Indonesia: Government official sparks outrage by divorcing his 16-year-old bride by text message
Posted by Robert on February 18, 2013 5:16 PM
"The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)." (Bukhari 7.62.88)
So the child marriage isn't the problem. The divorce by text message, however -- that's going too far!
"Man who divorced his child bride by TEXT MESSAGE could be sacked in Indonesia - as Twitter backlash also claims judge who joked women 'enjoy rape,'" by Alex Gore in the  Daily Mail, February 18 (thanks to David):
A government official who sparked outrage by marrying a child bride could be sacked after divorcing her by text message four days into their marriage.
Aceng Fikri, 40, chief of Garut district in West Java province, Indonesia, was already married with two children when he wed the young girl.
In another case that highlights attitudes towards women's rights in the Southeast Asian country, a judge joked during a supreme court job interview that women might enjoying being raped.
But both officials are now at risk of losing their jobs, which has been seen as a small step forward by campaigners.
The supreme court has recommended the president dismiss Fikri for violating the marriage law, and police are investigating the case because it involves a minor.
The country's judicial commission has also called for Judge Muhammad Daming Sunusiat to be sacked for his comments about rape.
Unregistered polygamous marriages, such as Fikri's, are common in the archipelago. Although divorce by text message is rare, it is allowed under Islamic sharia law.
His ex-wife Fani Oktarahas, who was the legal age of 16 when she married him, denied his claims that she was not a virgin.
A photo of the wedding last summer was posted on the internet and caused a public outcry in the local media and on Twitter, blogs and Facebook.
Thousands of people took to the streets in December to protest, with student and women's rights activists demanding he resign.
Protesters trampled and spat on photos of his face before setting them ablaze outside the council building in Garut.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono responded by issuing a rare public condemnation of the 40-year-old official and his illegal marriage.
There has also been anger last month over the comments made by Judge Muhammad Daming Sunusiat at a parliamentary selection panel for a supreme court position.
He said it could be a mistake to impose the death penalty for rape because both the attacker and the victim 'might have enjoyed' it.
The remark reportedly drew laughter from panel members. Sunusi later apologised and said he had been joking.
Not only was Sunusi rejected for the job, but the country's Judicial Commission recommended that he be dismissed from his position on the South Sumatra high court.
But the supreme court would have to agree, and it has said such punishment would be too severe because he made the remark in an interview, not during a trial.
Husein Muhammad,of the commission on violence against women, said: 'Enough is enough!
'Our officials should no longer mess around and issue ridiculous statements even as a dumb joke.'
Women in the social-media-obsessed country have been rallying, online and on the streets, against sexists comments and attacks on women for some time.
The movement in a country of 240 million people, most of whom practice a moderate form of Islam, appears to be having some impact on the largely secular government.
Husein Muhammad added: 'We are living in a different era now. Now we have supporting laws and social media to bring severe consequences and social sanctions.'
But rights groups argue the country remains far behind on many issues involving gender equality and violence. Rape cases often are not properly investigated, and victims are sometimes blamed.
In 2011, after a woman was gang raped on a minibus, then-Jakarta governor Fauzi Bowo drew protests after warning women not to wear miniskirts on public transportation because it could arouse male passengers. Bowo lost his re-election bid last year.
A sex-trafficking case involving a 14-year-old girl prompted education minister Mohammad Nuh to say last year that not all girls who report such crimes are victims.
He said: 'They do it for fun, and then the girl alleges that it's rape.'
His response to the criticism he received was that it's difficult to prove whether sexual assault allegations are 'real rapes.'...
In the West Java official's case, it was the text-message divorce that prompted outrage more than his unregistered second marriage, though such weddings raise issues about women's rights.
They are regularly performed for Indonesians ranging from poor rice farmers to celebrities, politicians and Muslim clerics.
Polygamy remains common in many Muslim countries, based on Islamic teachings that allow men to take up to four wives.
In Indonesia, men are allowed to marry a second wife only after the first gives her blessing. Since most women refuse to agree to share their husbands, unregistered ceremonies, or 'nikah siri,' are often secretly carried out by an Islamic cleric outside the law.
Some of the marriages are simply a cover for prostitution. A cleric is paid to conduct 'contract marriages' as short as one night in some parts of Indonesia, usually for Middle Eastern tourists.
Practices differ slightly elsewhere, with men in places such as Malaysia sometimes marrying outside the country to avoid informing existing spouses and seeking permission from an Islamic court....
Temporary marriage, or mut'a, is the practice of entering into a marriage with a time limit: the couple is married only for a night, or a week, or whatever time period their agreement specifies. So in other words, it is prostitution under the guise of morality. Temporary wives are found in large numbers in seminary towns where young clerics-in-training are away from home and lonely.
This is a Shi'ite concept that mainstream Sunnis ostensibly reject; the Shi'ites point out that Muhammad allowed it, while the Sunnis maintain that he later abolished the practice. Shi'ites also justify it by reference to Qur'an 4:24, which says: "And those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty. And there is no sin for you in what ye do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done)." They see in that reference to "what ye do by mutual agreement" the allowance of a time limit.
Article printed from Jihad Watch: http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/02/indonesia-government-official-sparks-outrage-by-divorcing-his-16-year-old-bride-by-text-message.htmlURLs in this post: