by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

I want to respond to this reader. It may be true that torture and subjugation existed in Somalia before religion, but it is religion (often protected by demands of "respect") that is now consistently the warrant for, and incitement to, genital mutilation. In other words, yes, female circumcision predated Islam in Somalia, but a widely-held interpretation of Islam buttresses its continued existence into the 21st century.

And I'm sorry if your reader thinks that the Islam Hirsi Ali speaks of is "NOTHING like I know and that is practiced in Iran". That doesn't change the fact that a religious-based government uses the Koran to justify everything from dress codes and censorship to hanging gays and stoning adulterous women. It's the height of solipsism to accuse someone of painting Islam with too broad a brush, then claim that the only type of Islamic religion practiced in Iran is a peaceful one.

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