My first law of human-dynamics is: if a law can be abused, it will!
That is why every law must be examined very, very carefully; all the ways it can be perverted and abused must be considered and weighed. This should – preferebly – be done before such a law is accepted and before it becomes the norm in a society.
“Way to the water.” The “way” of Islam in accord with the Qur’an and Sunna, ijma’ and qiyas. Sharia is the law of Islam. It is based on the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunna, though there are many sources outside these two, such as Arab Bedouin law, commercial law from Mecca, and the law of some conquered nations such as Roman and Jewish law. The Sharia extends beyond what Westerners consider law. It covers the totality of religious, political, social, including private life and makes no distinction between sin and law.
While there are several ‘schools’ of Sharia, they all have the same roots and tend to be considered complementary of each other, rather than in opposition to each other. And, they are in agreement on many of the most fundamental rules of human behaviour and social organization.
One thing that is troubling about ‘Sharia Courts’ is that there is no formal differentiation between these various legal interpretations of the Islamic laws: rather, it is the leadership of the local Mosque which determines what ‘school’ of Sharia applies to the congregation. If a change occurs in the leadership (or ‘elders’) in the Mosque, the legal standards are automatically changed, without any notice being given to the populace.
It is my conviction that Aisha Ibrahim Dhuhulow was a victim of such a change. She grew up under the interpretation of Sharia where rapists were caught and punished. That is why, after this 13-year-old child was raped, she went to her local officials and ‘demanded that justice be done’. Unbeknown to her, her town Mosque was recently taken over by officials who subscribed to the most extreme form of Sharia, where the rape victim is stoned to death for adultery. That explains why she kept begging for her life and calling for help, while the officials who sentenced her to death praised her for ‘demanding that justice according to Sharia be done’…
Both courses of action are possible under different schools of Sharia! How was the child to know that things could change THAT drastically?!?!?
Which brings me back to my original statement: if a law can be abused, it will!
Now, I would like to ask you to consider the rules which govern marriage under Sharia: I have posted some of the major rules here and here. And, human nature being what it is, I would like you to consider the most twisted possible interpretation of these rules which will not be breaking the letter of the rules. Because, sooner or later, that is exactly how every law will be applied. (The background information is in my two earlier posts on this, linked at the beginning of this post).
The example of Muhammad, the Prophet:
- Muslims emulate the behaviour of Prophet Muhammad, because Islam teaches that they are supposed to do that in order to lead good and pious lives.
- Muhammad had married his ‘only virgin wife’, Aisha, when she was 6 years old (thought he waited until she was 8 (or 9 – the lunar year calculations are a little different from the solar ones)). Therefore, that is the example that all Muslims are taught to emulate.
- Therefore, most countries governed by Sharia allow – nay, encourage – marrying girls of ‘Aisha’s age’.
‘Age of consent’ in the Koran:
- Neither the Koran, nor the Sunnah, specify what is the minimum age for a person (male or female) to enter into marriage. Therefore, there is no prohibition against very young people entering into marriage.
- In order to ensure adequate protection of the ‘fair sex’, females – both children and adult women – have male guardians to look after them. A girl/woman’s first guardian is her father, then her husband, her brother, and, eventually, her son. As such, this guardian represents the girl/woman’s interests in all legal matters, such as management of property and conracts, like marriage and divorce.
- The Koran has very specific laws about divorce. IVery specific rules are set out in order to ensure that a husband retains control of any offspring sired – but not yet born – at the time of divorce.
- Among these rules are ‘special cases’ for widdows, as well as for divorce from women who are no longer fertile because they have reached menopause or because they have not yet reached sexual maturity.
- Putting these things together, the majority of Muslim scholars support the marriage of pre-pubescent girls, provided her father/guardian permits the marriage. Some assert that ‘sexual enjoyment’ is permitted with females as young as one day old, though penetration is not ‘recommended’ (but not forbidden).
- Following a divorce, the guardianship of the girl/woman reverts back to her father – or her closest male relative, who is free to (and encouraged to) arrange the next marriage for the girl/woman in question.
- Many Muslim scholars do not like the term ‘Bride Price’ – it is supposed to be a ‘nest-egg’ to support the wife in the case of divorce, until her guardian can arrange another marriage for her. In practice, however, that is exactly what it is.
- The size of this ‘present’ is usually set by the bride’s father or guardian, who arranges the marriage.
Hmmm… is it really that difficult to see how this can be (and is) exploited for prostituting children?