Friday, January 05, 2018

Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch: "Turkey’s directorate of religious affairs says that under Islamic law, girls as young as nine can marry"

https://www.jihadwatch.org/about-robert

ROBERT SPENCER is the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of seventeen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies). Coming in November 2017 is Confessions of an Islamophobe (Bombardier Books).

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https://www.jihadwatch.org/2018/01/turkeys-directorate-of-religious-affairs-says-that-under-islamic-law-girls-as-young-as-nine-can-marry


Turkey’s directorate of religious affairs says that under Islamic law, girls as young as nine can marry


Islamic apologists in the West routinely deny that Muhammad consummated his marriage with (i.e., raped) Aisha when she was nine, and go through all sorts of contortions to deny the evidence of the texts, but the fact that child marriage is accepted in wide swaths of the Islamic world, even by the directorate of religious affairs in once-“moderate” albeit now rapidly re-Islamizing Turkey, most clearly shows their dishonesty. The Diyanet wouldn’t approve of child marriage if it weren’t Islamic, as it explains in its own defense. And child marriage has abundant attestation in Islamic tradition and law.
“Islam has no age barrier in marriage and Muslims have no apology for those who refuse to accept this” — Ishaq Akintola, professor of Islamic Eschatology and Director of Muslim Rights Concern, Nigeria
“There is no minimum marriage age for either men or women in Islamic law. The law in many countries permits girls to marry only from the age of 18. This is arbitrary legislation, not Islamic law.” — Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-‘Ubeidi, Iraqi expert on Islamic law
There is no minimum age for marriage and that girls can be married “even if they are in the cradle.” — Dr. Salih bin Fawzan, prominent cleric and member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council
“Islam does not forbid marriage of young children.” — Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology
Hadiths that Muslims consider authentic record that Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, was six when Muhammad wedded her and nine when he consummated the marriage:
“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).
Another tradition has Aisha herself recount the scene:
The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age. (Bukhari 5.58.234).
Muhammad was at this time fifty-four years old.
Marrying young girls was not all that unusual for its time, but because in Islam Muhammad is the supreme example of conduct (cf. Qur’an 33:21), he is considered exemplary in this unto today. And so in April 2011, the Bangladesh Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini declared that those trying to pass a law banning child marriage in that country were putting Muhammad in a bad light: “Banning child marriage will cause challenging the marriage of the holy prophet of Islam, [putting] the moral character of the prophet into controversy and challenge.” He added a threat: “Islam permits child marriage and it will not be tolerated if any ruler will ever try to touch this issue in the name of giving more rights to women.” The Mufti said that 200,000 jihadists were ready to sacrifice their lives for any law restricting child marriage.
Likewise the influential website Islamonline.com in December 2010 justified child marriage by invoking not only Muhammad’s example, but the Qur’an as well:
The Noble Qur’an has also mentioned the waiting period [i.e. for a divorced wife to remarry] for the wife who has not yet menstruated, saying: “And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women, if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated” [Qur’an 65:4]. Since this is not negated later, we can take from this verse that it is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a prepubescent girl. The Qur’an is not like the books of jurisprudence which mention what the implications of things are, even if they are prohibited. It is true that the prophet entered into a marriage contract with A’isha when she was six years old, however he did not have sex with her until she was nine years old, according to al-Bukhari.
Other countries make Muhammad’s example the basis of their laws regarding the legal marriageable age for girls. Article 1041 of the Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran states that girls can be engaged before the age of nine, and married at nine: “Marriage before puberty (nine full lunar years for girls) is prohibited. Marriage contracted before reaching puberty with the permission of the guardian is valid provided that the interests of the ward are duly observed.”
According to Amir Taheri in The Spirit of Allah: Khomeini and the Islamic Revolution (pp. 90-91), Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini himself married a ten-year-old girl when he was twenty-eight. Khomeini called marriage to a prepubescent girl “a divine blessing,” and advised the faithful to give their own daughters away accordingly: “Do your best to ensure that your daughters do not see their first blood in your house.” When he took power in Iran, he lowered the legal marriageable age of girls to nine, in accord with Muhammad’s example.
“Turkish child marriage religious document sparks anger,” BBC, January 3, 2018:
Turkey’s main opposition party has called for a parliamentary inquiry after the directorate of religious affairs said that, under Islamic law, girls as young as nine could marry.
The comments by the Diyanet prompted an outpouring of anger on social media from Turkish women’s groups.
The directorate insisted it was only defining points of Islamic law.
Turkey’s legal age of marriage is 18 but the practice of underage weddings in religious ceremonies is widespread.
Turkish law also allows 17-year-olds to marry with the consent of their parents or guardian, or 16-year-olds in exceptional circumstances with court approval.
The current outcry was started by a statement on adolescence posted online by the Diyanet, the state body which administers religious institutions and education.
It said that, according to Islamic law, the beginning of adolescence for boys was the age of 12 and for girls the age of nine. On the same website, it said that whoever reached the age of adolescence had the right to marry.
Thirty MPs of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) called on the government to launch an investigation into child marriage.
Murat Bakan, CHP’s MP for Izmir, said on Twitter: “The Turkish Civil Code clearly states that adulthood begins at the age of 18. Early marriages violate children’s rights, women’s right’s, human rights. As CHP MPs we ask parliament to investigate child marriages.”
In a later statement, the Diyanet said it was only defining Islamic law and that it did not approve of early marriages.
“Forcing a young girl to marry someone before they obtain the psychological and biological maturity, and before they gain the responsibility to make a family and become a mother, would not comply with Islam which puts consent and will as a condition in a marriage,” it said.
“Our directorate has never approved early marriages in the past, and it never will.”
Correspondents say that, despite the directorate’s assurances, distrust of the body still remains among secular groups….