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'Politically correct' NY Times hides horror of female genital mutilation. By Nolan Rappaport

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The New York Times does not use the term “Female Genital Mutilation” (FGM) in its article about a Michigan doctor who is being prosecuted for allegedly performing that procedure on two seven-year-old girls. The Times calls the offense, “genital cutting,” despite the fact that the prosecution is based on a federal criminal provision entitled, “Female genital mutilation.”

If convicted, the doctor can be sentenced to incarceration for up to five years.

According to Celia Dugger, the Times’ Health and Science editor, “genital cutting” is a “less culturally loaded” term than “FGM.” It will not widen the “chasm” between “advocates who campaign against the practice and the people who follow the rite.”

For reasons that are inexplicable to me, Dugger seems to think that there can be a legitimate difference of opinion on whether it is right to mutilate the genitals of a seven-year-old girl.

Also, her euphemism, “genital cutting,” makes FGM sound less horrific, which is a disservice to the victims and to the people who are trying to stop the practice.

Political correctness serves a valid purpose when it prevents a person from unnecessarily or unintentionally offending others, but I do not understand why we should be sensitive to the feelings of people who subject seven-year-old girls to genital mutilation.

Read more at---

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blo...female-genital

Published originally on The Hill.

About the author.
Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years. He also has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing and Collaboration under a contract with TKC Communications, and he has been in private practice as an immigration lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson.





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Updated 04-26-2017 at 10:53 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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Comments

  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Thanks to Nolan for exposing the horrors of this practice. Definitely, the US needs more liberal laws and procedures to provide asylum for what must no doubt be thousands of women throughout Africa and the world who have been victims of this terrible form of persecution and who would be suffering severe social and psychological damage by staying in or returning to their countries.

    The U.S. also needs a far more liberal asylum/refugee policy to many more thousands of women who have a credible fear of being subjected to this type of gender-based persecution.

    I am sure that calling attention to the need for an expanded, more liberal asylum policy in this area was Nolan's main reason for writing this article.

    Congratulations and Kudos to you, Nolan! Keep up the good work!

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    Thanks to Nolan for exposing the horrors of this practice. Definitely, the US needs more liberal laws and procedures to provide asylum for what must no doubt be thousands of women throughout Africa and the world who have been victims of this terrible form of persecution and who would be suffering severe social and psychological damage by staying in or returning to their countries.

    The U.S. also needs a far more liberal asylum/refugee policy to many more thousands of women who have a credible fear of being subjected to this type of gender-based persecution.

    I am sure that calling attention to the need for an expanded, more liberal asylum policy in this area was Nolan's main reason for writing this article.

    Congratulations and Kudos to you, Nolan! Keep up the good work!

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    I appreciate Roger's comment, but I don't entirely agree with his interpretation of my article. We may need more liberal asylum/refugee laws, but that would just increase the number of woman coming here on the basis of FGM claims. It might make Roger feel better, but it wouldn't address the FGM problem in a significant way.


    1. As I point out in my article, there are 200 million of them now. And surely more will be subjected to FGM in the future. We could only help a tiny percentage of them, and it would be at the cost of not taking other people who could establish eligibility for asylum or refugee status on the basis of other types of claims.
    2. The perpetrators of FGM are family members with the cooperation of the parents. Anyone who participated in the FGM would be ineligible for admission to the US as someone who has engaged in persecution. This means in most cases, relief would make the child or young woman an orphan.
    3. The practice is widely accepted by people in the places where it is practiced. I doubt that many children or young women hate their parents because of the FGM. In other words, they aren't trying to get away from them. I suspect that most would choose to stay with their parents rather than to come here.
    4. If the FGM has already occurred, it would be past persecution. This is okay in special circumstances, e.g., where the person will suffer terribly if she is not taken away from the place where the persecution occurred or the people responsible for it. I wouldn't expect to find that reaction in this situation.


    I know Roger always wants to solve problems people are having in other countries by bringing them here. In this case, they would be bringing the problem with them. Children in families that practice FGM are likely to want their own children to have that procedure too. And children who haven't had the procedure yet are likely to have it done here when their families move to the US.

    The only way to address this situation effectively is by teaching the people who practice FGM that it is wrong. And I am not optimistic about the prospect of doing that.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 04-26-2017 at 04:52 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    That is an excellent idea, Nolan. Let's teach everyone in the world who wants to persecute someone or violate their basic human rights that it is wrong to do that, and then neither America nor any other country on earth will need to have asylum or refugee laws.

    I really like Nolan's proposal. I haven't agreed with him so much and on so many things in a long time, if ever.

    If Nolan could also make some suggestions about how to put his wonderful idea into practical effect, I am sure that all of his readers, along with myself, would be interested in hearing about it.

    I also have to express a little surprise, however, that despite his great sympathy and compassion for FMG victims or potential victims, he seems so opposed to the idea of giving them refuge or asylum in the United States, as we do with other victims of persecution.

    That is just a little disappointing.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Roger, there is a huge difference between FGM and other types of persecution. FGM isn't done to hurt the person. The idea is to help the little girl to become a desirable woman. It is much easier to explain why this is not a good idea than it would be to persuade someone not to persecute a person or some group of people that he hates and wants to hurt.

    I never said or indicated in any way that I am not sympathetic or that I am opposed to giving asylum to FGM victims. My point is that it won't solve the problem. You solve the problem by stopping FGM, which I think can be done through education. In any case, giving a few of them asylum or refugee status won't help the ones who remain in jeopardy. Those are the ones I am trying to help.

    And as I have tried to explain, very few of them will be eligible for asylum or refugee status anyway. If FGM has already been performed, they don't need asylum or refugee status. It's not a prize that we give to people who have suffered. It's to provide refuge for people in danger of being persecuted.

    If it hasn't been performed yet and they can show a well founded fear that it will happen if they are returned to their country, they probably will be eligible for asylum or refugee status. But I doubt that there will be many applications like that.

    The thing that makes FGM different is the fact that it is done for cultural reasons, not to persecute the little girls. It was a stretch to call it persecution at all, but that's the law....as it has been interpreted by the Board of Immigration Appeals.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 04-26-2017 at 09:39 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  5. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    This is a patently self-contradictory argument. On the one hand, Nolan is arguing that FGM is so horrible that the laws against performing it in the US must be enforced strictly - a point on which I totally agree.

    There is at least an implication in Nolan's argument that immigrants seeking entry to the US should be carefully screened to make sure that they are not likely to perform or assist in performing this horrible procedure either in this country. There again, I would agree with Nolan in principle.

    But to argue that while this procedure is so terrible that we should protect ourselves against people who perform it, while doing nothing to provide refuge or asylum to victims or potential victims of this heinous practice doesn't make any sense.

    Roger
    Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 04-27-2017 at 03:58 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  6. MKolken's Avatar
    As someone who has won FGM based asylum claims by expanding the ruling in the Board's decision in Matter of Kasinga to individuals who have already been subjected to the practice and face persecution for their unwillingness to mutilate their daughters I have thought long an hard about Roger's question.

    The United States must take a clear and unwavering stand against the torture of children. And that is exactly what female genital mutilation is: torture. It isn't female circumcision as the whitewashing in the NY Times article would lead you to believe. Just to be clear FGM is the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia, which includes the ********, *****, mons pubis (the fatty tissue over the pubic bone), and the urethral and vaginal openings. Oftentimes the torture is performed with blunt unsterilized instruments without anesthesia and complications often result in death. In the most severe form of FGM, Infibulation or Pharaonic Circumcision (Type III), the remaining skin is stretched across the vagina from both sides and stitched together with either thread, thorns or catgut. This leaves only a small opening through which the woman can urinate, and which menstrual blood can come through. A girl with this third form of FGM has her previously sewn shut vagina opened to allow her to have intercourse with her new husband, and then has it sewn back up in order to ensure that she remains loyal.

    Our country, the greatest country that has ever existed, must send a clear message that those who practice barbarism are not welcome on our shores. The United States immigration law should specifically exclude individuals from admission who participate in the mutilation of girls. Period.

    A question should be added to all immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applications asking whether the individual has assisted or participated in the performance of FGM on any individual, and as you are aware the applicant for admission has the burden of proof. The question should also be added to applications for adjustment and naturalization. This may be motivation for the governments of these countries where child torture is prevalent to eradicate it when they find out that large percentages of nationals of their country are deemed inadmissible. And if nationals of those countries choose not to eradicate it, I'm perfectly content in the national interest closing the gates on barbarians. See INA §212(f).
    Updated 04-27-2017 at 09:18 AM by MKolken
  7. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    This is a patently self-contradictory argument. On the one hand, Nolan is arguing that FGM is so horrible that the laws against performing it in the US must be enforced strictly - a point on which I totally agree.

    There is at least an implication in Nolan's argument that immigrants seeking entry to the US should be carefully screened to make sure that they are not likely to perform or assist in performing this horrible procedure either in this country. There again, I would agree with Nolan in principle.

    But to argue that while this procedure is so terrible that we should protect ourselves against people who perform it, while doing nothing to provide refuge or asylum to victims or potential victims of this heinous practice doesn't make any sense.

    Roger
    Algase
    Attorney at Law
    I never said we "should" not provide refugee status or asylum to the victims or potential victims. I said someone who has already had FGM USUALLY DOES NOT QUALIFY for refugee status or asylum. They have to show additional circumstances relating to not wanting to remain where it was performed.

    Girls who haven't had the procedure yet and have a well founded fear of having it done would have a good chance of qualifying.

    Nolan Rappaport
  8. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I would have no objection to Matt's proposal. No one who practices or assists in FMG, or intends to do so should be allowed to enter the US.

    The danger is that a US visa offer could say to a wholly innocent applicant:

    "Well, I see you're from a part of this country where FMG is said to be common, so I assume that you must support or advocate doing it too. Now prove to me that you don't!"

    And if the totally innocent person can't prove a negative - Visa Denied!

    Same, by the way, for honor killings.

    This is by no means a fantasy situation. In Trump's two Muslim ban executive orders, the underlying assumption is that everyone in the listed countries is presumed to be a terrorist or terrorist sympathizer merely because they are a citizen of the country in question.

    With that kind of thinking, we are well on the way back to 1924, which, not by coincidence, is exactly where Jeff Sessions in a couple of his recent statements of record would like this country to be, and which Stephen Bannon's Breitbart News has also, at least indirectly, supported returning to.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  9. MKolken's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    The danger is that a US visa offer could say to a wholly innocent applicant:

    "Well, I see you're from a part of this country where FMG is said to be common, so I assume that you must support or advocate doing it too. Now prove to me that you don't!"

    And if the totally innocent person can't prove a negative - Visa Denied!
    I agree, and I don't really care so long as governments of these nations allow these practices to continue by neglecting to seriously address the problem.
  10. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    It's interesting to note that Roger, in typical fashion, is only concerned about the aliens who want to come to the United States. And Mat blames the governments for allowing the practice to continue. Neither mentions the perpetrators of this horrific practice, the families that subject their young daughters to it.

    I see the same thing with respect to bringing refugees from places like Syria. Concern about the refugees, which I do agree with, but little, if any, interest in making sure that the people causing the problems in those countries don't come here with the refugees we are trying to help.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 04-27-2017 at 10:38 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  11. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Nolan is the one, not surprisingly, who is trying to sidestep the reality that FMG is a form of persecution, and a horrible one at that, as both Nolan and Matt have made clear.

    It is not just a club to use against citizens of Muslim countries - (I am not a specialist in this area, but everyone agrees that FMG is a holdover from earlier, pre-Islamic societies and traditions in a number of countries. My understanding is that most Muslims do not believe that FMG is required by their religion, and that many Muslims interpret the Koran as specifically forbidding this terrible practice).

    We have a policy in this country, as well as in the international conventions that America is party to, that people who have a credible fear of persecution because of their membership in specified groups, in which potential FMG victims certainly qualify, are eligible for asylum in the US.

    The federal courts have held so, and USCIS is recognizing this more and more, so why is Nolan still beating a dead horse by looking for contrived arguments in favor of keeping these FMG victims out, when America should be admitting many more of these terrified and horribly abused young women as refugees or asylees?

    Isn't it time to move onto the next issue?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 05-03-2017 at 04:20 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  12. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    Nolan is the one, not surprisingly, who is trying to sidestep the reality that FMG is a form of persecution, and a horrible one at that, as both Nolan and Matt have made clear.

    It is not just a club to use against citizens of Muslim countries - (I am not a specialist in this area, but everyone agrees that FMG is a holdover from earlier, pre-Islamic societies and traditions in a number of countries. My understanding is that most Muslims do not believe that FMG is required by their religion, and that many Muslims interpret the Koran as specifically forbidding this terrible practice).

    We have a policy in this country, as well as in the international conventions that America is party to, that people who have a credible fear of persecution because of their membership in specified groups, in which potential FMG victims certainly qualify, are eligible for asylum in the US.

    The federal courts have held so, and USCIS is recognizing this more and more, so why is Nolan still beating a dead horse by looking for contrived arguments in favor of keeping these FMG victims out, when America should be admitting many more of these terrified and horribly abused young women as refugees or asylees?

    Isn't it time to move onto the next issue?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Roger, if you read my article more carefully, you will see that I say that FGM is persecution. I even cite the Board of Immigration Appeals precedent decision which holds that it is persecution.

    But if you read the asylum laws too, you will see that asylum is given to people who are afraid to go home because they will be persecuted there. That's not the case with someone who has been the victim of FGM. It is only done once and they can't establish a fear of persecution on the basis of something that has already happened.

    Past persecution is another possibility, but it is very difficult with FGM because the victim's own family subjected her to the FGM. She would have to establish that it is unbearable to remain in her country with the family that treated her so brutally, which is unlikely in societies that consider FGM a part of their culture that benefits the young girls by removing their "unclean" parts. Possible but unlikely.

    Nolan Rappaport
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