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Religion Dispatches: Muslim Opponent of FGM Ousted From Mayo Clinic

Ilisha’s piece on the looniverse campaign against Dr. al-Haj gets mentioned on Religion Dispatches:

Muslim Opponent of FGM Ousted From Mayo Clinic

by Hussein Rashid (RD)

Over at Loonwatch, there is a surprising story of a Muslim at the Mayo Clinic being hounded for allegedly supporting female genital mutilation (FGM). According to the site, Dr. Hatem al-Haj, a pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, says of FGM:

I have always condemned Female Genital Mutilation, or FGM. Moreover, I have unequivocally voiced both orally and in written form the condemnation of all harmful forms of Female Genital Cutting FGC, justifiably known as FGM. Furthermore, I have taught that nothing in Islamic Law and religious texts supports such a heinous crime. In fact, it is repugnant to Islamic principles and values to inflict such trauma and suffering on any female. The severest forms of this practice are akin to killing in Islamic Law.

Furthermore, based on his research, he supports the American Academy of Pediatrics stance that families be told about a procedure, linked to an ear piercing, called a ritual nick in lieu of a family’s consideration of an FGM procedure.

Yet it appears that his doctoral research on FGM was mistranslated by the Islamophobia Industry, depicting him as a supporter of the practice. According to Ilisha at Loonwatch: “The translation appears to be deliberately manipulative, and falsely attributes a quote to Dr. al-Haj saying FGM  is ‘an honor for women.’”

The Industry fired up its astroturf operations, ultimately delivering a petition with hundreds of signatures to the Clinic. Ilisha notes that: “It is unclear whether Dr. al-Haj resigned under pressure or was fired by the Mayo Clinic in the wake of the manufactured ‘controversy,’ but it is nevertheless an astounding achievement for bigots devoted to marginalizing Muslims in the West and demonizing Islam.”

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  • Jack

    Hatem al-Haj should get in contact with the ACLU and CAIR, and sue the Jihadwatcher who started this concerted effort against him for defamation of character.

    If someone mistranslated en misquoted my work, painting me as an antisemite, and then somebody decided to take those mistranslations and started an attack campaign against me based upon this false information, resulting in the loss of my job, I would think that would be clear case of defamation of character.

    Get a bright set of attorneys, who can frame this for what it is: Hatem al-Haj was targeted for trying to be an orthodox Muslim. He didn’t say anything out of line, but his words were deliberately misconstrued to defame his character. Which succeeded, apparently, because he lost his job as a result.

  • Reynardine

    Sorry, I meant Steve. There are specific procedures to be followed, and the doctor’s contract, the institution’s policies, or both, may give remedies.

  • Reynardine

    Ilisha, the laws of most states that people can be dismissed for no reason at all, but not the wrong reason. Wrong reasons include race, creed, color, national origin, affiliation with any political party not advocating the violent overthrow of the US government, gender, and in many jurisdictions, marital status or sexual orientation. Fine. But proving it is a doggess.

  • islamispeace


    Good. I will be signing.

  • Steve

    Do they have tribunals for unfair dismissal in the US?

  • islamispeace

    I think the best response to this would be to start another petition and submit it to the Mayo Clinic. The bigots cannot be allowed to get away with this. Moreover, the Mayo Clinic should be reprimanded for giving in so easily instead of investigating the matter before making a hasty decision.

  • mindy1

    I do hope something can be done about this. 🙁

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