Female genital mutilation is a form of human trafficking that Maine legislators are currently choosing to allow in their state, say child advocates.
Maine will try again on Aug. 2 to become the 25th state to ban the barbaric Third World practice that involves cutting the genitals of young girls.
Liz Yore is an attorney who has served as general counsel to child welfare agencies and a former member of the National Center for Missing and Exploited children. As an international child advocate, she said she never thought she would see such a gruesome practice taking root in America, preying on its defenseless little girls.
Yet, it’s been a struggle to get some lawmakers to see the necessity of passing state bans on the FGM.
The fickle nature of the federal FGM ban, adopted in 1996, was exposed for all to see under President Obama – his Department of Justice under Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch simply closed its eyes to female genital mutilation, never prosecuting a single case.
That lack of interest in a form of torture on young girls persisted even though the evidence is now breaking open, thanks to a federal investigation in Detroit launched by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
What Sessions’ staff is discovering is that it’s not just Minnesota and Michigan that are at risk. There’s a secret underground of at least eight states involved.
Maine has been identified as one of the eight “high risk” states, largely because of its large population of Somali refugees. More than 97 percent of women in Somalia have had their genitals mutilated by the time they reach adulthood. The numbers are similar in Egypt, Sudan and Indonesia.
Yore said FGM bears similarities to human trafficking.
“In the 1990s when I was at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, we were seeing Muslim fathers abducting their children born in the U.S., and the mothers left behind were telling me about FGM, and that’s when I first became aware of it,” Yore told WND.
“I thought I had seen everything but to have this brutality imported into our country is extremely troubling,” she said. “It’s especially heinous, and very much like human trafficking.”
Human trafficking is defined as the recruitment, transporting, or harboring, of persons by means of abduction, coercion, fraud and deceit. It involves an abuse of power, for the purposes of exploitation.
“The difference is there’s a profit motive in regular human trafficking. Otherwise, it’s identical with FGM. Trafficking usually involves sexual exploitation or labor, but these little girls are brought to their mutilators often across state lines, or trafficked overseas and then brought back to their homes,” Yore said. “It’s done in secret. Money changes hands, but it is primarily for to fulfill a religious custom.”
Thanks to the federal investigation into the Detroit area mutilations, the methods of the FGM network in America are beginning to come into focus.
“These little girls were trafficked from Minnesota and other states to Michigan, with the case now expanding to Chicago, New York and L.A., and what was originally believed to have been just two young victims is now more than 100,” Yore said.
Maine’s bill to criminalize FGM, dubbed L.D. 745, has been voted down multiple times by state lawmakers who are putting personal politics above the protection of their youngest citizens, she said.
“The trafficking of humans has been described as modern-day slavery that robs individuals of their freedom and dignity,” Yore said. “FGM is exploding in the United States because of the growth of migrants and the conspiracy of silence among its traffickers.”
The silence in Maine and Minnesota, both of which have tried but so far failed to pass bans on the grisly practice, is deafening to activists such as Yore.
But another key vote is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 2. If Maine does not pass this bill, Yore said the state will become a safe harbor for human traffickers and child abusers who perform these unspeakable horrors, which involve cutting off part or all of a girl’s clitoris, depriving the girl of future sexual pleasure while instilling a life of pain and misery.
Victims of FGM often face problems later in life, including painful urination and menstruation, painful intercourse, infections and even death.
“It’s only because of the FBI hotline that we are beginning to uncover the network, and breaking through this code of silence that’s been in existence for many years,” Yore said. “This doctor in Michigan has been operating on girls since at least 2005.”
That doctor is Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, 44, an Indian Muslim who worked as an emergency room doctor at Henry Ford Hospital in Dearborn. She performed FGM on girls between the ages of 6 and 9 in her private, unnamed clinic in Lavonia, Michigan. She is part of the Dawoodi Bohra sect of Shia Muslims based in western India, but the practice of FGM is widespread among both Shia and Sunni Muslims across Africa, parts of Asia and the Middle East.
“Now, I think the doors have been flung open and here come the floodgates, and we’re going to begin to be able to put the pieces together because of this confidential hotline,” Yore said.
Even if the practice were limited to the Dawoodi Bohra, this sect has 22 mosques across the United States.
“That is a lot of potential victims, a lot of mutilators, and that’s just one cult,” Yore said.
But Yore believes the Dawoodi Bohra represent just the tip of a much larger network of FGM operating in the United States.
That belief is buttressed by the Centers for Disease Control’s 2016 estimate that 513,000 girls and young women are at risk of having FGM done to them in the United States.
‘It just hasn’t been on anyone’s radar’
“Nobody has been looking at this in the United States until now, it just hasn’t been on anyone’s radar. You have to look at this network like you look at human trafficking – it’s a network that is secret, and they’re luring girls in with lies, things like ‘you’re going to be on vacation, it’s a big party,’ and then the girls are held down while their genitals are cut off.”
“This is mothers taking their little girls to have a sexual abuse done on them.”
The scars are emotional as well as physical.
“The reconstructive surgery that has to be conducted on women, so it’s not as simple as the ACLU lawyers are arguing, it’s a severe mutilation and the recovery is a lifetime for these girls,” Yore said.
“I’ve done hundreds of child-abuse investigations, and what you find is these children who are abused have been silenced, intimidated into silence, and it’s only when they get older and learn what is criminal and what is not criminal, that they will speak up.”
She said public awareness has been raised, thanks to the Detroit investigation, but like all human trafficking it’s going to take time and years of commitment by both the federal government and the states to knock out FGM in America.
“It’s going to be a very tough slog to identify the victims, identify the mutilators, and break up the network,” she said.
Politicians will have to stand up to the ACLU, which is on the record as a powerful voice against banning FGM at the state level. ACLU lawyers use several arguments, all of which are bogus and deceitful, Yore said.
One of the arguments is that there is already a federal law against FGM, so states don’t need to enact duplicate legislation.
This is deceitful because the ACLU knows the feds don’t have the time or resources to go after all of the FGM cases, but rather will try to make an “example” of a few doctors.
“The ACLU demanded states have stalking laws, even though there is a federal stalking law. They demanded states pass human trafficking laws when there is already a federal law against that, so this argument doesn’t hold water,” Yore said.
‘Religious freedom’ argument opens door to Shariah in U.S.
Another argument against the ban is religious freedom. This is the argument being claimed by Dr. Nagarwala’s attorneys, and if it is accepted by the courts, then doors will swing wide open to the legalization of other Islamic practices, such as honor violence, polygamy and child brides.
The freedom to practice one’s religion does not extend to killing, maiming or other law-breaking, and this is backed up by hundreds of years of natural law in Western civilization, not to mention legal case law.
So Yore believes the ACLU and other leftist organizations are hiding the real reason for why they refuse to go to bat for little girls facing FGM torture.
“They worship at the altar of cultural diversity and tolerance as opposed to protecting voiceless and precious little girls,” Yore said.
“And in Maine there are some female legislators who give lip service to stopping violence against women, and then they are silent on FGM,” she continued. “I can’t imagine a more abusive practice against women and girls, and yet on the left so many so-called feminists are silent. It’s shocking to me. They should be at the forefront of fighting this battle. Little girls are being sexually disfigured for life, they should be outraged.”
“But they are afraid of being labeled as Islamophobes.”
It’s interesting that this fear of criticism extends to no other religion other than Islam in today’s world.
“Would we have claimed religious freedom for the bizarre practices of Jim Jones or Warren Jeffs? What about the Children of God cult? No, and nor should we claim this right for Islam,” Yore said.
“This is where we have to make a stand. If we cannot call this out for what it is, sheer brutality toward little girls and oppression of their femininity, and the pursuit of happiness, that is what this is all about,”she adds. “They are denying little girls the future of having sexual pleasure and bringing children into the world without this barbaric practice.”
‘Not backing down’
Yore said she, for one, will not back down to any pressures from Islamic apologists or multicultural blindness.
“This is child abuse 101 and they can try to minimize it but if you read the affidavit from the FBI case in Detroit it just sends chills up your spine,” she said. “Their attorneys say ‘oh it’s just a little nick.’ That’s a lie. We have got to draw the line.”
The Obama administration turned a blind eye, but President Trump’s Justice Department seems willing to make FGM a priority. The moment for states to act in like manner is now, Yore says.
“Because if we allow this to continue, it’s Katie bar the door, it’s honor killing, it’s throwing gays off buildings, it’s child brides.”