Deeply devout, the machete wielding Muslim threatened to kill a local family and their children if he could not marry the child according to Islamic law.
The devout Muslim men who marry children are following in the footsteps of Muhammad, whose favorite wife was six when he married her.
As has been explained:
Few things are more abundantly attested in Islamic law than the permissibility of child marriage. Islamic tradition records 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.
France: Islamic Convert Armed with Machete Wanted to Marry 11-Year-Old
A 30-year-old Islamic convert who was arrested after brandishing a machete over the weekend is said to have quarrelled with a neighbouring family whose 11-year-old daughter he wanted to marry.
Quentin B. was arrested on Saturday evening in the commune of Agde in southern France after he had brandished a machete and threatened to kill a local family and their children.
The family called the police and officers arrived at the address of the Islamic convert who had locked himself in his mother’s home.
When the officers attempted to enter the home, they were showered with insults, and the 30-year-old began reciting a prayer in Arabic. The man’s mother also pleaded with him to put down his weapons and allow the police to enter but to no avail, Metropolitain reports.
Eventually, the man opened the door but continued to threaten officers and, as a result, was hit with a taser stun-gun but the weapon had no effect. Then officers drew their firearms, which led to the man putting down his machete.
According to investigators, the 30-year-old had recently converted to Islam and become radicalised. The dispute with his neighbours came after he expressed that he wanted to marry their 11-year-old daughter according to Islamic law, which the neighbours refused.
The incident comes after another French radicalised Islamic convert was tried last week for attempting a terrorist attack on a French airbase in 2017.
Convert Alain Feuillerat, a former soldier, had worn a uniform featuring the Islamic State flag and carried several weapons, including a pump-action shotgun. He had converted to Islam following the death of a fellow soldier in 2011.
Another radicalised convert, IT worker Michael Harpon, successfully carried out an act of terror last year, killing four people at the police headquarters in Paris and raising fears of radicalisation among the police force.
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