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.
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.
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.