Charity FGM debacle raises more sinister issue


The UK’s largest children’s charity Barnardo’s caused controversy this week while attempting to raise awareness of the barbaric act of female genital mutilation (FGM).

For those who missed the tweet, Barnardo’s posted out to their 176,000 followers: “FGM is particularly prevalent during school holidays. Here are some signs a girl may be at risk” Nothing wrong with that, right? No, the problem came when they accompanied the tweet with the image of a white girl in Western clothing (pictured).

Anyone who understands anything about FGM knows your typical victim of this type of child abuse is certainly not a white Western girl.

Now the charitable part of us knows that this was a single tweet and everybody makes mistakes from time to time. Barnardo’s have done, and will no doubt continue to do, some life-changing work with some of our most vulnerable children and young people.

But this has a far more sinister undercurrent which needs talking about. Yes, the charity was quick to acknowledge the stream of criticism which rightly came its way. “We’re sorry for any upset caused. We value constructive and robust feedback,” they were quick to clarify.

If that really is the case, Barnado’s must answer why such a fundamental error was made on what was effectively a PR and awareness raising campaign which, in all likelihood, was planned in their diaries weeks if not months in advance?

However the half-hearted apology also came with a rather disturbing caveat. The statement opened by claiming “FGM doesn’t affect just one community or religion,” in a crass attempt to justify the chosen image. Let’s be clear: this is a complete falsity.

Given that Javed Khan, as a British Pakistani, became Barnardo’s first non-white CEO when he took up the role – surely the charity should be more aware than most about the origins of this depraved practice? Why do we say that? We say that because FGM is predominantly an issue in Africa and the Middle East – overwhelmingly Muslim countries.

You don’t even have to look hard to find official confirmation either. On the NHS’ own website it states that “communities at particular risk of FGM in the UK originate from Yemen, Egypt, Somalia, Nigeria, Indonesia, Kenya and Sudan” among others.DGM-w40VwAEk1c6

But who are we kidding? Of course Barnardo’s were aware of the cultural and religious influences behind FGM. They even stated in the article that one of the indications a child is at risk is when a parent might “mention they are going to a country with a high prevalence of FGM.” But, unsurprisingly yet bizarrely, they fail to go on to list any of the countries to which they refer. Expect people to guess do we, Barnardo’s? Or is this just part of your strategy to appear like you are tackling a serious issue whilst actually skirting around the cold hard truths?

Rather than simply making an innocent mistake, the evidence all points to this charity actively distorting the reality of female genital mutilation in a perverted desire to remain politically correct. The reason this is so chillingly sinister is because it’s precisely this attitude which has infected police services, councils and social services across the country – in places like Rochdale, Rotherham and Telford – as predominantly Muslim grooming gangs targeted young vulnerable white girls in the full knowledge the authorities were too cowardly to act.

It was far easier to depict a white girl in Western clothing, despite it having little to no relevance to the issue being debated, than a Muslim child in Islamic clothing.

FGM is truly abhorrent and affects mainly innocent Muslim children and young girls. It is a criminal offence for a reason – because it leaves victims physically and mentally traumatised and can sometimes lead to fatalities. So how can we trust the UK’s largest children’s charity to truly act in the best interests of these victims when they won’t even tackle the elephant in the room? It is bare-faced apologist decisions like this incident that inadvertently facilitates further acts of abuse; ensuring the grand total of UK FGM prosecutions embarrassingly remains at zero. Donors have already withdrawn their support over the debacle – in this world where money talks, perhaps being hit in the pocket is the only way they will sit up and listen?

Shy Society.
Standing up for those without a voice in Britain


  1. The fact that the CEO is Muslim is a disgrace when many Muslim migrants inbreed with 1st cousins and have disabled kids , 30 % of disabled babies are born to Muslims who are only 3% of the population .Another thing is that it is common for ME migrants to come here leaving their wives and kids in the ME to fend for themselves .So if Javed Khan wants to help Kids he should go to where he comes from and tackle FGM there , not make a bad job of it here in the UK.The UK Gov is a disgrace , no parents of FGM victims have been prosecuted , pathetic .

  2. This article is bang on correct and this was ‘in no way’ any mistake to depict a white child in an exclusively Muslim practise. Barbados are fanning the flames of segregation and ultimate civil war and for this ‘they are utterly descipable’!!!

  3. Really fantastic post, thank you. Out of a number of blogs I’m signed up for, this is probably the best. Excellent analysis and enviable writing.

    I see this Barnardo’s tweet is still on their feed. They may have ‘apologised’, but why is the photo still there? As you say, this fear among such people of offending is helping cause the problem. In fact this is one of the most absurd and extreme example of PC nonsense I’ve ever seen. I hadn’t heard of this tweet till reading this, so am indebted to you for informing me.

  4. This is not unusual and will not be the last time.
    No one has the balls to say “Muslim girls” or show a non-white face, no one has the guts to speak out against Islam now.
    Just to do so would have you labelled “racist” or promoting “a hate crime”.
    If they had showed an Islamic girl then there would have been uproar from the adherents to this vile religion of evil, Islam, all shouting and spitting hatred… and diverting from the message.

  5. I attended an FGM event about two years ago where an activist/therapist reported that white girls were equally ‘at risk’ of FGM and she cited details of three cases known to her. No doubt she did it for the same PC reasons as Barnardos. More important however and a view that needs challenging is that there’s this huge problem with regard to FGM here in the UK. Barnardos is complicit in pushing this idea. The National FGM Centre has been run by Barnardo’s in partnership with the Local Government Association since 2015. I am puzzled by the reported prevalence of the practice, the official response and associated activism. And am worried that they might cause more harm than good. I blog at shiftingsands dot org dot uk

  6. I wonder if anyone else noticed the rather weird story about the FGM expert, who has apparently been conducting intimate examinations, being consulted by the Crown Prosecution Service, and regularly giving lectures to hundreds of British kids is, possibly, guilty of oooer, Matron; exaggerating her qualifications. Unfortunately, her Christian name is, erm; Comfort!
    Oh dear!


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