The Graveyard Cannot Pray : One Man's Battle to Save His Daughter from Female Circumcision
by Baba Galleh Jallow
This book is an autobiographical account of one man's struggle to save his daughter from being taken to the bush; a struggle that defies a harmful traditional practice and defective constructions of normality. Perhaps the first to articulate the battle against Female Genital Mutilation from an African male perspective, The Grave Yard Cannot Pray throws into sharp relief three interconnected phenomena: the communal nature of conflict and conflict resolution among the Futa Fulani, the Fulani notion of son-hood, and the potential complications that arise when the sanctity of tradition is stood in opposition to the sanctity of faith, in this case Islam. How does a concerned young father protect his innocent little daughter from the most revered tradition of his people, and against the will of his own father? Here, a family conflict becomes the subject of a communal conflict resolution mechanism that reveals aspects of the mind of the Fulani elder and the workings of Fulani community values that only a native Fulani may discern. Ultimately, The Grave Yard Cannot Pray heralds the victory of reason over the human proclivity for blind cultural mimesis.