Monday, April 13, 2009
Saudi Arabia Judge Upholds 8 year old Girls Marriage to 47 Year Old Man- by Brenda
Just to whom did our President bow in respect? The leader of a country that forces children to marry grown men? CNN has reported that a Saudi judge has once again refused to annul a marriage between an 8-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man. After the case was sent back by the Appellate Court, the judge affirmed his original verdict of last year which rejected a petition from the girl's mother to annul the marriage.
Judge, Sheikh Habib Al-Habib, affirmed his decision and announced that the child "could petition the court for a divorce once she reached puberty." The first denial was based on the girl's mother not being the girl's legal guardian. Apparently the girl's father arranged the marriage in order to settle his debts with a close friend. (The judge required the girl's husband to pledge that he would not have sex with her until she reaches puberty.) When she reaches puberty, she will have the right to petition for a divorce. An appeals court in Riyadh will now hear the case next. In the mean time, the marriage remains valid.
In Saudi Arabia, women do not enjoy many freedoms. Punishment is sometimes harsh for liberated behavior. Saudis order 40 lashes for mingling. In such a society, the likelihood of a successful appeal is speculative at best. "It is incorrect to say that it's not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger," Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, the kingdom's grand mufti to the Al-Hayat newspaper. "A girl aged 10 or 12 can be married. Those who think she's too young are wrong and they are being unfair to her." Sharia law is Islamic law. (Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam called Wahhabism.) If such marriages are not only allowed, but encouraged, then perhaps it should be called "Pedophiles Club."