The government declares that those who practise female genital mutilation (FGM) shall be prosecuted. It is hard to imagine how anyone could perpetrate such acts of cruelty and barbarism. Who are these people? FGM, like forced marriage, is a practice found principally among Muslims. Yet yesterday there was a five minutes’ discussion of this matter on The Today Programme but the word “Muslim” or the phrase “Islamic practices” were never mentioned. Ah but, the presenter did say that “religion” is often implicated. So are we to suppose that FGM is endemic among chapel-goers in West Wales and Quaker ladies in York?
The refusal to mention salient facts in any analysis of a state of affairs goes beyond bad journalism and descends into a euphemistic partiality which obscures the truth. Journalists are taught from the cradle upwards always to ask the specific questions Who? Where? When? – before proceeding to the more difficult question Why? Because, unless you first answer the factual questions, you will be quite unable to proceed to attempt the more difficult problems of purposes and causes. Journalists are usually good at their job and they are scrupulous in the observance of these basic methods. So why ignore them in the case of Muslims and FGM?
Answer: because political correctness trumps truth every time. Actually, political correctness is the enemy of truth. Facts are facts. But once you say that some facts are unmentionable, then you forfeit all ambition ever to arrive at the truth. This is a disgrace and it is a disgrace which has consequences. The main consequence is that we shall not be able to perceive reality as it is. This amounts to a willed psychosis. As Faust cried out to Mephistopheles, “Ah, but let me be deceived!”
Are we to die of political correctness then?