Now, it's not new news to learn about Muhammad and his infamous marriage to Aisha, a girl aged six. When I was younger, I had already been fed a few lines about their marriage. One, that she was thirteen at the time of consumation and two, that it was appropriate for the time, both in a societal and welfare context. Since then, I obviously had both illusions shattered, especially when placed in contemporary context. Many Muslims exonerate Muhammad for marrying Aisha at six and having sex with her at nine years old, some using it as a divine example to follow. Many moderate Muslims don't follow that, thankfully, but a sizable number of literal extremists and perverts have taken those teachings to heart, and to my despair, to the extreme.
‘A man can have sexual pleasure from a child as young as a baby. However, he should not penetrate vaginally, but sodomising the child is acceptable. If a man does penetrate and damage the child then, he should be responsible for her subsistence all her life. This girl will not count as one of his four permanent wives and the man will not be eligible to marry the girl’s sister… It is better for a girl to marry at such a time when she would begin menstruation at her husband’s house, rather than her father’s home. Any father marrying his daughter so young will have a permanent place in heaven.’That was quoted from Ayatollah Khomeini, a high ranking scholar of Islam, from his book ‘Tahrir al Wasilah’. I apologise for my language and imagery, but what the bloody fuck? There is so much wrong in that paragraph right there! Raping babies is bad enough, but he tries to make it okay by saying it's fine if the man only sticks it up her pooper! Where's the logic or humanity in that? Incidentally, this did raise a flag in my head - why is it okay to sodomise a baby when two adult consensual men are put to death? And never mind the permanent damage done to the child. The only punishment a man receives is that he's not allowed to go on to marry that baby or her sister and has to take care of the victim for the rest of her life. And not only that, but fathers are encouraged to allow their daughters to marry as young as possible and not taint his house with her first spot of menstrual blood so that HE gets the place in heaven.
Why is this important now? It's not like it's widely practiced, right?
A recent census in Hormozgan in Iran had found there were five marriages of girls under the age of 10 in the province. 24,506 girls and 5, 519 boys have been married off whilst under fourteen years old. This is too high a number in one province of Iran alone. Nayereh Akhavan of the Islamic Assembly and it's Judicial Commission has basically trivialised these statistics by saying that most children have reached sexual and intellectual puberty by the age of ten, so it's okay! And besides, it'd contradict Sharia law and paint Muhammed as fallible as a prophet. They can't have that, so child marriages can't be banned.
The next video is of Doctor Ahmad Al-Mu'bi, a Saudi Marriage Officiant.
First off, marriage is only two things apparently - the contract and the consumation. What he is basically advocating is the marriage of children because there is no minimal age of consent - as long as the father gives his permission for his daughter to marry, it's all fine and dandy. That'd be okay if it weren't for the fact some fathers would give up his daughters so willingly. What I find poignant is that he doesn't give an age limit as such, but brings up that culture, environment and local laws have a lot to do with age of sexual activity. Note I said activity, not CONSENT. I won't go into age limits because that's a whole other kettle of fish (but maybe a topic I will touch on another day), but the bare bones of sex is that it should be between consenting, preferably properly informed people. Personally, I don't think a thirteen year old is old enough for sex but then again, what do I know. I wasn't ready for heavy petting, never mind sex, until I was nineteen. But that was my own personal experience. What's even more worrying is more the age gaps between these so called married couples, often a child and an adult man.
The next video is brief but features a woman speaking about the topic of thighing a child, and I agree with her sentiment tremendously.
It is sexual abuse, it is in violation of a child's rights, and it's outrageous that Sharia allows this practice to happen. What I also love is that the guy obviously doesn't like this being laid out to him. Power to the lady for having the cajones to speak up about this.
(Thanks to Maryam Namazie for this)