90-something Saudi reportedly marries terrified 15 year old girl

I can deal with an age difference. When I was younger, I didn’t get it. As I’ve grown older, I get it – but only to a degree. And a 90-something year old Saudi guy marrying a 15 year old girl is child abuse, pure and simple. Especially since it’s not like the 15 year old girl actually wanted to get married in the first place.

The BBC reports that the husband paid a $17,000 dowery for the girl, and now wants it back, since she fled back to her parents.

The girl in the latest case was so frightened that on the wedding night she locked her husband outside the bedroom and eventually escaped back to her parents, local media reports say.

Imagine.

This problem has been going on for a while. Saudi Arabia reportedly has at least 5,000 child brides.

A 12 year old Saudi girl was granted a divorce from an 80 year old man two years ago after the poor girl raised hell internationally.

And a ten year old girl was returned to her 80 year old “husband” a few years ago after she fled too.

A 10-year-old girl in Saudi was recently “returned” to her 80-year-old husband by her father after she ran away and hid in her aunt’s house, reports Arab News. According to reports, the husband, who denies he is 80, accused the aunt of interfering in his affairs. “My marriage is not against Shariah. It included the elements of acceptance and response by the father of the bride,” he said.

The Saudi grand mufti said earlier this year that 10 years old is a super age for young saudi girls to be raped by 80 year old men.

Woman in niqab veil

Niqab via Shutterstock.

A girl is ready to marry at 10 or 12 years of age according to Islam, London-based Al Hayat reported Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al Sheikh as saying, adding that Islamic law is not repressive to women.

“Those who call for raising the age of marriage to 25 are absolutely mistaken,”Al Sheikh said in a lecture at the faculty of Imam Mohamed bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh.

He added: “Our mothers and grandmothers got married when they were barely 12. Good upbringing makes a girl ready to perform all marital duties at that age.”

The Christian Science Monitor reports that some child brides are as young as 8.  And that while the Saudis keep promising to do something about this, and set a minimum age for marriages, they never do – surprise!

I get that this is the way it used to be done all over the world. But we used to own slaves too. And condemn people with disabilities to death as witches. And put women to death who were raped.

Things change. (At least they ought to.)

And if Saudi Arabia wants to join the big boys and girls club of modern countries, it needs to lose the creepy backwards religious nutjob middle ages stuff, fast.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • scallywag

    Isn’t it time you sold your daughter to a child molester, assuming you don’t mind the prospect of your child being molested now that you can finally go out and finally buy yourself some food to eat.

    So much for laws, customs and attitudes that allow the consistent commodization of women and children…

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2013/01/90-year-old-saudi-man-seeks-divorce-from-his-second15-year-old-bride-marriage-annulled/

  • UncleBucky

    This should be pointed out more broadly, that the standard definition of marriage in Saudi Arabia is most like the standard definition that thumpers and fundies are bandying about. I’d say that we put a succinct statement of this on billboards and on progressive church marquees.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kurt.weldon Kurt Weldon

    “… marital duties at that age…” gets my vote for creepiest phrase ever.

  • http://blogvader.tumblr.com/ Blogvader

    Right, we’re so much better here in the US, where we bully gays to the point where they kill themselves and then pass laws to protect their tormentors.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    No, it refers to a member of the Bovine tribe

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Ah, yes Saudi Arabia —-that paradigm of medieval civilization and the national sport of stoning women. Also, America’s BFF!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Amen to that. Slavery indeed.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Chattel ownership of women by men, and sanctioned by a patriarchal religious culture, is nothing new — in fact, it is THE traditional definition of marriage.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Women cannot give consent for any legal matter in Saudi Arabia — everything has to pass through their father, husband, or designated male blood-relative.

    Consent to marriage consists of that male giving the female to some dude. Women literally are property in that country.

    But doncha know, it’s totally traditional marriage, and even including the Saudi practice of allowing multiple brides, is far closer to the traditional Biblical definition of marriage than what we have now.

  • Naja pallida

    Hard to have an age of consent for someone who never gets the option to consent because she is property, and can be flogged for disagreeing with her father or husband.

  • http://40yrs.blogspot.com Matthew Saroff

    Minor technicality: When the groom pays the bride’s family, it’s a bride price, when the bride’s family pays the groom, it’s a dowry.

  • Ninong

    But, but, they’re our ally. We’re not supposed to notice such things. That’s the way it has always been with US foreign policy. Like the Catholic Church, we have always favored dictatorial regimes because they’re easier to control.

  • Sawed Off Arabian

    Is Hefner an arabic name?

  • nicho

    Yes, and that was a recent phenomenon in the US too. It hasn’t been that long since women in the US were seen to be the property of either their father or their husband.

  • UncleBucky

    First thought I had was to consider when a person is fit to be able to sign a contract (as in a marriage contract or a sales contract). But in Saudi Arabia, I don’t think that women of any age are allowed to make contracts?? What is it? So, this “age of consent” concept is not present in Saudi Arabia?

    It is objectively (religion aside for the moment) objectifying humans to the level of coffee tables.

  • caphillprof

    It’s slavery, not marriage.

  • doug105

    No Heffner’s girl’s are old enough to know what they want .Money.

  • mr_ed

    I remember a phrase from the fifties, evidently a copy of the Saudi “Old enough to bleed, old enough to butcher.” But 8 years old? Wow!

  • nicho

    If you call it “religion,” you can commit almost any injustice — especially if it’s against women, gays, or people of color.

  • confusion

    Hugh Heffner syndrome ..

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