Reference to female genital mutilation was out of date

  • July 16, 2013 - 5:53 PM


Positive change on mutilation shouldn’t be ignored

Perhaps Jeffrey Goldberg did not expect that someone would check the truthfulness of his statements (“A coup couldn’t have happened to a more deserving crowd,” July 10). He misrepresented Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s actual present position on female genital mutilation. In 2009, Dr. Qaradawi issued a fatwa opposing the practice.

I didn’t check Goldberg’s other statements.

But Goldberg must never let one fact escape his attention: If he plays loose with his facts, then he risks hardening the attitudes of Muslims.

“It is no use reasoning with infidels, and particularly with Jews. They will never say anything kind about Muslims” — that is the kind of reaction you might invite when you deny or ignore the positive developments in the thinking of respected Muslim theologians like Qaradawi. The change in Qaradawi’s position on female genital mutilation means less pain and mutilation for millions of Muslim girls.

All the Christians and Jews in the world cannot bring about that freedom from pain for millions of girls. A Qaradawi fatwa can. Goldberg had better not get carried away by his emotions, however fashionable and mainstream they seem today. I don’t think he is an enemy of Muslim young girls all over the world.

Let us encourage even “little” developments.


The writer is an attorney in Minneapolis.

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