Just the other day, they also ruled that Sharia takes precedence over civil law. That paves the way for rulings like this, which uphold Muhammad’s example above those pesky modern Indonesian laws about child welfare and human rights.
“NU rules in favor of underage marriages,” by Muhammad Nafik and Andi Hajramurni for the Jakarta Post, March 27:
The minimum age of 16 years to marry under the prevailing 1974 marriage law is not a sharia-binding regulation for Muslims, according to Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) jurists.
The panel of sharia experts announced there was no age limitation for marriage under Islamic law.
They did not cite gender; but the law states that women must be at least 16 to marry, while the minimum age for men to marry is 18.
The experts said Muslim parents can marry off their underage children, but strongly appealed for marriages to only be carried out after the child has reached puberty.
The jurists underlined that couples in which both are underage must abstain from sexual intercourse until they are deemed physically and mentally capable of doing so.
In practice, the person making that call will all too likely be the randy old creep who just married a 12-year-old.
The edict was reached at a meeting of jurists at the national leadership conference of NU, the country’s largest Muslim organization, in Makassar, South Sulawesi.
“The majority of clerics are of the opinion that there is no minimum age limit in marriage under sharia law,” NU jurist Cholil Nafis told a press conference on the sidelines of the congress on Friday.
The edict to allow for underage marriages quickly sparked protests from human rights activists Friday.
“It’s a setback and contravenes the 2002 Child Protection Law,” National Commission for Child’s Protection (Komnas Anak) secretary general Arist Merdeka Sirait said.
Article 48 of the law requires parents to prevent their children from underage marriages, he argued.
“Underage marriages eliminate the rights of children, particularly to determine their future, and encourages sexual exploitation,” Arist said….