Jakarta, 27 Oct. (AKI) — An Islamist party leader has defended child marriages in Indonesia saying it is normal to marry children as young as 11 or 12. Hilman Rosyad Syihab, deputy leader of the Islamic party Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS), shared his views with Adnkronos International. The comments came after a Muslim cleric provoked public outrage in Indonesia by marrying a 12-year-old girl, and reportedly has plans to marry another two girls aged nine and seven.
Pujianto Cahyo Widianto married the girl in the central Java city of Semarang, during an unofficial religious ceremony.
Widianto, used Islam’s Prophet Mohammed’s marriage to a seven year-old, Aisha, in the 7th century A.D. to justify his actions.
He reportedly chose her from a pool of 20 girls, and gained her parents’ approval before flying to Singapore with his new bride. He also .
“Many parents give their children for marriage when they reach 11 or 12 years of age,” Hilman told AKI. “It is a normal practice even if it is in decline.”…