Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Saudi official: Sex at 9? OK!

Video at MemriTV. The money quotes:
There is no minimal age for entering marriage. You can have a marriage contract even with a one-year-old girl, not to mention a girl of nine, seven, or eight. This is merely a contract [indicating] consent. The guardian in such a case must be the father, because the father's opinion is obligatory. Thus, the girl becomes a wife... But is the girl ready for sex or not? What is the appropriate age for having sex for the first time? This varies according to environment and traditions. In Yemen, girls are married off at nine, ten, eleven, eight, or thirteen, while in other countries, they are married off at 16. Some countries have legislated laws forbidding having sex before the girl is eighteen. . . .
The Prophet Muhammad is the model we follow. He took 'Aisha to be his wife when she was six, but he had sex with her only when she was nine.
(Via Marty Peretz at TNR.) The interviewer then asks whether the marriage of a 12-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl is valid under Islamic law:
If the guardian is the father, and he marries his daughter off to a man of appropriate standing, the marriage is obviously valid.
It's very simple: Under Sharia law, a daughter is her father's chattel. Period.

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