The following letter was submitted to the Sydney Morning Herald ...
In her profile of Somali-born author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, your reporter Angela Bennie claims the disgusting sub-Saharan cultural practice of female genital mutilation is common in countries where Islam is dominant, including Ethiopia.
In fact, Islam is not the dominant faith in Ethiopia. FGM is widely practised among Ethiopian Coptic Christians, and is also widespread among Ethiopian Jews (including those settled in Israel).
Further, FGM is completely unknown among Muslim communities in Central Asia, China, Turkey, Bosnia, Albania and the Indian sub-Continent (from where 1 in 4 Muslims originates).
Thankfully, the practice is banned in Australia. Muslim women were prominent in lobbying for it to be banned. They understood it to be a cultural practice with no support in the Islamic sacred law.
Ms Hirsi Ali has every right to be angry about being subjected to the barbaric practice of FGM. But by blaming Islam itself, she is doing no favours to FGM's millions of non-Muslim victims.
© Irfan Yusuf 2007