Child marriage is broadly tolerated in many areas of the Islamic world because Muhammad, the supreme example of conduct for Muslims (cf. Qur’an 33:21), consummated his marriage with a nine-year-old girl, Aisha, when he was 54. Islamic apologists in the West routinely deny that Aisha was actually nine at the time of the consummation, but in Afghanistan and elsewhere the message doesn’t seem to have gotten through. Video at CNN. “Shelter tries to help abused child brides,” from CNN, June 10 (thanks to Joseph):
In disturbing video images, a 14-year-old girl is purportedly being flogged. She is alleged to have run away from a forced marriage in a remote village.
Just as disturbing to Dr. Sima Samar, chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission? “The other sad part I have to say was the reaction of the people,” she says. “The lack of sensitivity of the people.”
The video was given to Samar’s Human Rights Commission. She says police promised her they’d prosecute the man, but so far nothing despite the country’s laws that ban not just forced marriages but matrimoney [sic] for girls under 16.
Many men, Samar says, including some government officials just don’t get it.
“They still think that women is the property of the men and they should be treated how they want,” she explains.
Samar was Afghanistan’s first government Minister for women but was pushed aside for being too outspoken. Little has changed since then….
No one has an exact figure exactly how many girls are forced into marriage. Estimates vary as high as 60 percent or more and attitudes here are so engrained [sic] that one government minister was recently reported as saying shelters that try to help these girls and women are an evil….
“Since January alone we’ve had 115 cases of forced or underage marriages,” says Manizha Naderi, with the Women for Afghan Women organization who runs the shelter. …