Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Listening today at an interview with Ayaan – she was talking about female genital mutilation practiced in Islamic Africa, a practice that pre-dates Islam. I began wondering whether one of the challenges of any new religion is the practices brought by the new followers from the culture they were immersed. As a new religion or social idea will not succeed if it doesn’t have some resonating similarities to the culture of the people being taught the idea, it seems all to easy for people to say well, such and such idea is the same as this thing from my culture, when, in fact it may only be a little like that idea. So it seems that Islam could have abandoned genital mutilation 1000 years ago. Although there is a lot of work to do, I suspect that we will see the end to this practice this century. Nonetheless it is 1000 years late. I wonder what things that we currently think are great modern ideas but are really just becoming destructive attitudes and practices that in 1000 years people say, why didn’t we stand up against that 1000 years ago.


2 thoughts on “Ayaan Hirsi Ali

  1. I often wonder about this myself—I think probably one area of modern life that may be sharply criticized in 1000 years is our treatment of animals. It may be considered a simple matter of common sense that eatting animal flesh is an evil.

  2. Peace Owen,

    An interesting post, with some interesting reflections. I’ve had similar thoughts myself in the past. Just a small note, though, perhaps it might be better to distinguish between essence and after-effect. That is, Islam itself does not teach genital mutilation, but rather some Muslims justify it through reference to Islam (which is not the same thing, I think).

    Abdur Rahman

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