The Corner

A View from Norway

Yesterday, I was doing some reading and writing on a disturbing topic: the AAP and FGM. “AAP”? The American Academy of Pediatrics. These people seem to be softening on female genital mutilation, or FGM. This is that abhorrent practice performed on girls as young as two in Muslim and some other societies. The AAP is no longer calling FGM FGM — they’re calling it “FGC,” for “female genital cutting.” Much nicer, you see. The phrase “female genital mutilation” is “culturally insensitive,” they say. And their new position is, “Why don’t we allow doctors to give the girls a ritual nick?” This is supposed to prevent the parents of those girls from shipping them off to Somalia or wherever to undergo the whole, horrific deal. There is an argument to be made here. But the AAP may be engaging in a compromise that becomes surrender.

An hour ago, I was talking to Siv Jensen, leader of the Progress party here in Norway (where I’ve been messing around for the last few days). She is a true Reaganite or Thatcherite, and her party is that way too. She is about the only one in the entire Norwegian political establishment who has dealt forthrightly with issues surrounding the burgeoning Muslim community in this country. She says that Norwegians are closing their eyes to problems instead of confronting them. FGM is “grotesque,” she says, and is regularly practiced here, although it’s illegal (as in the U.S.). Some women and girls aren’t allowed to leave their homes, she says. Some Muslims of the third generation in Norway do not speak Norwegian. There are forced marriages — against the law, of course, but ignored by those who should enforce the law.

Jensen points out that many Muslims are in Norway because they wanted to get away from radical Islam back in the Old Country. And radical Islam has followed them here: to what was supposed to be their place of refuge. Why will no one stand up for the rights of girls and women (in particular) who should enjoy the freedoms that the West has long stood for? Why should sharia reign, even in pockets, on Western soil? Why are the keepers of Norwegian culture — and Dutch culture, and British culture, etc. — not demanding integration and assimilation, for the good of all?

Siv Jensen is an extraordinary leader. She has in her office a bust of Reagan and an Israeli flag. I don’t think I could express to you right now how unusual — how shocking — that is in this environment. And the Progress party is now the number-two party in parliament. This lady could be prime minister — and says she will be, after the next election, in 2013.

As you might guess, I’ll have more to say about her on NRO and in NR. One more thing, before quitting this item: Compared with Siv Jensen’s media, Ronald Reagan, Dan Quayle, George W. Bush, and Sarah Palin had nothing but wet kisses from the American media. It is as though The Nation, Mother Jones, and — at the right fringe — the New York Times were the media universe.

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