The Locking up of Daughters. Saudi Style
Posted by Exile on April 16, 2009
I found this on the “Arab News” newspaper site. This one has been rumbling in the background since December last year:
JEDDAH: Justice Minister Mohamed Al-Issa has said that the Kingdom plans to regulate the marriage of young girls following a judge’s decision earlier this week to refuse for a second time to annul a marriage between an eight-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man.
The Justice Ministry aims “to put an end to arbitrariness by parents and guardians in marrying off minor girls,” Al-Issa was quoted as saying in the local media.
On Saturday, a judge in Onaizah, Sheikh Habib Al-Habib, upheld his decision again after an appeals court in Riyadh sent the eight-year-old girl’s case back to him for review a second time.
The judge maintains that once the girl hits puberty (the age of adulthood in Islam), she can decide for herself whether she wants to be married to the man or begin the divorce proceedings.
The judge also ordered the man not to engage in sexual relations with the girl until then.
A relative speaking anonymously said the girl’s mother is determined to pursue the case despite the verdict. An appeals court is reportedly scheduled to review the case again next month.
The case first received local and international media attention in December when Al-Habib decided against annulling the marriage.
The mother’s lawyer, Abdullah Al-Jutaili, said the judge ruled that the mother, who is divorced from her father who married off his girl to settle a debt, is not the legal guardian and therefore cannot petition for a separation.
Underage marriage has been a hot subject especially following remarks in January by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh who declared that it is not against Shariah to “marry off girls who are 15 and younger.”
“We hear a lot in the media about marriage of underage girls,” Al-Sheikh said. “We should know that Shariah law has not brought about injustice to women.”
Shariah permits women to marry Muslim men of good standing, and the father plays an important role in determining this quality. However, fathers cannot force daughters to marry, and the marriage must be consensual.
Dowry is also the property of the woman being married, not of her father.
Financial considerations could prompt some Saudi families to wed their underage daughters to much older men. “For them this is allowed by Islamic law,” lawyer Abdul Rahman Al-Lahem said.
Many human rights groups, including the Kingdom’s governmental Human Rights Commission (HRC), have repeatedly voiced their opposition to child marriages and have vowed publicly that they are working to put an end to the practice.
The justice minister’s statement seems to back the HRC in this matter.
“The Human Rights Commission opposes child marriages in Saudi Arabia. Child marriages violate international agreements that have been signed by Saudi Arabia and should not be allowed,” Zuhair Al-Harithy, spokesman for the HRC, said when the case first broke six months ago.
International rights groups also voiced alarm at the decision. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Monday expressed deep concern over reports that the Saudi court has ruled the marriage as “legally binding.”
One might well wonder why the wonderful and heaven sent new messiah of the planet , Mr. Pr. Barack Hussein Obama, bowed to the King of Saud. Personally, I wonder why he was there at all, but that’s just me. I don’t think I could bow to any man, let alone one who rules over this sort of thing.
Here’s a few of the salient points, just in case you missed them:
father …. married off his girl to settle a debt:
He sold her.
“For them this is allowed by Islamic law.”
Pædofilia and slavery is legal in Saud.
…Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh who declared that it is not against Shariah to “marry off girls who are 15 and younger.”
Which means that the “fifteen” (years old) bit is totally i irrelevant when followed by “and younger” and further supports the sharian pædofile charge.
I wonder what will come first. Her being legally raped by a man 39 years her senior or her being allowed to divorce him?
Who said shariah is compatible with our ways?
Whoever it was needs a good flogging.