Editor’s note: The following contains some unpleasant details in the opening definition of a barbaric practice.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) refers to the genital “circumcision” performed on young girls (generally 7-9 years of age) and can include the mutilation of a girl’s clitoris or labia, and in some cases, her vagina being sewn nearly shut. FGM is illegal in 18 African Nations and 12 industrialized countries including the United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Canada and the United States. In spite of its being a U.S. federal crime, a 2012 Center for Disease Control (CDC) report states that in the U.S., 500,000 girls are at risk for FGM. Additionally, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) noted that since 2003, there have been 380 arrested and 785 deported for FGM and related human rights violations. This includes the recent deportation of Ethiopian national Khalid Adem, who cut his two-year-old daughter’s genitals with scissors and served 10 years in a U.S. prison before being deported by ICE in March of this year.
Some claim that FGM is merely “cultural” and was a pagan “ritual practice” that preceded both Christianity and Islam. But these claims fail to recognize that in modern times FGM is practiced most widely as a Muslim ritual, considered “obligatory” for females, and is advocated under Islamic Law known as the “Sharia.” It shows dominance of men over women and prevents the woman from bringing “dishonor” to the family through promiscuous behavior, while also proving her “purity” for a future marriage.
This surgery renders the girl to have no sexual pleasure, and makes married intercourse and childbirth both painful and dangerous. Dr. Phyllis Chesler, a fellow at the Middle East Forum, notesthat complications include “bleeding, painful urination, cysts, dangerous and recurrent bladder and urinary tract infections and the growth of scar tissue” as well as the development of fistulas and the risk of becoming both incontinent and losing bowel control. FGM is most often accomplished with razor blades and without anesthesia and has lifelong psychological and physiological side-effects.
This year, Representative Heather Sirocki of the Maine legislature proposed a bill to further criminalize the brutal FGM of minors. While FGM is a federal U.S. crime, Sirocki’s bill would have made it a state crime, allowing prosecution on a state level.
The 10,000 Somali refugees residing in Maine have transformed the state into a high-risk area for FGM. As a background, Somalia adopted Sharia law (and thus the “obligation” of female circumcision) as the “law of the land” in 2009, and the Sharia-adherent Somali refugees see FGM, though an international human rights violation, as obligatory.
However, the bill failed in June. Who could be against this and why?
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) opposed the bill, claiming that the establishment of new felony penalties to be “redundant” to the existing criminal code. Representative Sirocki disagrees. “Federal prosecutors take a very small amount of cases. The state of Maine deals with thousands of cases. … If the federal government doesn’t have enough prosecutors, [an FGM case] doesn’t get prosecuted.”
According to one source, Maine Democrats also opposed the bill because they claimed that Republicans always block their bills and they are returning the favor. One Democrat representative said she would propose the bill next year so that the Democrats could receive the credit for being protectors of children. Is partisan war necessary when the lives, safety and the psychological future of young girls are at stake?
The ACLU also claimed that the bill was an “attempt to single out behavior that is commonly attributed to certain religious and ethnic communities.” Refugee aid organizations feared that the law would “offend” the Somali population. Yet would we say that breaking up criminal communities like gangs and drug cartels “offends” them and “infringes on their culture?” If the laws of our country, rooted in human dignity and gender equity offend a people group, they are under no compulsion to stay.
The ACLU also stated support for an amended version of the bill that would “establish a community-based education and outreach program to prevent the genital mutilation of a minor,” which they claim to be part of “evidence-based solutions.” This appears to be naïve. In April of this year, two Muslim doctors and the wife of one of the doctors were arrested on three federal counts including aiding and abetting female genital mutilation. According to Newsweek, the prosecutor estimated the doctors genitally mutilated more than 100 girls. They did not perform FGM because they lacked access to “educational, evidence-based programs.” Rather, as Sharia-adherent Muslims, they served a Sharia-adherent Muslim community.
We must realize that just because certain Sharia-adherent Muslim countries permit this form of barbarous child abuse does not mean that our country should tolerate, accept or feel guilty about providing harsher punishments for it. We are a nation of laws and of human dignity. Far from being a partisan issue, or an issue of cultural “hatred,” Female Genital Mutilation is an issue of human rights. If we cannot offer greater legal protections on the state level for vulnerable little girls, or worse, it we are afraid to do so out of “partisanship,” we are to be pitied as a nation devoid of conscience.
Trivia Question: Whose idea was it to tax people at different rates based upon their income? Answer: Karl Marx, as in the father of Marxism, the ideology adopted worldwide by totalitarian communist regimes and responsible for the murder of more than 100 million people in the 20th century alone. In his 1848 “Communist Manifesto,” Marx outlined the basic tenets of communism. Tenet One: abolish private property. Tenet Two: Establish a progressive income tax. Why? Because whatever you cannot confiscate in land, you can confiscate in income.
Thus, the graduated income tax finds its roots in the Marxist/Leninist/Communist concept of wealth redistribution. In Marxist theory, the land and money seized by the government would be given back to “the people.” In reality, the Soviet government seized the land and money and kept it for elitist government bureaucrats.
The U.S. adopted the graduated income tax as the 16th Amendment to the Constitution in 1913 (though some scholars claim it was never officially ratified). The same Soviet dynamic actually happens in our country today. Unaware of who is really getting the money, people think that high taxes are good for the poor and needy. In reality, the elitist government bureaucrats benefit the most. Hopefully that can change.
Last week, a joint statement by House and Senate leaders, the Treasury secretary and the National Economic Council director declared their commitment to tax reform. They stated that the mission of the forthcoming legislation is to “protect American jobs and make taxes simpler, fairer and lower for hard-working American families.”
When the tax system burdens its citizens and business owners while disincentivizing basic things like hard work and saving, this lowers risk-taking entrepreneurship and discourages investing. All in all, a country that doesn’t work hard, doesn’t save, doesn’t create businesses and doesn’t invest in businesses doesn’t have much of an economy, does it? Tax reform measures could restore economic strength to American families and businesses.
The joint statement continues: “There should be a lower tax rate for small businesses so they can compete with larger ones, and lower rates for all American businesses so they can compete with foreign ones.” Furthermore, the objective is to create “a system that encourages companies to bring back jobs and profits trapped overseas.”
The U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate of any Organization for Economic Co-operation (OECD) industrialized country. When combining the federal and state corporate income tax rate, the average is over 39%. The average of other OECD developed nations is 25%. The high corporate tax rates force companies to move abroad in order to make their business profitable. A lower rate would encourage them to stay here, which would improve our economy and create American jobs, not overseas jobs.
The joint statement also prudently rejects two tax options: a domestic consumption-based tax and a Border Adjustment Tax. A consumption-based tax comes in various forms but essentially is a higher sales tax (like the Value Added Tax or VAT tax prevalent in the European Union). Ideally, a consumption-based tax would shrink the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and appears to be more fair, because all people have to pay taxes. The problem faced by other countries who have adopted this system, however, is that they create or raise a sales tax, but never really get rid of the income tax — which means citizens get doubly taxed.
The statement also rejected the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) that taxes imports, but not exports. In theory, this would incentivize American people to buy American-made products. In reality, everything imported would cost 20% more, and would ultimately cost our economy jobs and businesses, according to the National Retail Federation.
Critics of tax cuts claim that our country would not receive sufficient tax dollars to then contribute to the debt. However, these critics fail to see that the deficit is directly related to spending. According to the Congressional Budget Office, tax revenues (i.e. money collected) are above their historical averages. The Heritage Foundation puts it succinctly: “Washington has a deficit and debt problem because it spends too much, not because it collects too little in taxes.”
Despite the failures of ObamaCare repeal, Republican tax reform has a high likelihood of happening in some form. While most bills require 60 votes, and can be filibustered, there is an exception for budgetary bills called “reconciliation procedures.” This only requires a simple majority in both the House and Senate with a signature from the president, which means that passing tax reform under reconciliation could actually happen.
The origins of the Marxist graduated income tax intended to destroy property, money and private businesses. Unless we realize that our burdensome tax system still intends to do the same thing, we will be at a loss. The good news is that our Republican Congress appears committed to reform. If they would lower tax rates for families and job-creating American businesses under reconciliation, that would be a win for the American people and for the economy.
Also published on Patriot Post, August 3, 2017.
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