By Diana Hsieh
Regarding the news that the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that doctors perform a ritual cut to the genitals of young girls to prevent them from being shipped overseas for full circumcision, Mark Steyn writes:
Last week, the American Association of Pediatricians noted that certain, ahem, "immigrant communities" were shipping their daughters overseas to undergo "female genital mutilation." So, in a spirit of multicultural compromise, they decided to amend their previous opposition to the practice: They're not (for the moment) advocating full-scale clitoridectomies, but they are suggesting federal and state laws be changed to permit them to give a "ritual nick" to young girls.(Via Amy Alkon.)
A few years back, I thought even fainthearted Western liberals might draw the line at "FGM." After all, it's a key pillar of institutional misogyny in Islam: Its entire purpose is to deny women sexual pleasure.
True, many of us hapless Western men find we deny women sexual pleasure without even trying, but we don't demand genital mutilation to guarantee it. On such slender distinctions does civilization rest.
Der Spiegel, an impeccably liberal magazine, summed up the remorseless Islamization of Europe in a recent headline: "How Much Allah Can The Old Continent Bear?" Well, what's wrong with a little Allah-lite? The AAP thinks you can hop on the Sharia express and only ride a couple of stops. In such ostensibly minor concessions, the "ritual nick" we're performing is on ourselves. Further cuts will follow.
Steyn is right: this compromise can only lead to further accommodations of this barbaric practice. The problem is that the "ritual nick," even if innocuous in and of itself, grants the barbaric premise that Muslim parents have a right to mutilate their daughters in accordance with the dictates of Islam. Ultimately, the result of accepting that principle will be more female circumcisions, not fewer.
The danger of this attempted compromise reminds me of Ayn Rand's many sharp comments on the wrong of compromising one's principles and appeasing evil. Here's a taste:
It is only in regard to concretes or particulars, implementing a mutually accepted basic principle, that one may compromise. For instance, one may bargain with a buyer over the price one wants to receive for one's product, and agree on a sum somewhere between one's demand and his offer. The mutually accepted basic principle, in such case, is the principle of trade, namely: that the buyer must pay the seller for his product. But if one wanted to be paid and the alleged buyer wanted to obtain one's product for nothing, no compromise, agreement or discussion would be possible, only the total surrender of one or the other.And:
There can be no compromise between a property owner and a burglar; offering the burglar a single teaspoon of one's silverware would not be a compromise, but a total surrender--the recognition of his right to one's property. ("Doesn't Life Require Compromise?" in The Virtue of Selfishness)
Do not confuse appeasement with tactfulness or generosity. Appeasement is not consideration for the feelings of others, it is consideration for and compliance with the unjust, irrational and evil feelings of others. It is a policy of exempting the emotions of others from moral judgment, and of willingness to sacrifice innocent, virtuous victims to the evil malice of such emotions. ("The Age of Envy" in Return of the Primitive)And:
The three rules listed below are by no means exhaustive; they are merely the first leads to the understanding of a vast subject.American Academy of Pediatrics has given the woman-hating Muslim fanatics a major victory... and I'm sure those Muslim fanatics know it.
1. In any conflict between two men (or two groups) who hold the same basic principles, it is the more consistent one who wins.
2. In any collaboration between two men (or two groups) who hold different basic principles, it is the more evil or irrational one who wins.
3. When opposite basic principles are clearly and openly defined, it works to the advantage of the rational side; when they are not clearly defined, but are hidden or evaded, it works to the advantage of the irrational side. ("The Anatomy of Compromise" in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal)