One conservative leader says she wants to “shine a light” on U.S. female genital mutilation – even if the media won’t.
MRC Culture spoke with ACT for America Founder Brigitte Gabriel at the Values Voter Summit (VVS) in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 13. During the interview she criticized the media for ignoring female genital mutilation (FGM) that occurs in “usually Islamic communities.”
ACT for America calls itself the “nation’s largest nonprofit, non-partisan, grassroots national security organization” with 750,000 members. The group recently made headlines for being targeted by the SPLC, along with other prominent conservative organizations.
During the interview, Gabriel addressed the networks’ silence on a new federal case investigating female genital mutilation (FGM). In April, a Michigan grand jury made history by issuing the first federal FGM indictment of its kind allegedly involving up to 100 girls as young as 6-years-old.
“They do not want to cover it because that would prove that organizations like mine and what we are saying were right about female genital mutilation, that it is happening,” Gabriel told MRC Culture in an exclusive interview.
Born in Lebanon, she stressed that FGM is not a cultural phenomenon, but that it occurs in “certain communities, usually Islamic communities.”
“You don’t see any Jews or Christians who come from the Middle East genitally mutilating their daughters, who are Arab Christians or Arab Jews,” she said, and added that she and her daughters are not mutilated either.
“[T]his is why the left does not even want to cover the story, because when you start debating with them the facts, they cannot answer you back and that’s why they’re shying from it completely,” she continued.
In response to the case, she detailed how her organization organized nationwide rallies “to shine a light on” FGM. She cited CDC numbers estimating that half a million U.S. women and girls were at risk of or subjected to the violent procedure.
But the media, she said, didn’t report “what the rally was all about.” Instead, the “leftist media came out calling us ‘haters,’ ‘xenophobes,’ ‘Islamophobes,’” she said.
She warned that “people are coming into our country from African countries, North Africa and the Middle East, who are majority Muslim” and “bringing with them these practices” that conflict with “American values, based on [the] Judeo-Christian value system where you respect everybody, where women and men are equal, where you don’t genitally mutilate your children.”
“There is nothing supporting the mutilation of little girls and we want to make sure we fight it,” she concluded.
According to the World Health Organization, FGM presents no health benefits, but harms women with lasting emotional and physical pain.