New York vs. Islamic Custom
by Andrea Szalanski
The following article is from Free
Inquiry magazine, Volume 18, Number 1.
The Fall 1997 issue of Free Inquiry
examined "Islam and Women's Rights" in a series of articles that called for
equal rights for women and an end to cruel and backward customs. These practices,
including female genital mutilation (FGM), are followed not only in Islamic countries but
among Islamic immigrants who make their home in the United States.
Now New York has made it a felony to perform FGM, or circumcision, on females younger
than 18, even with their parents' permission. The penalty is a year in prison. According
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, 27,000 girls and women have
had or were expected to undergo the procedure in the state.
Andrea Szalanski is the Managing Editor of Free