Friday, January 27, 2012

''Men in the Maldives feel that the women's role is reproductive and in the home. That's what women should do and that's all we should do.''

And so we are seeing a rise in instances of FGM, or female genital mutilation.  Islamists are taking control of the Maldives and women are very frightened.  I am sure they will be able to count on feminists, the left, civil rights advocates and other NGOs to rush in, explain that Islam does not cut out women's clitoris's and end the barbaric practice once and for all.

Right?  Hello!?  Anybody?

From the Sydney Morning Herald January 25

Female circumcision fear as fundamentalists roll back women's rights

Maldives women face more repression under a rising tide of religious fundamentalism, reports Ben Doherty from Male.

When the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, visited the Maldives late last year, she urged that the practice of flogging women for having sex outside marriage - while very rarely punishing men for the same - should be abolished.

''This practice constitutes one of the most inhumane and degrading forms of violence against women,'' she told local reporters then.

The response was as fierce as it was unexpected. The next day protesters rallied outside the UN building, carrying placards that read ''Ban UN'' and ''Islam is not a toy'' and threatened to ''Flog Pillay''. A website later promised to ''slaughter anyone against Islam''.

I think they meant to say "Islam is not to be toyed with"

Similar protests have followed, and a growing religious divide between moderate and fundamentalist Muslims - constitutionally, all Maldivians are obliged to follow Islam - has led many to question the direction of religion in the Maldives and, in particular, the place of women in Maldivian society.

In an interview with the Herald, the Maldivian President, Mohamed Nasheed, conceded an emergent religious fundamentalism had changed the way women were viewed, and treated, in his country.

He said he was distressed by religious groups who campaigned for girls to be circumcised or to be kept home from school.

''We were a matriarchal society. Our inheritance, also, in the past was from women. But, with a new kind of radical Islam, the perceptions some of them have on women are not familiar to many Maldivians,'' Mr Nasheed said.

Anecdotal reports suggest female circumcision is undergoing a resurgence in the Maldives, particularly on the outer islands, where local imams hold significant influence.

Read it all

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