Monday, August 25, 2008

It's Culture

Saudi Arabian girl, 8, seeks divorce

A Saudi Arabian court is to rule next month on the divorce of an eight-year-old girl from a man in his fifties.

Last Updated: 6:46PM BST 24 Aug 2008

The girl, who still does not know she is married, lives with her parents in the town of Unayzah, 135 miles north of the capital Riyadh. The marriage had been arranged in secret by her father.

She is preparing to start the new year at primary school in the town, which is located in the conservative Najd region of the country - the spiritual homeland of the Islamist Wahhabi movement that has long dominated the kingdom.

According to the Arabic-language newspaper Al-Watan, which reported the case, the divorce suit has been filed by the girl's mother.

Her relatives have contacted human rights groups in the kingdom to try to arrange legal help to annul the marriage.
Read more here.

And I'm not sure what, exactly, to make of this:

Mufti has spoken against it
Nourah Al-Khereiji I Arab News

THE grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, in recent press statements, has rightly warned parents against marrying their young daughters to men who are older than them by 50 and 60 years or more. He described such practices as an indication of lack of conscience on the part of the parents. He also said such marriages will not protect the chastity of the girls and may drive them toward sinful acts. The mufti stressed that the young girl will be living in agony while her parents enjoy the comforts her dowry can buy them.

I cannot agree more with the mufti. He is right in his warning about the consequences of such marriages which may lead the young girls to adultery to satisfy their sexual urges which old men cannot satisfy. To escape marital violence or unhappiness and the coldness of their elderly husbands, the young wives may also resort to drugs.
More on that here.

Calls for end to Saudi child marriages
By DONNA ABU-NASR – Aug 5, 2008

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — An 11-year-old boy gave out invitations to his classmates for a big event his family was planning this summer — and it wasn't his birthday party.

It was his wedding to a 10-year-old cousin.

Muhammad al-Rashidi's marriage was eventually put on hold, his father said, after pressure from the governor of the northern province of Hail, who considered the elementary school student too young to marry.
More on that here.

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