Pujiono Cahyo Widianto may simply have been imitating Muhammad: “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
Child marriage is common in some areas of the Islamic world in imitation of Muhammad’s example, since Muhammad is the supreme example of conduct for Muslims (cf. Qur’an 33:21). And so here again we confront the irony: Islamic spokesmen in the West routinely denounce as “Islamophobes” those who point out that Muhammad consummated his marriage with Aisha when he was 54 and she was 9, and claim that Aisha was much older, but in the Islamic world the Misunderstanders of Islam once again abound, and engage in or condone child marriage in imitation of Muhammad. Indonesia jailed Pujiono Cahyo Widianto; the Islamic Republic of Iran, however, lowered the legal marriageable age of girls to nine, in imitation of Muhammad. And so it goes.
“Indonesian cleric jailed for marrying 12-year-old,” from The Associated Press, November 24:
SEMARANG, Indonesia — An Indonesian Muslim cleric who sparked a national outcry by marrying a 12-year-old girl was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison.
Judges at the Semarang District Court said Pujiono Cahyo Widianto, 46, was found guilty of sexually abusing a minor.
The cleric, who also ran an Islamic boarding school and owned several businesses, hosted a lavish wedding in Central Java province in 2008 that was attended by thousands of people.
He claimed at the time he hadn’t done anything wrong because he had no plans to consummate the marriage until the girl reached puberty.
But few in the predominantly Muslim nation of 237 million were mollified, especially when he went on to say he also intended to marry two other girls, aged 7 and 9.
Complaints came from the religious affairs minister, child rights groups and the Indonesia Ulemma Council – the country’s top Islamic body….