Under Islamic law, men are allowed four wives so this should not be a hardship and clearly they were following in the footsteps of the “perfect model” Mohammed.
Islamic tradition records that Muhammad consummated his marriage with (i.e., raped) Aisha when she was nine, and the resultant fact that child marriage is accepted in wide swaths of the Islamic world. Child marriage has abundant attestation in Islamic tradition and law.
Turkey’s directorate of religious affairs (Diyanet) said in January 2018 that under Islamic law, girls as young as nine can marry.
“Islam has no age barrier in marriage and Muslims have no apology for those who refuse to accept this” — Ishaq Akintola, professor of Islamic Eschatology and Director of Muslim Rights Concern, Nigeria
“There is no minimum marriage age for either men or women in Islamic law. The law in many countries permits girls to marry only from the age of 18. This is arbitrary legislation, not Islamic law.” — Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-‘Ubeidi, Iraqi expert on Islamic law
There is no minimum age for marriage and that girls can be married “even if they are in the cradle.” — Dr. Salih bin Fawzan, prominent cleric and member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council
“Islam does not forbid marriage of young children.” — Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology
Hadiths that Muslims consider authentic record that Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, was six when Muhammad wedded her and nine when he consummated the marriage:
“The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)” (Bukhari 7.62.88).
Another tradition has Aisha herself recount the scene:
The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age. (Bukhari 5.58.234).
Muhammad was at this time fifty-four years old.
Marrying young girls was not all that unusual for its time, but because in Islam Muhammad is the supreme example of conduct (cf. Qur’an 33:21), he is considered exemplary in this unto today. And so in April 2011, the Bangladesh Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini declared that those trying to pass a law banning child marriage in that country were putting Muhammad in a bad light: “Banning child marriage will cause challenging the marriage of the holy prophet of Islam, [putting] the moral character of the prophet into controversy and challenge.” He added a threat: “Islam permits child marriage and it will not be tolerated if any ruler will ever try to touch this issue in the name of giving more rights to women.” The Mufti said that 200,000 jihadists were ready to sacrifice their lives for any law restricting child marriage.
Likewise the influential website Islamonline.com in December 2010 justified child marriage by invoking not only Muhammad’s example, but the Qur’an as well:
The Noble Qur’an has also mentioned the waiting period [i.e. for a divorced wife to remarry] for the wife who has not yet menstruated, saying: “And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women, if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated” [Qur’an 65:4]. Since this is not negated later, we can take from this verse that it is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a prepubescent girl. The Qur’an is not like the books of jurisprudence which mention what the implications of things are, even if they are prohibited. It is true that the prophet entered into a marriage contract with A’isha when she was six years old, however he did not have sex with her until she was nine years old, according to al-Bukhari.
Other countries make Muhammad’s example the basis of their laws regarding the legal marriageable age for girls. Article 1041 of the Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran states that girls can be engaged before the age of nine, and married at nine: “Marriage before puberty (nine full lunar years for girls) is prohibited. Marriage contracted before reaching puberty with the permission of the guardian is valid provided that the interests of the ward are duly observed.”
According to Amir Taheri in The Spirit of Allah: Khomeini and the Islamic Revolution (pp. 90-91), Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini himself married a ten-year-old girl when he was twenty-eight. Khomeini called marriage to a prepubescent girl “a divine blessing,” and advised the faithful to give their own daughters away accordingly: “Do your best to ensure that your daughters do not see their first blood in your house.” When he took power in Iran, he lowered the legal marriageable age of girls to nine, in accord with Muhammad’s example.
“20 minutes – Nesrin (17) remains a wife because authority does nothing,” En24News, November 7, 2019:
Every week, up to eleven people report to the Center for Forced Marriage, the federal center of excellence. One in three is still a minor. “There are more than ever,” says Anu Sivaganesan, 32, president of the Department of Forced Marriage. In 2018, the department looked after 119 cases of minority marriages. Most of those affected are Kurds from Iraq and Syria or they come from Turkey, Afghanistan or Somalia.
“The main reason for this is the cult of the virginity of women,” said the president of the office of forced marriage. In Switzerland, families see the danger that their daughter may have sex before marriage. Because here you do not live separately according to the sex. “In order to honor the family’s honor, the daughter is then married or engaged abroad as a minor,” said the President.
Two young women who were married as girls and live in Switzerland are Samira (19) and Nesrin (17). So that they can not be identified, their names and countries of origin have been changed. These are her stories.
Samira is Swiss and born here, her parents are from Syria. She was 15 when she was married by telephone to her husband in Syria. A year later, following pressure from the family, the ritual marriage abroad followed.
Last year, Samira became 18th. By reaching the age of majority, child marriage in Switzerland became legally binding. When the young woman realized that, she tried to commit suicide: “I swallowed my father’s pills. But I survived. “With the recognized marriage, her husband, who still lives in Syria, has been given the right to family reunification. He also wants to use this: he will enter Switzerland in the coming days. A disaster for Samira: “Why does Switzerland recognize my child marriage? I do not want to be married! “The 19-year-old is now trying desperately with the help of the office forced marriage to prevent the entry of her husband…
How can it be that Switzerland recognizes marriages without first examining them? Child marriage is not regarded as forced marriage in Switzerland and is therefore not prohibited. But the review of such cases by means of balance of interests is in the criticism. Anu Sivaganesan: “The balancing of interests usually lasts until the person concerned comes of age and the marriage is automatically valid in Switzerland as well.” The Greens and the SVP now want to act. “Basically, it has to be assumed that marriages of under 16 years old are a forced marriage,” says SVP National Councilor Therese Schlapfer. A similar motion was submitted at the end of September. The Department of Forced Marriage, Center of Competence of the Federal Government, sees the same. The department proposes not to recognize marriages abroad before the age of 18 in Switzerland….
Turkish Gov’t Will Debate Law Allowing Child Rapists To Go Free If They Marry Their Victims
By C. Douglas Golden, Western Journalism, January 2020:
In his seminal 1996 book “Clash of Civilizations,” political scientist Samuel Huntington argued for the existence of so-called cleft civilizations — countries torn between two modes of being.
For instance, Ukraine could be torn between a part of the population wanting to engage with the West and another part wanting to turn toward Russia. Pre-split Sudan was torn between the Muslim north and the predominantly Christian south.
And, perhaps most ominously, there was Turkey.
While led by a largely Western-leaning secular government for decades, in recent years, the country has been run by an increasingly Islamic government. The regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tilted toward the Islamic side of things in a major way, attempting to consolidate its power as much as possible.
However, few have realized just how far down the wrong path the Ankara government has been going in recent years. The wake-up call might be a new piece of legislation that would allow child rapists to go free if they can manage to marry their victims.
“The legislation, which was first debated by parliament on 16 January, would give men suspended sentences for child sex offenses if the two parties get married and the age difference between them is less than 10 years,” The Guardian reported Thursday.
“Opposition parties and women’s rights groups have been quick to point out that the bill in effect legitimises child marriage and statutory rape in a country where the legal age of consent is 18,” the report said.
The ruling Justice and Development Party had tried to pass the bill four years ago but the “bill sparked outrage at home and internationally,” the U.K. outlet reported.
This time, however, the party was able to pass the bill despite the worldwide outrage generated by the legislation.
“In 2016, the government introduced a [similar] draft law on amnesty for child abuse perpetrators. All women stood against it and the bill was withdrawn after our protests,” Fidan Ataselim, the general secretary of the activist group We Will Stop Femicide, told The Guardian.
“If they dare to try again, we will fight against it again,” she said.
It’s not as if this wasn’t already a problem in Turkey, mind you. As the U.N. Children’s Fund noted in a report, “Despite the rising average age of marriage, child marriage remains an on-going challenge in Turkey and reflects a pattern of gender inequality that reinforces stereotypical roles for girls and curtails their education, compromises their health, and exposes them to the risk of violence and poverty.”
The U.K. Daily Mail reported that the bill would be voted upon by the end of the month.
While “marry your rapist” clauses aren’t unique — they exist in numerous countries, as a 2017 NPR report showed — a number of countries are closing them.
Such laws in Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia have been ended after protests.
Turkish officials, as usual, were paragons of sensitivity during the 2016 debate.
“There are people who get married before reaching the legal age. They just don’t know the law,” former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said then, according to The Guardian.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said during the 2016 debate that cases of sexual battery involving minors were “unfortunately a reality,” according to The Guardian. However, he said, that didn’t mean the men who perpetrated them were “rapists or sexual aggressors.”
Unfortunately, in some Muslim countries, child marriage can be a sad reality.
“Some Muslims who follow a conservative interpretation of sharia argue that Islam permits child marriage as the Quran specifies that girls can be married upon reaching maturity, which conservative scholars define as puberty,” the Council on Foreign Relations notes.
Furthermore, hyper-conservative Muslims will often point to the fact that the prophet Muhammed married one of his 11 wives, Aisha, when she was between the ages of 6 and 9.
That being said, the general consensus is that Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha was a political move designed to cement his relationship with the girl’s father, Abu Bakr, one of the most influential early converts to Islam, at a time when arranged child marriages were not uncommon. (European royalty engaged in arranged marriages for youngsters, too. Consummation did not happen until the children had grown.)
It wasn’t because he had raped Aisha and needed to marry her in order to keep himself out of a Turkish jail.
Turkey, at one point, seemed like a perfect example of a Huntington “cleft” society — a traditionalist culture and a potential candidate to join the European Union.
Now, it’s turned back around again and is running the other way.
The Truth Must be Told
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