Sep 7 2009
By what reason or logic do we allow a young elementary schoolgirl to marry a man in his 80s? How could this happen without anyone raising a finger? Is it appropriate to publish this news item on the front page while the entire society considers it a personal affair?
By Khalaf Al-Harbi
Paradoxically, the groom insisted that he was not yet 80! Maybe he is three or four days less than 18. He boasted to the bride’s aunt that his marriage to her niece was not against Islam since it was based on mutual acceptance.
He said he proposed to her elder sister who turned down the offer because she was busy studying. He said the father then offered him her younger sister and allowed him to see her under Shariah law.
What is this? An older sister refuses to marry an old man and so the father willingly presents her younger sister. When the old groom was allowed to look at his would-be child bride, did he not notice any disapproval or sign of rejection on her face?
How do you expect a child to react? Who will tell us the difference between paternity and selling vegetables on the streets?
Before reading about this sad story, I was willing to believe that some foreign human rights organizations were targeting us. But after coming across this story, I thanked God that I was not a member of a human rights organization because I would definitely have targeted us.
I would have thrown away the
Declaration of Human Rights in the wastepaper basket, torn off my clothes and gone into the street like Tarzan — it seems the world has turned into a jungle in which a father is willing to offer his child to a man in his 80s. It is totally disheartening that society is looking at this tragedy as a personal affair and questioning how they can object when the father has given his consent?
This marriage is a gross violation of international human rights agreements pertaining to children of which the Kingdom is a signatory. Moreover, the special committee formed by the Ministry of Health to study the phenomenon of marriages involving underage girls has resolved that such marriages cause deep health, psychological and social harms.
Islam, being a religion of humanity and providence, will not accept these harms. So how can we accept a father and an old groom stabbing our religion and society claiming, “she is his daughter and he is free to do whatever he wants with her?” ARAB NEWS