Saturday, September 29, 2012

Egyptian cleric involved in new constitution wants girls to marry at 14

From Bikya Masr:
An Egyptian cleric and member of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting Egypt’s new constitution has said that girls 14-years-old are permitted to have sexual relations under Islam and has proposed reducing the marriage age limit as a result.

“It is permissible for the girl at the age of 9 or 10 to marry,” Yassir Barhami said in discussing a woman’s sexual reproduction and his interpretation of Islam.

The Salafist – ultra-conservative – preacher claimed that under Islam when a girl begins to ovulate she is ready for marriage.

He added during a television debate on Dream TV last Tuesday that “marriage of a girl would not be a supplement for education,” but added that it “was better” to marry a girl young “than falling into sin with customary marriage.”

The cleric cited the Qur’an in arguing that any girl who is menstruating should be married and begin having children.

Manal al-Taibi, a now resigned member of the Constituent Assembly, said that this call is the promotion of child marriage and is akin to rape.

She has resigned her position on the assembly in protest to the overuse of Sharia law, or Islamic law, permeating the drafting process.
Actually, in some ways this is much worse than rape. A rape victim has legal recourse, but a girl forced into an marriage is almost always imprisoned and forced to have sex against her will for life.

Note also that Barhami is really saying that girls should be allowed to marry at 9 or 10, but he is - for now - only favoring reducing the marriage age to 14. If that effort succeeds, look to a new lowering of the age of "consent" in coming years.

(h/t Ian)