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There is a general theoretical point here namely that

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There is a general theoretical point here, namely, that there are some moral rulesthat all societies will have in common, because those rules are necessary for societyto exist. The rules against lying and murder are two examples. And in fact, we do findthese rules in force in all viable cultures. Cultures may differ in what they regard aslegitimate exceptions to the rules, but this disagreement exists against a backgroundof agreement on the larger issues. Therefore, it is a mistake to overestimate theamount of difference between cultures. Not every moral rule can vary from society tosociety.2.7 Judging a Cultural Practice to Be UndesirableIn 1996, a 17-year-old girl named Fauziya Kassindja arrived at Newark InternationalAirport and asked for asylum. She had fled her native country of Togo, a small westAfrican nation, to escape what people there call excision.Excision is a permanently disfiguring procedure that is sometimes called “femalecircumcision,” although it bears little resemblance to the Jewish ritual. Morecommonly, at least in Western newspapers, it is referred to as “genital mutilation.”According to the World Health Organization, the practice is widespread in 26 Africannations, and two million girls each year are “excised.” In some instances, excision ispart of an elaborate tribal ritual, performed in small traditional villages, and girls lookforward to it because it signals their acceptance into the adult world. In otherinstances, the practice is carried out by families living in cities on young women whodesperately resist.Fauziya Kassindja was the youngest of five daughters in a devoutly Muslim family.Her father, who owned a successful trucking business, was opposed to excision, andhe was able to defy the tradition because of his wealth. His first four daughters weremarried without being mutilated. But when Fauziya was 16, he suddenly died. Fauziyathen came under the authority of his father, who arranged a marriage for her andprepared to have her excised. Fauziya was terrified, and her mother and oldest sisterhelped her to escape. Her mother, left without resources, eventually had to formallyapologize and submit to the authority of the patriarch she had offended.Meanwhile, in America, Fauziya was imprisoned for two years while theauthorities decided what to do with her. She was finally granted asylum, but notbefore she became the center of a controversy about how foreigners should regardthe cultural practices of other peoples. A series of articles in the New York Timesencouraged the idea that excision is a barbaric practice that should be condemned.Other observers were reluctant to be so judgmental—live and let live, they said; afterall, our practices probably seem just as strange to them.DSSP 2020 | NOT FOR SALE/UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION

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Term
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Professor
alah
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