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Marriage Saudi Arabia-Style

4:01 PM, Oct 30, 2009 • By RACHEL ABRAMS
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The "kings" and "princes" of sand and oil who rule Saudi Arabia may have signed on to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1997, but the daughters of their subjects-and no doubt some of their own, as well-still live under the sick tyranny of shariah-interpreting that endorses the predations of pedophiles upon them, and insists, in a Whoopi Goldbergian kind of inversion, that to deprive little girls of conjugation with men old enough to be their grandfathers is to treat them "unfairly." How cold the comfort, in the circumstances, that the "jurists" upholding this appalling penalty against defenseless victims invoke the marriage of their Prophet to a six-year-old girl-and by the way, a six-year-old, for those who've never met any, is someone who's just begun to lose her baby teeth-to justify it. But how much more dreadful must it be for these children to realize that those who should by nature be their refuge from the harsh ugly world, their fathers, are the brokers of their misery, selling them to old men for . . . what? To pay off debts? To pare down the number of mouths to feed?

One recent such horror story out of the Wahhabi paradise comes to us from the indispensable MEMRI:

The Saudi daily 'Okaz reported on August 25, 2009 that the father of a 10-year-old girl had removed her from her aunt's home, where she had been hiding for 10 days, and brought her back to her husband, who, according to the girl's relatives, is 80 years old. In an 'Okaz interview, the husband stated that he was not yet 80, accused the girl's aunt of interfering in his private life, and claimed that according to the shari'a his marriage is legal as long as the girl's father consents to it. He explained that the girl's father had first offered him his older daughter, but when the latter refused, the father had suggested the younger one, and he had agreed, since when girl was shown to him, he couldn't see anything to prevent their getting married.

Sabria Jawhar, a Jedddah-based HuffPo blogger who by her own description is "one of the leading women journalists in the Kingdom," argues that the abusive guardianship by fathers of their daughters is a tribal warping of Islam, yet manages in the same breath to defend repressive Islamic travel restrictions on women, declaring that

advocating to completely abolish guardianship rules is not a productive means to deal with abuses in the system. The problem with some Saudi activists is that they want to make wholesale changes that are contrary to Islam, which requires a mahram for traveling women. If one wonders why great numbers of Saudi women don't join . . . it's because they are asked to defy Islam.

But is child-selling for a dowry Islamic? Ms. Jawhar is . . . agnostic: "As for girls at age of 15, that is a young, but not unreasonable, age in our society and holds up to an international standard." (The HuffPo's where feminism may tangle with multi-cultism and lose.) But Iraqi shariah scholar Abd Al-Hamid Al-'Ubeidi gives us the expert's view:

In some Islamic countries, the age of maturity can be 8 or 10 years. In Yemen, a girl might get her period at the age of 8. In cold countries, such as Russia, Belarus, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Canada, and so on, a girl might not reach maturity until she is 22 years old. She might not get her period until then. Therefore, the greatness of Islamic law is manifest in the fact that marriage is not just for pleasure. True, it is the basic objective for marriage, but there are some cases that require solutions.

Indeed, marriage is not just for pleasure. The marriage of a grown-not to say aged-man to a ten-year-old girl is a solution only to the case of a pedophile seeking his next victim. If that's Islamic, call me a Crusader.