On the UKIP forum recently, there was a thread entitled “Islamisation of the UK” which sparked a lengthy debate and was eventually locked by a Moderator for ‘overheating’.  In the course of this debate, the subject of Female Genital Mutilation was raised: how it is happening illegally in the UK and to little girls taken abroad in order to circumvent British law.  Muslims were being blamed for this appalling child abuse, but one rather unpopular Forum member pointed out that it was carried out by Christians as well. {Cranmer had a bit of a run-in with the BBC over this issue back in June – Ed}

After we had rounded on him in anger and disbelief, he provided links that showed he was correct: FGM is practised by Christians in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa; furthermore, Nigerian immigrants here continue to inflict it on girls who should be protected by British law.  I was shocked and dismayed; somehow I had ‘trusted’ Christians not to carry out barbaric acts that are designed to intimidate, punish and sexually control female children in preparation for an oppressed adulthood.

So, the situation is even worse than most of us imagined, with children of ethnic Muslims, Christians, and who knows what other faith, subjected to fear, pain, mutilation, physical and psychological damage on British soil, in direct contradiction of our culture, beliefs and laws.  Two sets of laws have been passed forbidding this practice: the first in 1985, the second in 2003.  How many prosecutions have taken place?  None.

I first heard about what was happening in this country in 1990 when some women in London began a campaign, Womankind, against FGM taking place here and abroad.  The first-hand accounts of women who had been held down as little girls and subjected to pain and mutilation were horrific.  I sent money and wondered what else I could do.  I decided to involve female colleagues at my place of work, a further education college, where several teachers regarded themselves as right-on feminists.

They were left-wing, ‘let’s fight injustice and win rights for women’ activists.  One taught a course which she began by playing on the word ‘history’, saying it was now time to tell ‘HERstory’.  In my naivety I distributed literature, proposed to form an action group, set a date for a meeting and waited for them to rush to my side to help campaign against FGM and Infibulation.

Nothing happened.  Not a word, not even an acknowledgement from one of them.  They didn’t want to know.  These women were cowards and didn’t want to be accused of criticising other cultures and being ‘racist’.  They were in the grip of multicultural ideology and a pernicious cultural relativism that forbids anyone to say ‘this is wrong’, however blindingly obvious it is that such practices are cruel, abusive, oppressive, and destructive of females’ rights to decide what happens to their bodies.  Their moral idiocy taught me a valuable political lesson and is one of the reasons I eventually joined UKIP.

That ‘don’t want to know’ attitude is endemic in our liberal/left-dominated, PC-obsessed society.  Few people want to bring this issue into the open – not the media, not Lib/Lab/Con politicians, not social workers, not health workers, none of the professionals who should be concerning themselves with child abuse and our failure to deal with it.  A notable and honourable exception is the work of UKIP members, some of whom held a fringe meeting about FGM at the recent London Conference.  That is why I say that FGM is a UKIP issue: because we are the only political party with the courage and will to take it on, embarrass the authorities, insist on prosecutions and eradicate the shameful practice from our country.

I want UKIP to pledge that under our administration, no ethnic group, of whatever race, religion or tradition will be permitted to mutilate children on British soil, nor bring them back from abroad in such a condition.  The laws are in place: let UKIP be fearless in insisting that the agents of the law perform their duties.  At the very least it will drag this obscenity out into the open instead of allowing it to lurk in secret while cowardly officials tip-toe around it as a ‘sensitive’ issue.  UKIP is known for setting the agenda that lesser parties follow for fear of losing votes.

This is a women’s issue and some of UKIP’s members have been accused by media critics of being anti-women or sexist.  Let them try to attack UKIP for protecting females of ethnic origin as ‘racist’: it won’t work.   Putting FGM into the public domain would also highlight UKIP’s strong stance in favour of British culture being the dominant culture in the UK, especially when it comes into conflict with practices that are inimical to our way of life, our values and our laws.

 

Pam Preedy is Secretary for Redcar UKIP. 

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