Diversity is beautiful alert!
This is one of those great ‘fun’ political debates you will get to have once the population of Muslims, mostly from East Africa, ‘find their way’ to your state.
Maine, especially Lewiston, is the Somali capital of the East!
The story at the Press Herald is long and detailed, but what you might see as a ‘no brainer’—-making it illegal to subject anyone to this form of abuse, or to take someone out of the country to have it done—isn’t a no-brainer for the Leftwing women and the Southern Poverty Law Center which oppose the bill.
Here is a bit of the story from the Portland Press Herald just to give you the flavor:
AUGUSTA — There are parts of the world where it has long been common for adult women to slice away girls’ external genital tissue in a bid to dampen their sexual desires.
Though Maine is a long way from anywhere this has traditionally been a problem, a battle is raging among lawmakers about whether the state ought to have a law specifically barring female genital mutilation.
The operation to slice off all or part of a woman’s clitoris and labia is prohibited under federal law and is almost certainly banned by existing, broader Maine statutes. In addition, there is no solid evidence that the procedure, also called female circumcision, is happening in Maine.
One provision in a bill legislators are considering also would make it a felony to take a girl outside Maine to have someone cut her genital tissue without a medical reason, which is already illegal under federal law.
Safiya Khalid, a Somali-American from Lewiston who serves on the city’s library board, said Friday that “old school” women in her community “wouldn’t risk” having the procedure done on a child in Maine, but some might take their daughters back to Africa for it. She doesn’t know anyone who’s had it done, she said, but she thinks it probably has occurred.
“It’s a horrible experience,” Khalid said of the procedure, which is typically done without anesthesia. “It’s just terrible.”
Critics of the proposal see it as a thinly disguised attack on African immigrants, especially Somalis who hail from an area where female genital mutilation is widespread, basically a swath from Somalia on the east coast of Africa to Sierra Leone on the west, an area that includes Muslims, Christians and animists.
There is an “insidious assumption that members of Maine’s Somali community support this harmful practice,” Maine Family Planning’s Kate Brogan told lawmakers.
A 2017 survey of the immigrant community in Maine by Partnerships for Health found that 71 percent think the practice is harmful and 82 percent believe it shouldn’t happen. [Do the math based on numbers in next paragraph, this still leaves a couple of thousand Maine immigrants who are fine with the mutilation!—ed]
The issue has particular resonance in the Lewiston-Auburn area given the influx of immigrants in the past two decades from countries where the practice is common. About 7,500 East Africans have moved to Androscoggin County and another 5,000 to Cumberland County in that time, according to the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine.
Some of the women and girls who moved to Maine underwent the illegal procedure in their home countries, though specifics are hard to come by. Khalid said she knows “a lot of friends and people who had it done” to them before coming to America.
Supporters of the measure, pushed in part by an anti-Muslim hate group, said girls need protection.
What the hell! Act for America is an “anti-Muslim hate group.”
How dare this reporter and this paper swallow the Southern Poverty Law Center’s propaganda without question! It is a disgrace! Do they not know how discredited the SPLC has become? Has ACT contacted the paper and asked for a retraction?
I guess we are left to conclude from SPLC’s involvement in Maine—the Southern Poverty Law Center supports Female Genital Mutilation.
See my archive on Maine, here and one specifically on Lewiston, here.