Pakistan: To settle a loan, stepfather sells 12-year-old girl to old man for forced marriage

“Whenever I protested against the marriage and asked to be freed, he told me I was his property as he has purchased me from my father.” This idea is a natural result of the treatment of women as commodities in Islamic law. “Forced marriage: Step-father, elderly “˜husband” arrested,” by Shamsul Islam in the Express Tribune, March 12:

FAISALABAD: Four people were arrested by Mochiwala police on Sunday on a girl’s complaint about her forced marriage to an elderly man to settle a loan her step-father had owed him.

Police said an FIR had been registered against the girl’s step-father Muhammad Nawaz, a resident of Chak 170, and husband 60-year-old Sher Muhammad under Sections 371-A, -B and 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code. They said the nikah”khwan and three witnesses were also mentioned in the FIR. Raids were underway to arrest them, they added. Police said two relatives of Sher Muhammad had been arrested to question them about the whereabouts of others suspects.

The complainant, who said she was 12 years old, told police that her marriage with Sher Muhammad took place two months ago to settle a Rs110,000 loan her step-father had taken from him.

She said Sher Muhammad mostly kept her locked in a room at his house and beat her up whenever she requested him to free her. “Whenever I protested against the marriage and asked to be freed, he told me I was his property as he has purchased me from my father,” she added. She alleged that Muhammad’s younger brother sexually harassed her whenever Muhammad was away. She said she escaped on Sunday as Muhammad was away.

The child’s step-father said he had committed no crime. He said it was beyond his means to repay the debt so he had agreed to give the child in marriage to Sher Muhammad in return for the settlement of the debt. Mochiwala SHO Ayub Sahi said the girl would remain under police protection until someone from her family approached….

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Comments

  1. says

    She alleged that Muhammad’s younger brother sexually harassed her whenever Muhammad was away.

    Does that mean she will be charged with adultery?

  2. says

    The evil that muslims engage in knows no bounds, and of course they think that they are above the law. Notice the father’s answer in response to these charges:

    “The child’s step-father said he had committed no crime.”

    Criminals always resort to that one …

  3. says

    $1200 for a 12 y.o. wife-to-be. You can probably get one at a discount if you pay cash in advance, say $600 for a 6 y.o., taking delivery when she’s 12.
    This is sometimes called the “lay-away” plan.

  4. says

    From Sir Winston Churchill’s “the Story of the Malakand Field Force’, which deals with the ‘north-west province’ and Afghanistan, and the sharia-crazed Swat Valley of what is now Pakistan.

    The chapter entitled, ‘The Theatre of War’, discusses the physical and human geography.

    Here is Churchill on Pathan / Pashtun Mohammedan family life in those parts in the 19th century.

    “We see them in their squalid, loopholed hovels, amid dirt and ignorance, as degraded a race as any on the fringe of humanity: fierce as the tiger, but less cleanly; as dangerous, not so graceful.

    “Those simple family virtues, which idealists usually ascribe to primitive peoples, are conspicuously absent.

    “**Their wives and their womenkind generally, have no position but that of animals. They are freely bought and sold, and are not infrequently bartered for rifles.
    ** {my emphasis – dda}.

    Let’s run that past again. Churchill, speaking from what he had seen himself in those parts.

    “Their wives and their women generally have no position but that of animals.

    “They are freely bought and sold.”

    And here is Churchill again, also talking about Islam, in the original unexpurgated 1899 edition of his book ‘The River War’ which deals with the war against the Mahdi in Sudan.

    “The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. ”

    The great Irishman Conor Cruise O’Brien minced no words, either.

    In an article entitled ‘The Sick Man of the World’ [the ‘sick man’ being…Islam/ the Ummah], published in The Times, London, 11 May 1989 , he wrote:

    “Muslim society looks profoundly repulsive…It looks profoundly repulsive because it *is* repulsive…A westerner who claims to admire Muslim society, whilst still adhering to Western values, is either a hypocrite or an ignoramus or a bit of both.

    “At the heart of the matter is the Muslim family, an abominable institution”.

  5. says

    $1200 for a 12 y.o. bride. One can probably get a good discount by paying cash in advance: say $600 for a 6 y.o., delivery to be taken when she’s 12.
    This is also known as the “lay-away” plan.

  6. says

    Here is a quote from The Reliance of the Traveller[sic]

    m3.13 Guardians are of two types, those who may compel their female charges to marry someone, and those who may not.

    The only guardians who may compel their charge to marry are a virgin bride’s father or father’s father, compel meaning to marry her to a suitable match (def: m4) without her consent.

    Those who may not compel her are not entitled to marry her to someone unless she accepts and gives her permission.

    Whenever the bride is a virgin, the father or father’s father may marry her to someone without her permission, though it is recommended to ask her permission if she has reached puberty. A virgin’s silence is considered as permission.

    [Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law]

    And then there is this from a well-known Saudi cleric:

    It is incorrect to say that it’s not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger. A girl aged 10 or 12 can be married. Those who think she’s too young are wrong and they are being unfair to her.

    We hear a lot in the media about the marriage of underage girls. We should know that Shariah law has not brought injustice to women.

    -Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheik

    Here is the web address to the CNN article in which the cleric made the above remarks.

    “http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/17/saudi.child.marriage/index.html?newssearch”

    What do you say Mr. Hartling? Can such young girls give permission?

  7. says

    I am shocked at the sale of a 12 year old girl.

    I am not shocked at the transaction, but at the relatively old age for the male-pedophile market. Hadith portrays the “prophet of islam” interrupting 6 year old Aisha’s play with dolls, so that the 55 year old pig could court her for rape-marriage.

    There is circumstantial evidence leading to proof that the demon possessed pedo who founded the arab murder cult, traded succession (calipha) office for 6 year old sex booty.

    Islam is degeneracy; muslims are perverts.

  8. says

    If Assad had the sense of a cumin seed, he’d order the tanks into these demonstrations and use the Beijing ’89 solution. After all, following June 4, 1989, it didn’t take long before the Chinese Communist leadership was once more highly respectable with the international community. I don’t see why it would not work for Bashir al-Assad.

    I’m frankly rather jaundiced about Syria, and hope that the USA doesn’t intervene to save its “people’s movement”. It just won’t be worth it.

    Years ago, I taught an obnoxious, stupid Syrian woman (albeit Christian) who assured me in broken, halting English that she was really in the know about DA JOOOOOOOOOOOOZ being in control of the USA when I was just another typical, naive, ignorant American. 放å±�ï¼�If that’s the best the Syrian Arab Republic can send to a Midwestern University, then the country deserves whatever gummint it gets.

  9. says

    Thank you for the reply Mr. Hartling.

    You suggest that Catholic Canon law allows child marriage and you say specifically that girls may marry when they are as young as twelve, or at the age of twelve. I think we are straying from the point here and I don’t believe that whether we’re talking about the “age of consent” or the minimum age for marriage, that there is a Catholic bishop in the world who would condone what has happened to this girl or would suggest that anything remotely similar should be allowed for a Christian girl, or any girl.

    I am not a Catholic, so I wouldn’t know the specific rules, but I looked up the 1983 Code of Canon Law and I did not find a reference to a specific age for marriage. The Catholic law seems most concerned with the preservation of a person’s dignity and freedom of conscience. The Reliance of the Traveller is miles away from that. I may have looked in the wrong place for Canon law, so can you cite the rule for us?

    (Can any other readers who are Catholic cite the correct rule?)

    Of course, the more important thing in this story is that the Pakistani girl quite rightly complains about her plight. She has been forcibly married to a sixty year old man. The key word here is not the word married, but the word, property. The girl’s pedophile husband tells her that she is his property, which amounts to a condition of slavery; in this case, chattel slavery. What gives a Muslim the right to own a person? Does the girl’s lowly condition, her body as a substitute for money – a payment for debt – erase her Muslim identity? Apparently so. And if it doesn’t, then we can say that there isn’t anything in Muslim identity for women; and slavery has not disappeared from the Muslim world. Islam’s arcane marriage rules, their vague, specious similarity to Canon law are irrelevant. The girl is a slave, not a bride. That’s what we should remember.

    Obviously, this is not marriage as Westerners understand it. We shouldn’t even call it that. Nor should we be culturally sensitive and indulge Muslims who say that it’s right or Islamic. No, this is just utter degradation. It’s an outrage where a pedophile and a girl’s step-father reduce a girl to the status of an expendable object. That the girl speaks up for herself is astounding and tells me that even a child who is likely to be ignorant and illiterate knows what rightness and justice is.

    The saddest words in the story are these.

    “…Ayub Sahi said the girl would remain under police protection until someone from her family approached….”

    And that would be, until someone from her family approaches, takes her away, sells her again, and she disappears.

    If she manages to escape, she could have a decent life. But will she? If she finds her way to a Christian enclave in Pakistan, her freedom will be temporary and insecure. Islam will allow Muslims to make sure of that.

  10. says

    holly s…. selling a 12 year old for 1200.00$$$ I just read on BBC Farsi that president Karzia wife just delivered a girl and of course our president called him right away to congratulae him!!!! do you think he will sell his girl and force her to marry a 55 year old man?

    the answer is coming soon!!!!!!!

  11. says

    P S re the redoubtable Conor Cruise O’Brien, a most un-PC writer, a grand old Irishman of a fierce intellect.

    I would greatly appreciate it if one of our UK readers could manage to unearth a copy of The Times from 11 May 1989 – there must be one, on paper or on microfilm or microfiche, buried in a UK library somewhere – and go through it page by page till you find the article by O’Brien, touching on Islam, that appeared in that particular issue; and then keyboard the whole thing and share it here for all of us to read.

    If that one paragraph is indicative of the whole, the whole bids fair to make the average modern western dhimmi drop down dead of a heart attack.

    Or maybe there is an anthology of ‘Conor Cruise O’ Brien’s last writings’ ‘essays and opinion pieces’, that sort of thing, that may include it? Or perhaps there is a UK lurker somewhere out there, who remembers reading it when it was first published, way back in 1989, and liked it enough to clip it out and keep it…and is now in a position to share the whole thing with the rest of us. Here’s hoping.

  12. says

    Pakistan: To settle a loan, stepfather sells 12-year-old girl to old man for forced marriage
    ………………………….

    Muslims often lambaste interest-based loans for their supposed “immorality”, then have no qualms about pimping out their *own children* to old men to settle loans in Dar-al-Islam.

    More:

    She said Sher Muhammad mostly kept her locked in a room at his house and beat her up whenever she requested him to free her. “Whenever I protested against the marriage and asked to be freed, he told me I was his property as he has purchased me from my father,” she added. She alleged that Muhammad’s younger brother sexually harassed her whenever Muhammad was away. She said she escaped on Sunday as Muhammad was away.
    ………………………….

    This tells you a great deal not only about “Shari’ah finance”, but about the nature of “marriage” in the Muslim world. Marriage is, essentially, the selling of the bride to the groom by the bride’s guardian for the purpose of “Nikah””which translates as nothing more than f*cking.

    Noe also how the “husband’s” brother felt free to harass the victim whenever the “husband” was away, as well.

    More:

    The child’s step-father said he had committed no crime. He said it was beyond his means to repay the debt so he had agreed to give the child in marriage to Sher Muhammad in return for the settlement of the debt. Mochiwala SHO Ayub Sahi said the girl would remain under police protection until someone from her family approached….
    ………………………….

    This barbarian doesn’t even have the decency to be ashamed of his treatment of his step-daughter. But then, why should he be? This is all perfectly common under Islam, where both wives and children are treated as slaves and commodities.

    Ole Hartling wrote:

    Is forced marriage against Sharia law?
    ………………………….

    Ole, are you serious? Forced marriage is *rife* under Shari’ah.

  13. says

    “Is forced marriage against Sharia law?”

    Ole, it is true that the consent of the woman is needed for marriage in Islam. But the full story is that the woman is supposed to OBEY her parents. So if the parent(s) order her to prepare for marriage before she had any say about the marriage, she has to obey. Failure to follow orders can result in whatever punishments the parents deem fit including killing.

    Secondly, the ‘honor’ of girl’s family is severely damaged among society if she says no to a marriage after people have been informed. ‘Honor’ involving women is serious issue in those societies. Because killing your own family member is is quite difficult, the family does whatever it takes to make the marriage happen, including resorting to lying, intimidation, and other forms of coercion. But if things go out of hand and the girl’s rebellion becomes public knowledge, there is no option left but to honor-kill the girl.

    The islam-apologists will give you any number of explainations as to how Islam is not responsible for all this, but that would not change things there one bit. As Winston Churchill said, there is no chance of reform as long as Islam is there.

  14. says

    “Ole Hartling wrote:

    Is forced marriage against Sharia law?
    ………………………….

    Ole, are you serious? Forced marriage is *rife* under Shari’ah.”

    Of course I am serious. I am not asking what is the practise of Muslims but how the scholars of Islam interpretate the Law.

    It seems to me, that forced marriage is against Sharia Law:

    “Can a woman be forced into marriage in Islam?

    Absolutely not! Let us look at what Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said regarding this issue:

    Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as having said: “A woman without a husband (or divorced or a widow) must not be married until she is consulted, and a virgin must not be married until her permission is sought. They asked the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him): How her (virgin’s) consent can be solicited? He (the Holy Prophet) said: That she keeps silence. (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book of Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 008, Number 3303)”

    Allah Almighty said in the Noble Quran: “O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower [money given by the husband to the wife for the marriage contract] ye have given them, except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good. (The Noble Quran, 4:19)”

    The following Saying is an explanation to Noble Verse 4:19:

    Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: “About the Qur’anic verse: ‘It is not lawful for you forcibly to inherit the woman (of your deceased kinsmen), nor (that) ye should put constraint upon them.’ When a man died, his relatives had more right to his wife then her own guardian. If any one of them wanted to marry her, he did so; or they married her (to some other person), and if they did not want to marry her, they did so. So this verse was revealed about the matter. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 11, Number 2084)” So according to Noble Verse 4:19, a woman can not be forced into marriage by any mean.

    Narrated AbuHurayrah: “The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: An orphan virgin girl should be consulted about herself; if she says nothing that indicates her permission, but if she refuses, the authority of the guardian cannot be exercised against her will. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 11, Number 2088)”

    Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar: “The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Consult women about (the marriage of) their daughters. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 11, Number 2090)”

    Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: “A virgin came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and mentioned that her father had married her against her will, so the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) allowed her to exercise her choice. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 11, Number 2091)”

    Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: “The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: A guardian has no concern with a woman previously married and has no husband, and an orphan girl (i.e. virgin) must be consulted, her silence being her acceptance. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 11, Number 2095)”

    The above Noble Verse 4:19 and the Sayings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him clearly explain that according to Islam, whether the woman is virgin or not, her permission is a MUST. Her father or older brother can not force her into marriage as the Pagan Arabs and the Jews and Christians before Islam in the Middle East used to do; see Deuteronomy 25:5 in the Bible to see how women are forced into marriage.

    Can the woman divorce herself from a forced marriage upon her?

    As we’ve seen above, it is clearly forbidden in Islam to force women into marriage. But in case this ever should happen or have happened already to any woman, then Islam allows for her to divorce herself from the man she was forced to marry. Let us read the following:

    Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: “A virgin came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and mentioned that her father had married her against her will, so the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) allowed her to exercise her choice. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 11, Number 2091)”

    The choice that our beloved Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him gave to the woman is she can either remain married to the man, or divorce herself from him.”

    Quoted from:

    http://www.answering-christianity.com/cant_force_marriage.htm

    As far as I can see the Qur’an does not deal with the question of concent. Q 4:19 is hardly relevant, so everything is based upon the ahadith. Do you know of other ahadith that invalidate the ones referred to in the quote?

  15. says

    I made a mistake Mr. Hartling. I didn’t see that first full colon in your post to gravenimage. It appeared that you were referring to Muhammad the way a devout Muslim would; but I still don’t understand your apparent support for arguments that favor Islam.

  16. says

    Thanks for the reference to the relevant section of “Reliance of the Traveller”, a classical manual of fiqh for the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence.

    It is clear that consent is not needed if the girl is a pre-pubescent virgin (not previously married), but consent is recommended if she has reached puberty. Rather strangely a virgins silence is considered as consent.

    You also bring up the question of legal age of marriage, but neigher the Qur’an nor the Bible specify any minimum age. It is left to the guardians of the two families to decide if a virgen is sufficiently mature (phsycical and mental) to marry and consummate marriage. The example of Muhammad is seen as a normative guideline (mariage contract agreed upon when the girl was 6 and marriage consummated when she was 9 (moon) years of age), but actually there is no age limits whatsoever mentioned in the Qur’an.

    You ask me: “Can such young girls (10-12 years old) give permission?” (consent to marry).

    If they are virgins and have not yet reached puberty, positive consent is not needed, silence is all it takes. They can of course give consent, but the real question is whether a child should be married with or without her consent.

    The answer in catholic cannonical law is, that a girl age 12 can get married but is required to give positive censent to the marriage by saying YES. Another requirement is that she must have reached puberty to marry and not be coerced in any way. Dispensation to marry may be given to a pregnant 11 year old girl.

    In my opinion girls below the age of 15 should not be allowed to marry and they should also have reached puberty to do so, and be of sound mind. The problem is that in some Western countries the legal age of consent is lower than 15, in Germany it is 14 and in Spain 13 years for girls. So they are old enough to have sex but not old enough to marry? That calls for dispensation and alternatives such as putting the baby to adoption or an abortion on social, mental or medical indication. (I am against abortion without indication).

    So my conclusion is that Islamic jurisprudence in some cases permit very young girls to be married against their will and without positive consent, and when consent is given it may be coerced, so there is absolutely no protection of young girls in Islamic Law. Thanks to liberty.or.death for stressing this point.

    The only theoretical protection of the virgin girl is in the condition that the marriage must be a “suitable match”. According to “Reliance of the Traveller” (m3.15 and m4.0) this means:

    m3.15 No guardian may marry a woman to someone who is not a suitable match (def: m4) without her acceptance and the acceptance of all who can be guardians (def: m3.7). If the Islamic magistrate is her guardian, he may not under any circumstances marry her to someone who is not a suitable match for her.

    If the bride selects a suitor who is not a suitable match for her, the guardian is not obliged to marry her to him. If she selects a suitable match but her guardian chooses a different suitor who is also a suitable match, then the man chosen by the guardian takes precedence if the guardian is one who may lawfully compel her to marry (def: m3.13(1)), while the one she selects takes precedence when the guardian may not lawfully compel her to marry (m3.13(2)).

    m4.0 A SUITABLE MATCH (KAFA’A)
    (N: The definition of a suitable match should not be misunderstood as a recommendation for whom to marry. It is merely a legal restriction to protect a woman’s interests when the father or grandfather of a virgin marry her to someone without her consent (dis: m3.13, 15). As for when she wishes to marry someone who is not a suitable match, and her guardian has no objection, there is nothing wrong or
    offensive in her doing so.)

    Thanks to all for helping clearing the piner points in Islamic child marriage.

  17. says

    Looks like the Times digital archive is only 1785-1985, unfortunately. But if that was Conor O’Brien writing in 1989 – then what must writers have written in the 200 years earlier about the Religion of Peace? Maybe the 2 pound per week subscription is worth it??

  18. says

    Ole Hartling wrote:

    It seems to me, that forced marriage is against Sharia Law
    ……………………………….

    Oh, good grief! Even much of what you quote contradicts your assertion:

    “Can a woman be forced into marriage in Islam?

    Absolutely not! Let us look at what Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said regarding this issue:

    Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as having said: “A woman without a husband (or divorced or a widow) must not be married until she is consulted, and a virgin must not be married until her permission is sought. They asked the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him): How her (virgin’s) consent can be solicited? He (the Holy Prophet) said: That she keeps silence.
    ……………………………….

    Don’t you realize what this last means?

    Narrated Abu Haraira:

    Allah’s Apostle said, “A lady slave should not be given in marriage until she is consulted, and a virgin should not be given in marriage until her permission is granted.” The people said, “How will she express her permission?” The Prophet said, “By keeping silent”

    Sahih Bukhari 9:86:100

    Narrated ‘Aisha:

    I asked the Prophet, “O Allah’s Apostle! Should the women be asked for their consent to their marriage?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “A virgin, if asked, feels shy and keeps quiet.” He said, “Her silence means her consent.”

    This means that a child *frightened into silence* is counted as having “consented” to marriage. Do you *really* consider this consent?

    More:

    Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar: “The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Consult women about (the marriage of) their daughters. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 11, Number 2090)”
    ……………………………….

    This passage recommends that the victim’s *mother* be consulted about her daughter’s marriage, *not* the victim herself.

    More:

    Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: “The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: A guardian has no concern with a woman previously married and has no husband, and an orphan girl (i.e. virgin) must be consulted, her silence being her acceptance. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 11, Number 2095)”
    ……………………………….

    More of the same from above.

    More:

    Can the woman divorce herself from a forced marriage upon her?

    As we’ve seen above, it is clearly forbidden in Islam to force women into marriage. But in case this ever should happen or have happened already to any woman, then Islam allows for her to divorce herself from the man she was forced to marry. Let us read the following:

    Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: “A virgin came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and mentioned that her father had married her against her will, so the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) allowed her to exercise her choice. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 11, Number 2091)”
    ……………………………….

    This is an instance of the “Prophet” showing mercy to one specific victim”nothing in this passage implies that this choice should be extended to *all* Muslim women.

    More:

    Quoted from:

    http://www.answering-christianity.com/cant_force_marriage.htm
    ……………………………….

    Nice to see you are getting your claims that Islam doesn’t condone forced marriages from anti-Christian Taqiyya artists.

    More:

    Do you know of other ahadith that invalidate the ones referred to in the quote?
    ……………………………….

    Well, there’s this:

    Narrated Tirmidhi:

    “If there comes to you one with whose religious commitment and character you are pleased, then marry your daughter to him; if you do not do so, it will be a cause of fitnah and widespread mischief on earth.”

    A hasan hadith, 2/274, Abwab al-nikah, 3; Ibn Majah, 1/633, Kitab al-nikah, bab al-akfa’.

    No indication that the daughter is permitted to refuse.

    Classicus has already cited the passage from “Reliance of the Traveler”.

    Ole Hartling wrote, replying to Classicus:

    If they are virgins and have not yet reached puberty, positive consent is not needed, silence is all it takes. They can of course give consent, but the real question is whether a child should be married with or without her consent.
    ……………………………….

    Ole, I believe you are missing one major point here. When you say “they can of course give consent”, is that really true? Can a 12-year-old child really give informed consent to marry? Can a 9-year-old?

    As to whether any of this is “Islamic”, most Muslim clerics certainly believe it to be:

    “Top Yemeni religious leaders oppose ban on child marriages”

    http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article33440.ece

    There are many more examples.

    As for your implication that civilized nations such as *Germany and Spain* have the same sort of child marriages as does the Muslim world, this is just absurd.

  19. says

    “Nice to see you are getting your claims that Islam doesn’t condone forced marriages from anti-Christian Taqiyya artists.”

    You seem unable to understand the difference between a claim put forward by some Muslims on a blog – that a woman absolutely cannot be forced into marriage in Islam – and my examination of the validity of this claim in Islamic jurisprudence, with the help from other commentators here, and my conclusion:

    “So my conclusion is that Islamic jurisprudence in some cases permit very young girls to be married against their will and without positive consent, and when consent is given it may be coerced, so there is absolutely no protection of young girls in Islamic Law.”

    So yes, it is dawa using taqiyya to convince the gullible that Islam has a better protection of woman and a superior morality when it comes to marriage than Christianity. But the point is, we cannot know if the claim is true or not without a critical examination of the sources. None of us is born with all the right answers, we must work hard to arrive at our own points of view.

    You also seem unable to understand a simple sentence:

    “Ole Hartling wrote, replying to Classicus:

    If they are virgins and have not yet reached puberty, positive consent is not needed, silence is all it takes. They can of course give consent, but the real question is whether a child should be married with or without her consent.
    ……………………………….

    Ole, I believe you are missing one major point here. When you say “they can of course give consent”, is that really true? Can a 12-year-old child really give informed consent to marry? Can a 9-year-old?”

    You are the one missing the point formulated in my moral question: “but the real question is whether a child should be married with or without her consent.”

    To disprove the Muslim claim about moral superiority over Christianity in this matter I made a comparison to canonical law. According to dogma a 12 year old girl can give informed consent to marry, but only if she has reached puberty and is not in any way coerced, is of sound mind, and give a positive verbal consent. In other words no 12 year old girl can be forced to marry in Christianity, such a marriage is annulled if it is later discovered that the required conditions did not exist.

    Again you misread what I said:

    “As for your implication that civilized nations such as *Germany and Spain* have the same sort of child marriages as does the Muslim world, this is just absurd.”

    I talked about legal age of consent not marriage age:

    “In my opinion girls below the age of 15 should not be allowed to marry and they should also have reached puberty to do so, and be of sound mind. The problem is that in some Western countries the legal age of consent is lower than 15, in Germany it is 14 and in Spain 13 years for girls. So they are old enough to have sex but not old enough to marry? That calls for dispensation and alternatives (in case of pregnancy – added for clarification here) such as putting the baby to adoption or an abortion on social, mental or medical indication. (I am against abortion without indication).”

    The marriageable age is 18 in Germany, and 18 in Spain or 16 with parental consent. If marrying a 12-year old girl is “child marriage”, and child marriage is wrong, then the Catholic Church has been morally wrong for almost two millennia. The only “consolation” is that child marriage is more grusome and inhumane in Islam than it ever was in Christianity, and much harder to abolish because implementing the religious law – Sharia – is a religious obligation for the Muslim. In Christianity there are no religious laws the believer should try to implement into society, there are only moral obligations the believer should try to fulfil on his own behalf, not the behalf of others or the society. Christianity is not a law religion.

    The only thing absurd, and not very helpful, is your comment!

  20. says

    Ole Hartling wrote:

    The only thing absurd, and not very helpful, is your comment!
    ………………………………

    What rot. It is your endless moral equivalence which is truly absurd.

    It is not Westerners selling their prepubescent children to “settle their loans””nor marrying 9-year-olds, nor “honor-killing” the victims should they resist forced marriage. Those would be Muslims, in case you haven’t been paying attention.

  21. says

    Thanks for reply.

    I don’t think we disagree on any major point here. Let me document the canononical law about marriable age:

    “Betrothals [sponsalia] require seven full years in the contracting parties. The marriageable age is fourteen full years in males and twelve full years in females, under penalty of nullity (unless natural puberty supplies the want of years). Marriages void because of the absence of legal or natural puberty are held as sponsalia, inducing thereby impediment of “public decorum” (Cap. 14, tit. de despon. impub., X, 4, 2). Civil codes generally require a more advanced age than the canonical.”

    (Quoted from the Catholic Encyclopedia, published in 1914).

    Link to article “Canonical age” – see section “Ordinary Christian life”:

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01206c.htm

    But even the canonical age restrictions were not always observed:

    “In medieval Europe, Gratian, the influential founder of Canon law in the twelfth century, accepted the traditional age of puberty for marriage (between 12 and 14) but he also said consent was “meaningful” if the children were older than seven. Some authorities said consent could take place earlier. Such a marriage would be permanent as long as neither party sought annulment before reaching puberty (12 for girls and 14 for boys) or if they had already consummated the marriage. Even if the husband had technically raped his wife before she reached puberty, the marriage was regarded as consummated. It was this policy which was carried over into English common law, and although consent was necessary, force and influence or persuasion seemed to have been permissible elements. Similarly Gratian’s ideas about age became part of European civil law.

    The age of consent in both English and continental law seemed to be particularly elastic when property was involved or family alliances were at stake. For example in 1564, a three year old named John was married to a two year old named Jane in the Bishop’s Court in Chester, England. Though Shakespeare set his Romeo and Juliet in Verona, the fact that Juliet was thirteen probably reflects the reality in England. Her mother, who was twenty-six, calls her almost an old maid.

    The American colonies followed the English tradition but the law could at best be called a guide. For example in Virginia in 1689, Mary Hathaway was only nine when she was married to William Williams. We know of her case only because two years later she sued for divorce, and was released from the covenant she had made because the marriage had not been consummated. Interestingly, historian Holly Brewer, who discovered the case, speculated that if William had raped Mary, she probably would not have been given the divorce.

    The only reliable data on age at marriage in England in the early modern period comes from Inquisitions Post Mortem which involved only those who died and left property. It appears that the more complete the records, the more likely it is to discover young marriages. Judges honored marriages based on mutual consent at age younger than seven, in spite of what Gratian had said, and there are recorded marriages of two and three year olds.

    The seventeenth-century lawyer Henry Swinburne distinguished between the marriages of those under seven and those between seven and puberty. He wrote that those under seven who had said their vows had to ratify it afterwards by giving kisses and embraces, by lying together, by exchanging gifts or tokens, or by calling each other husband or wife. A contemporary, Philip Stubbes, wrote that in sixteenth-century East Anglia, infants still in swaddling clothes were married. The most influential legal text of the seventeenth century in England, that of Sir Edward Coke, made it clear that the marriage of girls under twelve was normal, and the age at which a girl who was a wife was eligible for a dower from her husband’s estate was nine even though her husband be only four years old. …”

    Read it all. Link:

    http://www.faqs.org/childhood/A-Ar/Age-of-Consent.html

  22. says

    Excellent post, Classicus.

    One small point”unfortunately, I doubt there is any chance of this girl making her way to a Christian enclave. Not only would she be insecure as a Christian”as you note”but she would then be charged with apostasy. In addition, the Christians would likely be charged with “kidnapping” a Muslim girl, ludicrous though that would be in *this* context.

    I’m not even going to address Ole Hartling’s most recent comments. That he has to resort to citing conditions in the *Middle Ages* in the West to find similar circumstances to the state of the Muslim world *today* should be instructive in and of itself.

  23. says

    “I’m not even going to address Ole Hartling’s most recent comments. That he has to resort to citing conditions in the *Middle Ages* in the West to find similar circumstances to the state of the Muslim world *today* should be instructive in and of itself.”

    Thank you! The laws about legal age and marriable age did not only apply in the *Middle Ages* but continued practically unchanged until the beginning of the twentieth century. The changes for better legal protection of children did not come from the Church but from secular forces. However, because of much critizism that the Church accepted child marriages by allowing 12 year old girls to marry, the canonical law was changed in 1917 now setting the age restrictions at 14 years for female and 16 years for male. (*).

    In the nineteenth century France issued the Napoleonic Code and many other countries, following France’s example, began revising their laws. The Napoleonic Code, however, had not changed the age of consent, which remained at thirteen.

    When historian Magnus Hirschfeld surveyed the age of consent of some fifty countries (mostly in Europe and the Americas) at the beginning of the twentieth century, the age of consent was twelve in fifteen countries, thirteen in seven, fourteen in five, fifteen in four, and sixteen in five. In the remaining countries it remained unclear. In England and the United States, feminist agitation in the late nineteenth century called attention to the young age of consent and called for changes in the law. By the 1920s the age of consent, a state issue in the United States, was raised in every state and ranged from fourteen to eighteen, with most states settling on sixteen or eighteen.

    (*) Can. 1083 §1. A man before he has completed his sixteenth year of age and a woman before she has completed her fourteenth year of age cannot enter into a valid marriage.

    §2. The conference of bishops is free to establish a higher age for the licit celebration of marriage.).

    This demonstrate a significant difference between canonical law and Islamic Sharia law. Canon law can be changed, when the ethical norms of society evolve, but in this case they were in force for 600 years. Sharia law is unchangeable because the gates of itjihad are closed according to Islamic dogma.