Monday, December 6, 2010

Early marriage and forced marriage

Early marriages, or child bride marriages, violate the 1989 U. N. Convention of the Rights of the Child. 

Even though early marriage is a practice that did not start with Islam, Islam has perpetuated it. Child marriage has been practiced in Muslim societies since the dawn of Islam. This phenomenon follows directly from the prophet Mohammed. When Mohammed, Islam's sole prophet and source, married 6-years old Aisha, later consummating the marriage when she was 9, he set an absolute precedent, since Mohammed is the example to be followed.
You have in (Muhammad) the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern of conduct for any one to follow [Koran 33:21].
That is why early marriage is endemic in Islamic societies. And, even though it is forbidden in several Muslim majority countries, it is still practiced as a religious right. Here comes the example of Mohammed again: if one claims that he is marrying a child following the example of Mohammed, who dares to say Mohammed was wrong?

Early marriage is a problem that comes associated with forced marriage since the girls would not have choice to avoid the situation.

There has been lots going on and been written about it. Let us end with this practice!

A site with lots of accounts of early and forced marriage is Women Living Under Islamic Law.

An article by Mary Robinson and Desmond Tutu entitled Ending child marriage helps communities across the developing world discusses it as a cultural problem that only happens in the "developing world". Well, it is also a religious problem, and who knows what is happening now in the several Islamic enclaves in Europe (e.g., the no-go zones of France)? It is good to discuss it nevertheless.

Philippines: Early marriage puts girls at risk.

UK: forced marriage of LGTB.

There are more examples elsewhere. Just google early marriage or forced marriage.

  • Wales, Mar 2011: forced marriages, honor killings at record high (BBC).
  • US, Mar 2011: 13-Year-Old California Runaway: Fleeing Forced Marriage (MSNBC)
  • Saudi Arabia, 2009: The Saudi daily 'Okaz reported on August 25, 2009 that the father of a 10-year-old girl had removed her from her aunt's home, where she had been hiding for 10 days, and brought her back to her husband, who, according to the girl's relatives, is 80 years old (Hudson New York).

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