This is criminal, Hillary
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:53 PM on 14th January 2009
Ten-year-old girls are ready for marriage, according to Saudi Arabia's most senior cleric. Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al Sheikh, the country's grand mufti, told Al Hayat newspaper that those saying ten or 12-year-old girls are too young to marry are being 'unfair' to them.
Al Sheikh's comments come at a time when Saudi human rights groups have been pushing the government to put an end to marriages involving the very young and to define a minimum age for marriage. In the past few months, Saudi newspapers have highlighted several cases in which young girls were married off to much older men or very young boys. Sheikh Abdul
Though the mufti's pronouncements are respected and provide guidance, the government is not legally bound by them. On Sunday, the government-run Human Rights Commission condemned marriages of minor girls, saying such marriages are an 'inhumane violation' and rob children of their rights.
The commission's statement followed a ruling by a court in Oneiza in central Saudi Arabia last month that dismissed a divorce petition by the mother of an eight-year-old girl whose father married her off to a man in his 50s.
Newspaper reports said the court argued that the mother did not have the right to file such a case on behalf of her daughter and said that the petition should be filed by the girl when she reaches puberty.
Responding to a question about parents who force their underage daughters to marry, the mufti said: 'We hear a lot about the marriage of underage girls in the media, and we should know that Islamic law has not brought injustice to women.' The mufti said a good upbringing will make a girl capable of carrying out her duties as a wife and that those who say women should not marry before the age of 25 are following a 'bad path'. 'Our mothers and before them, our grandmothers, married when they were barely 12,' said Al Sheikh, according to the Al-Hayat newpaper.
There are no statistics to show how many marriages involving children are performed in Saudi Arabia every year. It is also not clear whether these unions are on the rise or whether people are hearing about them more now because of the prevalence of media outlets and easy access to the Internet. Activists say the girls are given away in return for hefty dowries or as a result of long-standing custom in which a father promises his infant daughters and sons to cousins out of a belief that marriage will protect them from illicit relationships.
In case you think it is culture, read this from Stop Honor Killings:
Britain: 'Daughters of Shame' by Jasvinder Sanghera
Posted by Joanne_Jowan on Sunday, January 11, 2009 (19:19:59) (111 reads)Jasvinder Sanghera's previous book, Shame, was a bestselling memoir that played some part in putting Lord Lester's Forced Marriage Bill through parliament in 2007. Born and brought up in Derby, she was “just a normal kid in the British education system” until her parents started restricting her freedom. One day, when she was 14, they showed her a photograph of a random bloke and announced he was the man she was going to marry. Sanghera ran away from home. When she rang to say she was safe, her mother gave her an ultimatum: either her daughter married the stranger in the photograph or, because she had “shamed” the family, she would be “dead in our eyes”. Sanghera chose (if it can be called a choice) the second option. Later, she heard that one of her sisters was brought to such depths of pain and despair by her own forced marriage that she set fire to herself. She died in hospital from 80% burns.
Iran: Forced Marriage Takes Life of an Iranian WomanPosted by Kawthar on Sunday, January 11, 2009 (14:33:17) (44 reads)A woman living in a village near Saghez was killed by her husband after being forced into the marriage.On January 5th, in Souteh, a village near Saghez, a woman named H. Laleh was killed by her husband. She was reportedly forced into this marriage, and following tensions in the marriage over this issue, she was killed by her husband. Her husband and his family claim that she has committed suicide. The police, however, have detained her husband as the primary suspect.