killed—before birth, at birth and during life—simply because they were female. We have written about this here and here. Another front of this war is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

FGM map

Globally 125,000,000 girls and and young women, mostly from 30 countries in North Africa and the Middle East where female circumcision is prevalent, have suffered this degrading, life-altering and life-threatening procedure. And as people emigrate from these areas to other parts of the world, the practice is seeded globally. The practice is growing in Britain, in Europe, and has begun to enter the United States.

FGM is growing in Britain and Europe and entering the US

While there are four basic categories of FGM, generally speaking it involves the removal of the clitoris (clitoridectomy) and is often followed by the sewing up of the vulva in such a way as to prevent intercourse without disturbing the flow of urine and menstrual blood. This is seldom, if ever, done for medical purposes. Most often this hideous surgery is done in primitive conditions, using razor blades, common knives or broken glass.

Aissa, now a midwife working in London, tells the story of the day when she was six years old and her baby sister was one. They, along with many other young girls, were circumcised in her native country of Mali, West Africa. She writes of the experience: “After the pain, it was screaming that I’ll never forget. It wasn’t just mine and my sister’s screams, there were so many other girls there- all being cut. I’ve never heard screams like that again, and I don’t think I ever will.”

For more on Aissa’s experience read the article sent by my friend Ana.

FGM is a manifestation of sexist culture where men consider themselves superior to women. The imposition of FGM, though usually performed by women, is overseen by the shadowed presence of the “superior male.” Most are performed on children, girls from infancy to 15 years old. There is no health/medical necessity for this procedure; it is purely cultural. At its root are cultural practices that predate Islam.

FGM ratesBut the prevalence of FGM occurs in predominantly Muslim countries in North Africa and the Middle East. While not necessarily rooted in the Quran, it is practiced and sanctioned in Muslim countries. The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law “Umdat al-Salik” by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (1302–1367) seems to offer sanction for the practice among devoted Muslims: “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 clitoris (this is called Hufaad).”

FGM is largely a cultural practice and thus justified as tradition: “Everyone does it!” It is considered necessary preparation for a young girl to become a “good woman,” ready to marry and have children. The removal of the clitoris is said to reduce the woman’s desire for sex, to inhibit sexual pleasure, and thus increase the chances that she will arrive at her wedding bed as a virgin. In some cases the clitorectomy is accompanied by sewing up the vulva in such a way as to prevent intercourse before marriage. In many cultures, the clitoris is considered “unclean” and “male.” For a woman to be “clean” and “beautiful” for her husband, the offensive body part must be cut off.

As refugee and immigrant populations come to Europe, England and the United States, they are bringing their practice of FGM with them.

FGM was outlawed in Great Britain in 1985, but not a single case has been prosecuted

In Britain, FGM is growing, as are efforts to enforce sharia law, from ethnic communities outwards. It is estimated that 66,000 girls have been mutilated in Britain. In one London hospital, 4,000 girls and women have been hospitalized since 2009 as a result of FGM. The real figures for FGM are not known because the tight communities where the crime is practiced keep it under cover. Currently FGM is practiced in larger British cities that have large ethnic communities of refugees and first-generation immigrants from cultures that practice FGM.

In 1985, a law was passed in Great Britain outlawing FGM and preventing British residents and citizens from traveling to a country where FGM is legal to have their daughters circumcised. Not one case of FGM has been prosecuted.

How can this be? Where are the national leaders who should be speaking out against this? Where are the religious leaders advocating for the recognition of the dignity of women? Why are leaders  not confronting this issue with the attention it demands? Could it possibly be that they are afraid to speak? Could it be that their consciences have been silenced by the fear of violence from radical Muslims and the pressure of cultural relativism, yes, even hatred exhibited by fundamentalist atheists? Have they walked into the same trap as the city council and police in Rotherham, where 1,400 girls as young as 11 were gang raped and groomed for being sold as wives to Muslim men by Muslim men?

A global war against women rages. It manifests itself in unspeakable gendercide, FGM, and sex trafficking, as well as “simpler” forms of violence and intimidation against women. When will it stop? Where are those willing to stand up on behalf of women in their communities and wherever FGM exists in the world?

Let us be the generation that take the motto “never again” seriously.

Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, because of the hope of the resurrection, we have no need to fear death. So let us live with courage! Let us be willing to pay a price to stand up for the rights of the innocent and against the evil that presses ever more tightly against our lives and culture.

  • Darrow Miller

See these posts:

Gendercide: The War on Baby Girls

On My Birth There Was No Singing: Gendercide in India

One Courageous Response to Gendercide – The War Against Females, Part 1 of 2

One Courageous Response to Gendercide – The War Against Females, Part 2 of 2




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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).