For some reason, this blog is now being translated to Arabic and posted with Google translates. I don’t know if this is because these statements have angered a few easily angered Muslims, or if many Muslims are actually fed up with some of the archaic traditions in the Mideast. At any rate, this is NOT an anti-Islamic blog. It reflects a sincere response to the things coming out of that part of the world on the world-wide web.
And, yes, the tradition of child-brides IS an Islamic tradition. The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, that country’s top cleric, has reasserted Islam’s point of view that it is acceptable for men to marry girls as young as 10 or even 8 years of age. This, of course, comes with the proviso that the man may not have “sex” with his child-bride until she reaches puberty in a few years. How generous. Of course, as we all know, there are many ways to have “sex” without having sex, and the young girl will experience them all within the first weeks of the grotesque nuptials.
This is what happens when a single religious belief system dominates a culture and no opposing views or practical outrage is permitted. The child’s father is basically selling his daughter to satisfy an unpaid debt, and the future husband could use a young wife to be his personal slave. In a stunningly ignorant statement, the Grand Mufti said that those who are opposed to a young girl’s marriage are being “unfair” to her. No doubt, being married at ten years of age will keep her out of mischief, mostly with children her own age, and ensure that she maintains a strict Muslim lifestyle. Of course, this means that she will be totally subjugated by her father/husband, who will control every aspect of her life. In all likelihood, she will remain uneducated and lack any personal freedoms outside of his approvals. For all intents and purposes, her life is over.
The primitive practice of arranged marriages, goes back thousands of years, where a nearby tribe would offer a young girl to the chief of an enemy tribe. This so-called marriage would establish peace between the tribes because they would be bonded together as blood relatives. The price of peace is the child’s future and right to choose. While Mohammed the Prophet was simply reflecting a practice of the society at large when he took on child-brides back in 7th century, the difference is that he sanctified those relationships in his self-made religion. When you have a religion sanctifying a long-practiced behavior, it is easily perpetuated in any culture dominated by that religion. And, as we all know, you can’t argue with a religious fundamentalist who has spent his entire life rationalizing his beliefs and is completely incapable of considering or even understanding an opposing point of view.
This all boils down to codified misogyny, which gives a young girl no other option but to accept her future with a man, who is usually old enough to be her grandfather. He will keep her uneducated, covered from head to toe, and under his complete control as long as he lives. Under extreme circumstances, she may divorce him at some point in the future, but only after severe damage has already been inflicted on her and her life.