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Saudi cleric: okay to marry 10 year old girls



It's an injustice to NOT marry girls aged 10, says Saudi cleric By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 4:32 PM on 14th January 2009

Saudi Arabia's most senior cleric has told followers it is permissible for ten-year-old girls to marry and anyone who think they are too young are doing the youngsters 'an injustice'.

Abdul-Azeez ibn Abdullaah Aal ash-Shaikh, the country's grand mufti, said: 'It is wrong to say it's not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger.

'A female who is ten or 12 is marriageable and those who think she's too young are wrong and are being unfair to her,' he said during a Monday lecture.

Al Sheikh's comments come at a time when Saudi human rights groups have been pushing the government to put an end to marriages involving the very young and to define a minimum age for marriage.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, the Kingdom's grand mufti, prays during the funeral of the Saudi woman and her daughter last February

In the past few months, Saudi newspapers have highlighted several cases in which young girls were married off to much older men or very young boys.

Though the mufti's pronouncements are respected and provide guidance, the government is not legally bound by them.

On Sunday, the government-run Human Rights Commission condemned marriages of minor girls, saying such marriages are an 'inhumane violation' and rob children of their rights.

The commission's statement followed a ruling by a court in Oneiza in central Saudi Arabia last month that dismissed a divorce petition by the mother of an eight-year-old girl whose father married her off to a man in his 50s.

Newspaper reports said the court argued that the mother did not have the right to file such a case on behalf of her daughter and said that the petition should be filed by the girl when she reaches puberty.

Responding to a question about parents who force their underage daughters to marry, the mufti said: 'We hear a lot about the marriage of underage girls in the media, and we should know that Islamic law has not brought injustice to women.'

The mufti said a good upbringing will make a girl capable of carrying out her duties as a wife and that those who say women should not marry before the age of 25 are following a 'bad path'.

'Our mothers and before them, our grandmothers, married when they were barely 12,' said Al Sheikh, according to the Al-Hayat newpaper.

There are no statistics to show how many marriages involving children are performed in Saudi Arabia every year.

It is also not clear whether these unions are on the rise or whether people are hearing about them more now because of the prevalence of media outlets and easy access to the Internet.

Activists say the girls are given away in return for hefty dowries or as a result of long-standing custom in which a father promises his infant daughters and sons to cousins out of a belief that marriage will protect them from illicit relationships.

07:43 PM Jan 14 2009 |

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United Kingdom

Surprise surprise.lol


Maybe the women from Saudi Arabia on this site who criticize everyone including the West for being barbaric, should respond?

08:25 PM Jan 14 2009 |



United Arab Emirates

Is it also okay for Uk ???!



Government unit saves 11-year-old from forced marriage in Dhaka


The government's forced marriage unit has rescued an 11-year-old British girl whose parents married her to a Bangladeshi man in Dhaka, it has emerged.

The girl – who cannot be named – is the youngest helped by the unit. She was repatriated last month and is living with foster parents.

The girl moved to Bangladesh at the age of six, where she cared for her two younger siblings and her disabled mother. She was rescued after her aunt, who lives in Britain, learnt that her parents had forced her to marry.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "Sadly, 30% of cases of forced marriage encountered involve children. Cases involving 11-year-olds are rare, but this isn't the first one. Cases involving 13- and 14-year-olds are regularly dealt with."

The case emerged as the unit – run jointly by the Foreign and Home Offices – launched a handbook to help those forced into marriage. The guide offers advice on every step, from contacting the authorities and refusing to sponsor a spouse's visa to changing your name, finding housing and returning to education. The government has given £30,000 to the Karma Nirvana charity to create a support network for survivors.

Baroness Scotland, the Home Office minister, said: "Forced marriage is a species of domestic violence … it is not a respected religious or cultural tradition."

Last month the government confirmed it would back new measures to protect potential victims. The Lib Dem peer Lord Lester's forced marriages (civil protection) bill would allow young people at risk to apply for court orders preventing them being forced into marriage, while those who had become victims could sue for damages.


08:39 PM Jan 14 2009 |



No, it's not okay in the UK. 


It's not okay anywhere.

09:19 PM Jan 14 2009 |



United Kingdom

Excuse me?


She had British nationatity, but the girl was probably a Muslim from Bangladesh. Are you people blind or just plain clueless when you read the news?

09:48 PM Jan 14 2009 |



no matter the girls origins, it's clear from reading the article that the British government does not think forced marriages are OK. 



09:56 PM Jan 14 2009 |



United Kingdom



What is your point? Why don't you just agree that marrying away 10 year old is not right?


09:57 PM Jan 14 2009 |



United Kingdom

It happened in Bangladesh, not in the UK.

Margaret just tried to use it to counter and avoid the issue.

10:02 PM Jan 14 2009 |



United Arab Emirates

Excuse me? She had British nationatity, but the girl was probably a Muslim from Bangladesh. Are you people blind or just plain clueless when you read the news? 

 HAHAHA she had British nationality?? I guess you are the one who is blinded here. Come on grow up not because she got married when she is 11 year old that's mean she should be a Muslim Bangladesh ~~ Many of British people allow this and they force their children to get marry at this age…

Yeah gkissberth the British government does not allow that but people are still doing it… Why they are doing it while the government does not allow that? >>> I'm waiting for reply ! 

And fabs1 I do not think you are here to give orders to agree or disagree ~! it is up to me if I do agree or disagree ~ however, where is in my reply did I mention if I agree that marrying a 10 year old is right ? to presume and say

" Why don't you just agree that marrying away 10 year old is not right? "  

The bottom line here is the press always write stuff which is always against Islam ~ We the Muslims never allow this to happen because we realize that a 10 year old girl is not mature yet or even ready for getting marry. It is true that people are doing this and forcing their children to get marry ! but why the press always relate the family's mistake to Islam ~?  In fact there is a kind of Americans who are doing horrible things to their children, why the press didn't relate their mistakes to Christianity ?

 My point here is do not relate people's mistake to Islam.

10:33 PM Jan 14 2009 |



United Arab Emirates

It happened in Bangladesh, not in the UK. Margaret just tried to use it to counter and avoid the issue.


I recommend you to read carefully next time. And think about what are you going to write a hundred times before you submit.,  


 The girl moved to Bangladesh at the age of six,             

10:41 PM Jan 14 2009 |



United Arab Emirates

Forced to marry a 50-year-old with six wives when just 18 … One woman's harrowing tale of escaping the Texas polygamist sect





Watching the TV this week I wept as pictures were broadcast from an isolated part of Texas.

I saw 416 children – from infants to teenagers – and 133 women being taken into protective police custody.

They were driven away from a place they called "home" – a 1,700-acre desert compound run by the polygamist sect once controlled by their "prophet", Warren Jeffs.

Scroll down for more …



Carolyn Jessop was hunted down like 'prey' after she escaped with her eight children

The reason I was crying was simple – those images of women wearing ankle-length dresses and holding the hands of bright-eyed children brought back terrible memories. For I was once one of them.

Many of those teenage girls were pregnant and some already had babies.

Few of the 416 youngsters brought out of the sect in the Texas desert knew their full names, birthday or even their own mothers.

Some had been beaten so badly they had suffered broken bones. Girls, some as young as 12 and 13, had been expected to have sex with much older men.

But as the freed youngsters played with donated toys, social workers claimed the shadow of fear was finally lifting for the children.

Scroll down for more …



Rescued: Female members of sect are escorted onto a school bus in Eldorado, Texas



Relieved: A group of women church members tearfully embrace after being reunited at Fort Concho, Texas

No one knows better than I do what the horrifying reality of life was like at the Yearning for Zion ranch near Eldorado, south of Dallas – I was born into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS).

Only I was lucky enough to escape. I came from six generations of polygamists who formed the 10,000-strong FLDS, as we called it.

The organisation was part of the Mormon church, but broke away to defend the rights of its male members to have more than one wife – a practice the Mormons stopped at the turn of the last century.

When I was young, I remember being looked at with scorn when we went into the town in our long pastel dresses.

The residents called us "polygs" and sometimes threw rocks at us, but I didn't mind.

It proved to my young and naive mind that all the people in the outside world were evil.

At the age of 18, in 1986, I was made to marry a 50-year-old stranger – a fellow member of the cult – because that was expected of every young woman in our community.


It was deemed perfectly natural: the leader, our prophet, decided whom you should marry and you were supposed to do it without hesitation.

Except I did hesitate. When I was forced to marry, it was a turning point for me – a moment which made me question everything I had been taught.

But so strong had my indoctrination been, I still lived by the tenets of our faith, ignoring the questioning voice in my mind.

So, during the next 15 years, I bore my husband, Merril, who had six other wives, no fewer than eight children – five boys and three girls.

I had no alternative than to obey his demands – including treating him like a god.

If I refused, or failed in my tasks, I was punished. My every move was watched, and I was never allowed my own money. I knew I was being controlled and it frightened me.

My sister (also a member of the FLDS) and I used to have a grim joke: "Don't drink the punch" – a reference to the mass suicide of 900 members of the cult The People's Temple by drinking a poison punch under the orders of the Rev Jim Jones in Guyana in 1978. We were terrified it might happen to us.

Indeed, ever since Jeffs inherited the leadership of our cult from his father in 2002, he'd been preaching that he was Jesus Christ incarnate.



10:56 PM Jan 14 2009 |