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