All signs point to its favor, especially when polygamy, legal under Sharia but banned under the British law, is already widespread amongst British Muslims.
While Sharia law courts have created a lot of controversy in Britain, they would be even more controversial if people found out that Sharia has led to the legalisation of child-marriage in 6 countries. As the vast majority of people seem to be unaware of Sharia's child-marriage dimension, this article as its sources uses mainstream media articles, the UN, a major opinion poll company's Sharia law polling data, and an early biography of Muhammad, which many Muslims say is the most reliable, and which states unequivocally that that Muhammad married one of his wives, 'Aisha, when she was a child.
For example, this 2008 "Times" article about forced child-marriages in Nigeria reveals that there is "fierce resistance" in its mostly Muslim states against a ban on child-marriage, because such a ban is contrary to Sharia. As a result, only one state has agreed to a modified form of the ban (which outlaws marriage to pre-pubescent girls):
So why do Nigerian Muslims support child-marriage?
Sharia is based on "The Koran" and the "Sunnah" (the words and deeds of Muhammad). And according to "Sahih al-Bukhari", regarded by Muslims as the most reliable early biographical notes of their prophet, the founder of Islam had married one of his wives, named Aisha, when she was 6, and consummated the marriage when she was 9 (Bukhari 7:62:64).
The following four reports -- one each by the BBC News, "New York Times", UN, and "Wall Street Journal" -- mention Islamists in Yemen, Niger, and Saudi Arabia, who say that Muhammad's child-bride is the reason why they are in favour of child-marriage:
The "Views of harsh punishments" section of this 2010 Pew Research poll reveals that most Muslims in Nigeria support 3 grotesque and extremely violent Sharia punishments (stoning adulterers to death, cutting off the hands of thieves and execution of Muslim apostates), and that Muslims in Pakistan, Jordan, and Egypt are even more strongly in favour of those 3 punishments. So, it is not surprising that because of the Sharia law, child-marriages are legal in Muslim countries mentioned above.
Saudi Arabian law is based entirely on the harshest of the Sunni schools of Sharia jurisprudence (the "Hanbali"). So, it is no surprise that as this 2010 "San Francisco Chronicle" article explains that child marriage is still legal in that country, although the Saudi justice minister said in 2009 that the minimum age of marriage should be raised to 18.
Saudi wives can be not only pre-pubescent, but even babies, because Saudi Arabia has no minimum marriage age at all, as this 2008 Associated Press article reveals. It quotes Saudi marriage official Ahmad al-Muabi's opinion that fathers can legally sell their 1-year-old daughters to husbands if they wish.
Moreover, once a Saudi girl or baby has been sold to a husband, she finds it difficult to divorce him because the "San Francisco Chronicle" article pointed out that a Saudi court does not allow a girl younger than 8 years divorce her middle-aged husband.
In another case, reported by BBC, a 12-year-old Saudi girl asked for divorce from her 80-year-old husband to whom she had been sold, but she had to drop the divorce case, because her father wanted her to stay married.
Nor is it a surprise that in Islamic Northern Sudan, 10-year-old girls can legally be sold to a husband by their fathers, as reports this "New Republic" magazine article.
People tend to think of Turkey as a modern secular Muslim country, but the "San Francisco Chronicle" article mentioned above also mentions that Turkey's Islamist government reduced the minimum age for marriage to 12 in 2009. As this Turkish newspaper article discusses, as a result of this change in law, which amounts to legalisation of forced child-marriages, a 12-year-old Syrian girl sold to a middle-aged Turkish husband by her family. Her marriage was consummated (legal rape) and she was forced to take drugs, which led her Syrian family to complain and Turkish police rescued her.
Recently, there have been debates about banning child-marriages in Yemen and it was outlawed in 2009, but because of opposition of Islamists, the ban was overturned after just 1 day, and child-marriages remains legal in Yemen. Yemen's child-brides can be sold to men when they are as young as 8.
Moreover, in Iran, where the minimum marriage age is now 16 for women and 18 for men, Sharia law recently led to the age of consent for girls being 9 within marriage, as this 2006 BBC article explains.
Finally, even when child-marriage is illegal in mostly Muslim countries, Muslims simply ignore the law and marry underage girls. For example, child-marriage is illegal in Afghanistan, but this 2011 "Time" magazine article about Afghan wives being jailed for fleeing violent husbands, says: "Nationwide, more than half of all girls are married before they turn 15, usually to settle disputes."
This "New York Times" article about Afghan child-marriages talks about an 11-year-old girl, who was sold to a 40-year-old man.
So, will the British government’s making Sharia courts legal in Britain lead to Britain's Muslims engage in child-marriages ignoring the British democratic law? After all, as this recent article points out, polygamy, legal under Sharia, is already widespread amongst Muslims in Britain, despite the fact that polygamy is illegal under British democratic law. Polygamy, like the child-marriage, is a product of an extremely male-dominated Sharia culture, in which males have a far higher status than females. There when polygamy is practised widely by British Muslims, child-marriage will also be practised by Britain’s Muslims under various guises, given it’s part of the Sharia.
written by fineliving56 , October 06, 2011