Iraq wants to lower marriage age to 9, legalize marital rape, ban women from leaving home

Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan al-Shimmari has proposed a new law that would lower the country’s legal age for marriage to 9, legalize marital rape, ban women from leaving the home without the permission of their husbands, would prohibit Muslim men from marrying non-Muslims, bestow automatic custody of the children on men in divorces, and more.

Smells like Iraqi freedom.

But please don’t think Iraq is illiberal, the law does permit an exception to the inter-faith marriage ban. Muslim men can marry non-Muslim women for a few hours if they want to screw them, then divorce them after they have sex. It’s a “thing” in that region called “temporary marriage,” and it, of course, will be protected under the new law.

Oh, but it gets better.  Ali al-Moussawi, a spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, defended the law by comparing it to gay marriage in the West.

11 year old Yemeni girl Nada Al Ahdal, who ran away rather than be married off to her uncle.

11 year old Yemeni girl Nada Al Ahdal, who ran away and threatened to kill herself, rather than be married off to her uncle.

“What we have done is democratic. We took this to be discussed, then voted on,” al-Moussawi said. “We didn’t object straight away. Some media outlets show Iraq as if it has gone backwards, but this isn’t true. In the west, people are talking about gay marriage. This is something we would never discuss and it is against our religion, our nature, yet we don’t say that they are backwards.”

How open-minded.

A spokesman for the Justice Minister claims the law, which reportedly only applies to the country’s Shia majority, is “optional” for Shia, whatever that means. One suspects it’s not optional for 9-year-old girls, or grown women, but rather for the men who want to control them.

The current legal age to marry in Iraq is 18 without parental approval, and 15 with it.  Child brides are a problem in many Muslim countries. We’ve reported on cases in Yemen (an 11-year-old girl fleeing her uncle-fiancé and then threatening to kill herself), and Saudi Arabia (where a terrified 15-year-old girl was forced to marry a man who was over the age of 90), but it happens all over.

A report from Iraq claims that the marrying-off of young girls became prevalent after the US invasion:

[T]he marriage of young girls in Iraq became prevalent  in the aftermath of the American invasion in 2003 when the American Occupation Authority suspended the Iraqi constitution and laws that set the legal punishment for  the fathers and the bridegroom of young girls as long as life term in prison.

It goes on to cite the Iraqi Minister of Planning Ali Shukri claiming that, “Iraq is the number one country in the world in marriages of young girls.”

Hoorah.


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  • Heroic Hal

    That was my point.

  • SC

    Wow, maybe you should educate yourself a little before spouting off nonsense. Aisha (ra) had already gone through puberty at that age. In Islam, a man or woman can choose to get married after puberty (different age for different people). At that time, it was common for people, no matter their religious affiliation to marry at an age we consider a child. They were raised like that. My great grandmother here in good ole US of A got married at 13 to her18 year old husband. This was common in this culture at the time and no one thought anything of it. Today, my great grandfather and countless other men in the US would be considered pedophiles.

  • TL

    In America, same sex couples WANT to be married and are both adults who are consenting to it. It’s entirely different, but they are disgusting child rapists, who want to justify what they do.

  • TL

    What kind of disgusting pig marries a 6 year old??? Oh and he didn’t rape her until she was 9, how kind of him.

  • bargal20

    I’m just sorry all your soldiers weren’t killed in the initial invasion.

  • numerouno1

    Why is it that every single time I read a comment from a right-winger about getting involved in Iraq, their only and I mean only justification for going to war in Iraq was that Republicans “got the majority votes needed from Democrats” and so that made all the lies spread here, on all corporate media, especially Fox News, all the phony patriotic hysteria, all of it was okay because “Democrats voted for it, too.”

    None of you admit to the hysterical bullying you played a huge part in. The fact is, most Americans who weren’t sucked into the Rumsfeld/Cheney hysteria knew the WMD charge was bogus, but the fact is that our media confused the issues, the Bush administration manipulated the right-wingers here and elsewhere into believing it was about “freedom” but the fact is, now you all know that it was a bogus war that sucked trillions out of our treasury, blew it all on ‘roided out “contractors” used credit links with China and elsewhere to put more hard-working Americans into debt and none of you want to admit that you were dead wrong about Iraq, you can only make silly excuses about how the Democrats voted for war, too so it’s not your fault. The sad part is, you’ll never admit you were wrong because your pride is more important than being honest about the American troops who died fighting a phony war. You have just as much responsibility as the Muslim clerics for the shape Iraq’s in now. Just admit it and maybe you’ll sleep better at night.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Bush had a lot of help from the Clintons. After he left office Obama continued his war as long as he could.

    It ended, more or less on schedule according to the “The U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement (official name: “Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq On the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in Iraq”) was Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the United States, signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. It established that U.S. combat forces would withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and all U.S. forces will be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011.”

    That was the legalism – the central reason was that the Iraqi quisling government threatened to begin trying US soldiers and mercenaries for war crimes.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Actually, I was exposing a racist. Reading is Fundamental.

  • Gayle Fleming

    You racist idiot.

  • Gayle Fleming

    You are a liar and you can’t spell!

  • bpollen

    The camera pans in on a grizzled visage with black caterpillar eyebrows staring directly at the camera, who says…

    “On behalf of all the Shia pedophiles like me who were oppressed by Saddam Hussein, I want to say: Thank you, Operation Iraqi Freedom!”

  • rabiah

    In Islam it is legal for someone to get married once you’re over the age of puberty, if you’re not, then no you cant get married, if the one out the couple or both do not want to get married then it is prohibited for them to get married. If they are forced, the marriage is INVALID anyway. Aisha (RA) had no opposition to this marriage, yes she was 6 but even as she grew older, she still had no opposition, infact she was jealous of Muhammad’s first wife, Khadijah (RA).

    “I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet as much as I did of Khadija though I did not see her, but the Prophet used to mention her very often, and whenever he slaughtered a sheep, he would cut its parts and send them to the women friends of Khadija. When I sometimes said to him, “(You treat Khadija in such a way) as if there is no woman on earth except Khadija,” he would say, “Khadija was such-and-such, and from her I had children.”

    AISHA (RA) (Book #58, Hadith #164)

    Islam doesn’t say have a billion year old age gap between your marriages as some people think, that was just the tradition/culture that they were use to. It was seen as normal back then.

  • rabiah

    In Islam it is legal for someone to get married once you’re over the age of puberty, if you’re not, then no you cant get married, if the one out the couple or both do not want to get married then it is prohibited for them to get married. If they are forced, the marriage is INVALID anyway. Aisha (RA) had no opposition to this marriage, yes she was 6 but even as she grew older, she still had no opposition, infact she was jealous of Muhammad’s first wife, Khadijah (RA).

    “I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet as much as I did of Khadija though I did not see her, but the Prophet used to mention her very often, and whenever he slaughtered a sheep, he would cut its parts and send them to the women friends of Khadija. When I sometimes said to him, “(You treat Khadija in such a way) as if there is no woman on earth except Khadija,” he would say, “Khadija was such-and-such, and from her I had children.”

    AISHA (RA) (Book #58, Hadith #164)

  • ComradeRutherford

    And the difference between ‘Republicans’ and ‘Conservatives’ is…? The Conservatives are insanely, anti-American extremists, and the Republicans are only extremely far right.

    You need to lay off the dumb ‘Conservative’ lies, dude.

  • Liberal Debunker

    No Comrade, the “Conservatives” did not want to invade Iraq, but the “Republicans” did and got the majority votes needed to authorize it from the “Democrats.” So do a little homework before you start leveling dumb Liberal talking points.

  • Walk Free

    The Iraqi Council of Representatives will vote on legalising forced child marriage any minute now. We must act urgently — tell them to vote “no” to the Jaafari Personal Status Law now: http://bit.ly/1evcx3t

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcrEqIpi6sg Moderator4

    Good-bye, Harold.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Sounds like US Conservatism, to me. Dick Dynasty dude, for example, said all girls should be married by the time they sprout pubic hair…

  • ComradeRutherford

    “Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan al-Shimmari has proposed a new law that would lower the country’s legal age for marriage to 9, legalize marital rape, ban women from leaving the home without the permission of their husbands, would prohibit Muslim men from marrying non-Muslims, bestow automatic custody of the children on men in divorces, and more.”

    But wasn’t this is why the Conservatives invaded Iraq in the first place??? This is everything Conservatives just wish they could legalize here (replace Muslim with Christian, of course).

  • Bill_Perdue

    Mindless Islamophobic nonsense from the same person who says “It’s about time to stop acting like a bunch of pansies and do what you need to do…” and “MOOOCHEL the arrogant N—– thinks we all owe her” in a discussion at Minutemen News

  • Harold

    Mudhamad was a pedophile! There is an idiot appointed by Obamay that says that sharia law is superior to the constitution . He of course is a muslime!

  • http://www.citizensforethics.org/ David D

    Aisha was married to Muhammad (pbuh) at the age of six, but she stayed in her parents’ home until the age of nine. Muhammad (pbuh) is the ideal man in Islam.

  • http://www.citizensforethics.org/ David D

    It is sad that close friendships can be lost over differences in opinion about international events over which neither of you have any control.

  • Heroic Hal

    Concerning the comparison to same-sex marriage: really, are nine-year-old Iraqi girls clamoring for the right to be married off to 60-year-old men selected by their parents, and are women begging for the right to be forbidden by their husbands to go outdoors?

  • Joseph Wisgirda

    Sounds like elements of Sharia law to me.

  • jm2

    it’s amazing what passes for ‘logic’ nowadays!

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

    Personally, Becca, I don’t think we in America have any moral authority to stand on when it comes to criticizing other countries’ human rights abuses.

    We Americans would do well to become more mindful and critical of our own, especially the use of drones, the ‘kill list’, the secret prisons, the support for torture by our countrymen, and the institutional racism and sexism that continue to permeate our own society. (Equal pay laws being shot down, the ‘War on Drugs’, opposition to womens health care, etc.)

  • MoonDragon

    But the current “rape rooms” are wholesome “marital rape rooms” based on religious principals, not just for the entertainment of a basically secular monster who used them as a substitute for waterboarding.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I don’t dispute the fact that the practices of cult leaders are usually at variance with their sanctimonious scams about their public ‘beliefs. To a certain extent my criticism is directed against individuals who support these cult leaders. For instance, by donating to the catholic cult people not only enable ignorance and superstition, they’re also helping the catholic cult defend those who rape children.

    Most of my anger and criticism about the role of superstitious cults is directed against cult leaders. They’re right wing scam artists who should be taxed until they drop and then taxed some more and when they’re broke forced to get socially productive work .

  • caphillprof

    I’m no champion of religion, . . but . . . Islam in and of itself does not demand the bad treatment of women or child marriage. These issues come from other cultural sources. Basically we are dealing with people who do not consider women to be fully human but rather more like the livestock and also people who are very limited on self control. They are very much like Southern “Christians” who can always find some passage in the Old Testament to support slavery, or segregation, or hating teh gays. It’s the people, not the religion.

  • http://buddybest.tripod.com/index.html BuddyNovinski

    maybe a shotgun wedding?

  • Bill_Perdue

    Religion is the enemy. Religion is the greatest tragedy of humankind and it’s worst self inflicted wound.

    Efforts to increase the oppression of women in Iraq are a consequence of the deepening ties between the shiite government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the shiite mad ayatollahs of Iran. Iran has been providing aid to al-Malaki’s regime at they emerge from the horrors of the Bill Clinton and Bush2 and Obama genocides. Both governments permit and encourage massive murder campaigns against gays with death counts likely in the thousands.” Now they’re adding the oppression of women and children.

    The were far, far fewer homophobic murders under the regime of Hussein by all accounts although the Hussein regime was sunni and definitely unfriendly to the LGBT communities. Now, after the horrors of the American genocides and the general degradation of Iraqi society by the Americans the government of the Netherlands says there are no safe in Iraq for LGBT persons. (Wiki)

    The sunnis and shiites are not alone in being the enemies of, women youth and the LGBT communities. Until last year the age of consent sex at the vatican (presumably because of all the altar boys ‘in service’ at the vatican) was 12. The new pope ordered the changes in the roman’s cults laws as a last ditch line of defense against being hauled before international courts as an international criminal conspiracy to commit and abet the rape of children on a vast scale.
    http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/vatican-city-raises-age-consent-12-18-following-scandals120713

    Below – gays killed in Iraq (unc.edu) and Iran (Guardian)

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

    In 2003, I very nearly lost my best friend — a woman I’d known since we were kids — because I opposed the war, knowing it was being promoted on false grounds and lies.

    She trotted out the usual “So you support Saddam and his torture and rape rooms?” canard. We ended up not talking for several years after that.

    Eventually, when she saw there were no WMDs and how the U.S. didn’t seem to have a very high priority in making sure post-occupation Iraq had a government that wasn’t corrupt to the core and actually cared about modern freedoms, especially for women and for minorities, we made amends with each other. And she admitted I’d been right.

    But I still run into this “Saddam was a monster, how dare you say the war wasn’t worth it!” accusation. My skin is now thick enough, and the sense of knowing I was right is no longer just faith in my own judgment. We have the evidence right there in front of us.

    As Rachel Maddow pointed out in her expose documentary, the whole point of the war was to open up Iraqi oil fields for private oil company exploitation.

  • benb

    I feel guilty about it but every time I hear of a suicide bomber killing a bunch of Shias/Sunnis/etc… I am thankful that it isn’t one of our soldiers.

  • judybrowni

    We gave them oh so much freedom in exchange for Halliburton getting their oil.

  • 2karmanot

    Ah, yes, you deliberately misread Becca’s comment.

  • 2karmanot

    Well, it took a trillion dollars and a few hundred thousand deaths to turn Iraq into medieval Afghanistan. Thanks George Bush—paint that you SOB!

  • http://www.zazzle.com/fierylocks FieryLocks

    Yep, we freed Iraq real gooood!

  • crazymonkeylady

    Mohammed was a pedophile so they just want to please the Prophet.

  • cole3244

    bushy boy 43 sure did a great job of cleaning up iraq with his illegal war and made up story of wmd’s.

    when will the chicken hawks get the notion to start another conflict in the name of freedom and democracy and will the people go along as the timid followers they usually are when the flag and country are waved in front of their face.

  • cole3244

    rather than criticizing saddam you should be attacking the son of a bitches we have right here at home who support horrific human beings like hussein when its convenient then invade his country when they feel the whim to slaughter innocents in an illegal war of warmongering.
    you and yours are part of the problem not part of the solution, congrats you are a true patriot in the love it or leave sense of it but to ignore the obvious will not solve the problem and we are the problem.

  • Elijah Shalis

    I bet Ted Nugent is on his way over there right now to marry a 9yo girl.

  • Ninong

    Just think how enlightened Iraq will look compared to Afghanistan. We’re crazy if we think we can turn Afghanistan into anything close to a functioning modern democracy.

  • Elijah Shalis

    So Bush invaded Iraq because he thought the demons Gog and Magog were going to appear and wage war, killed thousands, imposed democracy, and now pedophilia is legal but gay people aren’t.

  • Silver_Witch

    Well now aren’t we all so proud that we went to Iraqi and make them a democracy…yeap we saved the Kurds (well not really) and killed the dictator with all the WMD (well there weren’t any of those really either).

    So heck yeah! Gin up that war machine and let’s head on over to the Ukraine and help set them up with some good old American democracy.

  • Tor

    I think Mr. Duck Dynasty should like this.

  • Tor

    It’s not just Muslims. My Nepali (Hindu) friend’s mother was married off at the age of 7.

  • Mighty

    Not surprised. Saddened yes. Women around the globe are treated miserably. Whenever religious fundamentalism gains power women and minorities suffer. Democracy works best in an educated enlightened populace. If not the ignorant and bigoted will triumph.

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

    I did no such thing. My sole point was we took one son of a bitch and by all appearances simply replaced him with more and worse sons of bitches. All in the name of Freedom(tm).

  • judybrowni

    So much freedom we gave them, in exchange for Halliburton getting their oil.

  • Jimmy

    Uh, no. Saddam was a horrific human being who tortured and killed people simply for disagreeing with him. They may not have excused America’s invasion, but let’s not rewrite history to make this son of a bitch into some beacon of goodness and tolerance.

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

    Sure, Saddam Hussein was a bad man. A dictator who ruled with an iron fist and all that.

    But some of what he and his predecessors were doing was to make Iraq one of the most culturally-advanced and socially tolerant nations in the Middle East. Religion was respected, but not permitted to dictate all policy, especially in secular matters.

    America stormed in, swept all that away…and left a power vacuum and immense piles of rubble. We should be surprised then when the forces of radical religious oppression, freed from the restraints of secular rule, seize the opportunity our country handed to them?

    And once again, America’s efforts at global hegemony result only in the replacement of one kind of tyranny with another even worse form of tyranny. Almost as if that’s what was intended all along.

  • KarenJ

    Has there been an endorsement yet from Tony Perkins or the Reverend Louis P. Sheldon?

  • 2patricius2

    You nailed it.

  • Hatfield

    This certainly makes our $trilllion and thousands of lives well worth it.

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