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Report: Senior Saudi cleric OKs girls to marry

By DMambo ·
I have absolutely nothing to add to this other than to say it's criminal:

By DONNA ABU-NASR, Associated Press Writer Donna Abu-nasr, Associated Press Writer ? 2 hrs 8 mins ago

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia ? Saudi Arabia's most senior cleric was quoted Wednesday as saying it is permissible for 10-year-old girls to marry and those who think they're too young are doing the girls an injustice.

The mufti's comments showed the conservative clergy's opposition to a drive by Saudi rights groups, including government ones, to define the age of marriage and put an end to the phenomenon of child marriages.

"It is wrong to say it's not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger," Sheik Abdul-Aziz Al Sheikh, the country's grand mufti, was quoted as saying.

"A female who is 10 or 12 is marriageable and those who think she's too young are wrong and are being unfair to her," he said during a Monday lecture, according to the pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper.

Al Sheikh's comments come at a time when Saudi human rights groups have been pushing the government to put an end to marriages involving the very young and to define a minimum age for marriage. In the past few months, Saudi newspapers have highlighted several cases in which young girls were married off to much older men or very young boys.

Though the mufti's pronouncements are respected and provide guidance, the government is not legally bound by them.

On Sunday, the government-run Human Rights Commission condemned marriages of minor girls, saying such marriages are an "inhumane violation" and rob children of their rights.

The commission's statement followed a ruling by a court in Oneiza in central Saudi Arabia last month that dismissed a divorce petition by the mother of an eight-year-old girl whose father married her off to a man in his 50s.

Newspaper reports said the court argued that the mother did not have the right to file such a case on behalf of her daughter and said that the petition should be filed by the girl when she reaches puberty.

Responding to a question about parents who force their underage daughters to marry, the mufti said: "We hear a lot about the marriage of underage girls in the media, and we should know that Islamic law has not brought injustice to women."

The mufti said a good upbringing will make a girl capable of carrying out her duties as a wife and that those who say women should not marry before the age of 25 are following a "bad path."

"Our mothers and before them, our grandmothers, married when they were barely 12," said Al Sheikh, according to Al-Hayat.

There are no statistics to show how many marriages involving children are performed in Saudi Arabia every year. And it's also not clear whether these unions are on the rise or whether people are hearing about them more now because of the prevalence of media outlets and easy access to the Internet.

Activists say the girls are given away in return for hefty dowries or as a result of long-standing custom in which a father promises his infant daughters and sons to cousins out of a belief that marriage will protect them from illicit relationships.

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Ahhhhhhh!! The good old days

by DadsPad In reply to Report: Senior Saudi cler ...

I am kidding, of course. I have a daughter and this is beyond my western thinking.

There are many parts of the world where women, no female, rights are not observed. It is not just the Middle East, but parts of India and Africa. There is not much right about this situation that has existed for centuries. We sometimes forget that it was not that long ago that females were 'betrothed' by their fathers at a very young age, and they had no say so at all.

Women's rights is a very recent, historically, thing. It has only been in the last 150 years (in the US) that real advancements were made.

And the world became much richer and better.

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by Oz_Media In reply to Report: Senior Saudi cler ...

In Western Culture and based on the laws on the USA, it is clearly criminal as the law prevents it. Child labour is also illegal in North America, however North Americans perpetuate child labour, and poor working conditions all over the world by demanding more for less from underpriviledged nations.

But that's okay, as long as it is not on your own soil others can treat their workers how they choose. Whatever it takes to fill the WalMart shelves with the cheapest crap is fine.

As the article indicates, it is clearly legal in Saudi Arabia though, meaning that in YOUR society its criminal, but that doesn't make it criminal in another country no matter how morally perfect you deem yourself; unless you feel your laws should be pushed on the world, which wouldn't be new to anyone anyway.

The problem with the current war in the middle east to begin with, is that they feel western culture is being imposed on Eastern residents. Regardless of what YOU feel is wrong or morally acceptable, you are condemning a foreign nation for THEIR laws. Maybe they feel that wearing short shorts and halters in public should be illegal. Perhaps the fact that women wander around with thongs showing out of their skin tight jeans is illegal. But in YOUR eyes that is simply freedom of choice, in YOUR society.

I am sure that if THEY had that same privilege to evaluate YOUR laws, you would not be too amused at how they see you as being too liberal. Yet when it is you viewing THEIR laws, of course your society is correct and theirs is wrong.

Whatever, how typically blind and hypocritical. What you grow up with becomes correct and all else is wrong. However, countries have been pushing the USA to fall into line for decades when it comes to laws. The Us just seems to take longer to adopt changes, as if it is a purposeful disobedience because confirming wouldl mean lack of independence.

When other nations abolished slavery and the US did not comply until many years later, is it right fo rthose other nations to claim that what you were doing with slaves is illegal? Nope. It may be illegal in teh UK or in Germany, but it certainly WAS legal in the US. Should their changing laws have been FORCED upon you at that point?

Americans always seem focused on what others do, without any reflection at all.

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East vs West

by onbliss In reply to Wrong

My grandmother was married when she was not even a teen, or maybe just around being a teenager. Her sisters got married round about the same age. But these happened more than half a century ago, in India. Times have changed. The government has now minimum legal ages for women to get married. I think it is 18 now.

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by Oz_Media In reply to East vs West
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by onbliss In reply to and?

...just gave an example of cross-cultural issues.

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Oh okay

by Oz_Media In reply to Nothing....

I thought yuo were correcting comething I had said and I had missed the relationship.

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by jdclyde In reply to Wrong

who are we to judge child molesters. If child molestation is a part of their culture, we should embrace it.

In parts of the world, sex with children is legal. It is ILLEGAL for you to go from most civilized nations to there for the purpose of being a "sex tourist".

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:0 -- nope

by The Scummy One In reply to Exactly

not gonna go there, nope

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by Oz_Media In reply to Exactly

In our society, and most others, child molestation is illegal. The definition of molestation does vary a great deal though. Even withing your own United States, the laws have great differences in the definition and application as well as the punishment.

This simply demonstrates that even your own society is at odds over the issue.

But your sarcastic comment about embracing it is completely off base. It intones that, if we don't oppose something, then we embrace it. What a frickin' ignorant conclusion!

Its like saying "if you aren't with us, you are against us" which is just as ignorant.

You are either left wing or right.

You are either a believer in God or an atheist.

Its all BS to create conformity out of fear of difference. I am surprised that someone as seemingly astute as you are would lower yourself to such primitive and backwards ways of thinking.

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There is no middle ground

by jdclyde In reply to Sarcasm?

on child molestation.

There is not a civilized nation that condones this with a 10 year old child.

It is ignorant to say because it is their belief that it is fine.

There is such a thing as right and wrong.

A 10 year old child is wrong.

How primitive of you to think otherwise.

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