Monday, 26 January 2015

FGM, Political Correctness and the BBC

Orla Guerin reported on today's conviction of an Egyptian Doctor for his involvement in Female Genital Mutilation. As part of her coverage of the background to the case, she said: 

"Campaigners say that ending the mutilation of young girls is also dependent on persuading families to abandon a long-held tradition, which many believe - wrongly - is a religious duty."

What on earth does she know? That word "wrongly" is ignorant and arrogant and driven by an agenda which makes no real effort to engage with what any actual people really understand by religious duty.

In the circles in which I was brought up, religious duty could include not having a cooked lunch or kicking a ball on a Sunday, singing three hymns in a service rather than four, or wearing a dark suit to the beach. Nowadays, I tend to think that all of those concepts of "duty" were wrong,  in the sense of being without any basis in the Scriptures. The people were mistaken in their sense of duty, but they were sincere, and I think that really only an insider who understands their culture and submits to the same scriptures is qualified to make any judgement as to the religious necessity or not of their "duty". 

Around the world the variety of "religious duty" is extraordinary. Dietary oddities, taboos and commitments, every kind of bodily mutilation - nothing is surprising. Some great cruelties are practised as religious duties, whole social systems have been raised up on the foundation of a religious world-view - life is religion for most of the world, most of the time. 

The Western world, as exemplified by David Cameron, Orla Guerin and her BBC colleagues, is stuck up a creek without a paddle. The commitment is to say that all religions are helpful, loving and positive, and that nasty stuff, from machine-gunned journalists to genitally-mutilated girls, does not therefore have any root in religion. This politically correct orthodoxy necessitates the kind of nonsense contained in that word "wrongly" - religion = good, FGM = bad, therefore FGM is not a religious duty. 

What cannot be allowed, cannot be contemplated, cannot be countenanced or breathed, is that some religion is false and nasty and destructive and bad. FGM is horrid, it is wrong, it is cruel. And for some sincere people, it is a duty that genuinely flows from their faith. 

Their faith is wrong. 

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