Ten-Year-Old Girl in Yemen Married and Then Raped — Then Divorced

Another abuse story is emerging from the Middle East on the treatment of young girls. Nujood Ali, 10, was married to a man in his 30s, who then allegedly raped her. While she is now divorced, she has been criticized for confronting her husband and not accepting her fate. Not only was she denounced by some for not obeying her husband, but under Islamic Sharia law in Yemen, her family had to compensate the accused rapist.


According Nujood, she was repeatedly beaten and raped — despite the fact that her parents insists that the husband promised not to have sex with her until she was older.

Her father, Ali Mohammed Ahdal, insists that he made the man promise to let her grow up a bit before consummating the marriage.

It appears that Nujood is a bit old anyway as a Yemeni bride. Just a few months ago, an eight-year-old was granted a divorce after being raped and abused, click here.

At some point, such practice must be viewed as outside the scope of legitimate cultural or religious customs and be denounced as state-sponsored crimes against these girls and young women. If there is any notion of international human rights, raping eight and ten years (even under the protection of marriage laws) must suffice as a violation.

For the full story, click here.

35 thoughts on “Ten-Year-Old Girl in Yemen Married and Then Raped — Then Divorced

  1. The young girl’s father should be the first in the line to be punished for allowing a 10 year old to be married. I don’t care what the local customs dictate. A father has to have some sense in his head. And to require the girl’s father to pay compensation to the divorced “husband/rapist/child molester” for his “losses” is crazy. I agree that there needs to be changes in this kind of government supported lunacy.

  2. There are a several important mistakes/omissions in your post. First, this is not a state-sponsored crime because the legal age for marriage in Yemen is actually 15. There is also a strong ongoing movement to bring the age up to 18. What the father did is illegal, even by Yemeni legal standards.

    Second, you talk about how Nujood was criticized by some for not accepting her fate and defying her husband. While many Western news reports–perhaps in an effort to be “fair and balanced”–have published quotes by people who have both praised and condemned her, the overwhelming community, local media and government response has been in support of Nujood. Nujood herself reports that when she first went to court, the judge was shocked to learn that she was married. That a reporter is able to find a few people who disagree is not a fantastic feat, and your report that Nujood’s act was generally condemned is a gross misrepresentation.

    Third, I am not defending her father in the least bit, and he was rightly taken into custody by the authorities after news of this story broke. But for some context, Nujood’s family is not only poor, but a begging family, and her father is reported to have been suffering from mental illness for quite some time.

    While I would be the first to say that Yemen’s personal status and other laws could be and should be reformed to better protect women and children from abuse and exploitation, coverage about cases such as this one in the Western media has been counterproductive and offensive in suggesting that the entire country of Yemen–state and people–universally accept and condone practices such as this. Homogeneous portraits of an entire people as backwards and in need of “saving” by the “civilized” and “democratic” West is nothing but the recycled colonial rhetoric that is nostalgic for and supportive of the same kinds of interventionist policies that in many cases is the source of the most “backwards” of laws and practices.

  3. “There are a several important mistakes/omissions in your post. First, this is not a state-sponsored crime because the legal age for marriage in Yemen is actually 15. There is also a strong ongoing movement to bring the age up to 18. What the father did is illegal, even by Yemeni legal standards.”

    Good to know, LGA. And from the CNN article link JT provided, Nujood sounds like a future ‘force to be reckoned’- what a remarkable young girl.

  4. It is difficult to accept that the “Holy Prophet” Mohammed married Aisha when she was 6-years-old and consummated his marriage with her when she was 9. He was then, 54 years old.

    Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3310:
    ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.

    Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64
    Narrated ‘Aisha:
    that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).

    Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 65
    Narrated ‘Aisha:
    that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old. Hisham said: I have been informed that ‘Aisha remained with the Prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death).” what you know of the Quran (by heart)’

    Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88
    Narrated ‘Ursa:
    The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with ‘Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

  5. It is difficult to accept that the “Holy Prophet” Mohammed married Aisha when she was 6-years-old and consummated his marriage with her when she was 9. He was then, 54 years old.

    Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3310:
    ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.

    Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64
    Narrated ‘Aisha:
    that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).

    Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 65
    Narrated ‘Aisha:
    that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old. Hisham said: I have been informed that ‘Aisha remained with the Prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death).” what you know of the Quran (by heart)’

    Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88
    Narrated ‘Ursa:
    The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with ‘Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

  6. Martha,

    Not to beat a dead horse, prophet, or king but…
    Didn’t King David send one of his most loyal soldiers to the front lines so that he would be killed and David could marry his wife?
    Wasn’t the Prophet Elisha supposed to have had two teenagers mauled to death by bears for making fun of his baldness?
    A bit more on point: Mary would probably have been around 13-14 when she had Jesus. Which means there’s a possibility that she and Joseph married when she was 12.

    Most religions that I know of have parts of their scriptures that they tend to sweep under the rug. I actually think that this is a good thing. It means that most people aren’t dogmatic and inflexible. I think most people will agree that it’s the dogmatic (or fundamentalist) elements are the most likely to use religion as an excuse for violence.

  7. Gyges, King David’s action was viewed not as exemplary, but as sin for which he suffered great judgment; Elisha only called forth for God (not humans) to deal w/the youth (I think 42 not 2 of them).

    In any case, in Islam past and present, it is required to follow the example of Muhammad (i.e., the “Sunnah”), so his sex girls is officially sanctioned. Most of his other marriages were also disturbing for other reasons, particularly the one where he married a captive after forcing her to watch her husband and father tortured and killed. This is one problem presented by Shariah law — it cannot be separated from the Sunnah, and the Sunnah is ugly, very ugly.

  8. Cindy,

    I stand corrected, I got lazy and didn’t do my research. Thank you for pointing out my errors. I also probably could have used better examples (the David one in particular doesn’t really fit). However my point wasn’t about airing the Bible’s dirty laundry. If I had more then a passing knowledge of them I would have pointed out examples from the Hindu and Buddhist holy writings. I was simply pointing out that there are parts of the Bible that don’t get mentioned that much because they’re of an unsavory character, or don’t match up with modern views.

    If the majority of Christians can ignore parts of their holy texts why can’t the majority of Muslims? I’m not saying they do I’m just saying that you should be open to the possibility that a large group of people in a religions might not obey every precept of their faith.

  9. GYGES: If the majority of Christians can ignore parts of their holy texts why can’t the majority of Muslims?

    Ted: Or more to the point, SINCE Christians DO ignore parts of their holy texts, why DON’T the majority of Muslims?

    What Gyges did above (way above) is a classic example of trying to show all religions as “equally bad” and “equally flawed”. But there is no comparing Islam to ANY other religious group today; the only way to compare the “crimes of Christianity” (or any other religion) to “the crimes of Islam” is to rewind for several centuries.

    No, our Muslim friends down the street in the US of A aren’t letting lecherous fifty-somethings marry their teenage daughters. But they do it in Iran, and Iraq, and Saudi, and Oman, and Jordan, and Egypt, and Bangladesh, and Pakistan, and Afghanistan. THEIR “PROPHET” did it, and he is held up and the perfect example for all people, in all places, for all times. Meanwhile, the practice has been outlawed in “Christian” nations.

    Here is why “Christian Civilization” has prospered, and progressed to the point that everywhere it has laid down roots, the results are freedom, democracy, and secular liberalism: because men like Martin Luther, Voltaire, Robspierre, Benjamin Franklin, Abe Lincoln, etc. etc. MADE it better by standing up against the church-state and helping the cause of freedom.

    THe reason why there’s no Reformation afoot in Islam is because of the violent and swift response to would-be social reformers in Muslim nations.

    … and, of course, good liberals in the West like Gyges, who do their best to excuse the evil, backward, caveman-culture that even NEEDS to debate the possibility of grown men marrying little girls.

  10. Gyges
    1, July 18, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    If the majority of Christians can ignore parts of their holy texts why can’t the majority of Muslims?

    Well in fact, they do. Most of them anyway.

    We are putting a spotlight on specific factions within the Muslim community.

    If we wanted to discuss Christianity for example, would you hold up the ReOrganized LDS branch in Texas?

    They’re Christians after all, and they apparently are marrying “young-uns”.
    :|

    What about the LDS branches in Colorodo City, Arizona, where men marry multiple wives? Also Christians.

    What about the Christian sect, Elohim City? Who helped Timothy McVeigh commit his act of terrorism on the United States?

    What about the Jehovah’s Witnesses, witholding medical treatment from their young?

    Or how about the Amish, and the Mennonites, who marry their young off to their cousins kids?

    Hell what about the Pentacostals, that John Ashcroft belongs to, where they fall down, foaming at the mouth and speaking gibberish to each other?

    What about the Christian Snake Charmers, getting their kids to play with poisonous snakes?
    :|

    The fact is there are all sorts of zany, wacky things, as well as appalling things done in the name of religion, but we don’t paint all Christians as such. All one has to do is visit some local Churches in Northern Idaho to see the zaniness first hand.

    But we don’t label all Christian churches accordingly.

    The Muslims around the world are in various stages of enlightenment, and development, and the best thing we could do, as a supposed “Christian” nation, is to teach them, by example, how good people behave.

  11. Ted Nugent said…

    Here is why “Christian Civilization” has prospered, and progressed to the point that everywhere it has laid down roots, the results are freedom, democracy, and secular liberalism

    Funny.

    I don’t think the American Indians would use the same descriptors for what we “laid down”.
    :|

  12. Ted,

    If you read my posts I tried to be very clear that I thought that ignoring outdated modes of thought in religions was a GOOD thing. Since I was trying to suggest that religions might all contain elements of a good thing, it follows I wasn’t going the whole “all religions are flawed” route. The most you could accuse me of was an over simplistic pantheist view of religion.
    I also wasn’t defending fundamentalist Muslims, I was trying to show that simply quoting holy texts doesn’t give the whole picture of any given religion. Martha H has a history transcribing the acts of a few zealots to the whole of a religion and I was attempting to point out a flaw in her reasoning.
    BTW Luther was for establishing a state religion, he just wanted it to be his own.

  13. Only monkeys and bigots blindly accept all these stories that make Islam look bad. Barbara Walters (a Zionist Jew) on 20/20 started that lie about 72 virgins and ALL media outlets spread that lie. I remember the story about the Iraqi soldiers who threw babies from incubators to the ground before Bush Sr. attacked Iraq. And who can forget all the “experts” that proved Iraq had chemical and biological weapons and a nuclear weapons project before Bush Jr. attacked Iraq. I’m waiting for the stories about Iranians, Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians and Palestinians (and any other country that Israel wants attacked) killing and then raping little girls – let’s not forget the cannibalism afterward either.

  14. BTW, I heard from a reliable source that American and Israeli Jews kill Christian and Muslim children every Passover to celebrate the occasion when God killed Egyptian babies for them. It may be a little hard to believe but I heard it and now it’s in print so it MUST be true.

    So remember, don’t let your children outside during Passover!

  15. Zakimar:

    You are certainly the most bloody thirsty anti-Semite I have encountered. You do no credit to your argument by blaming every atrocity on one side in this conflict. I believe both sides share the blame, but your obvious prejudice certainly shifts sentiment away from your position.

  16. I was ridiculing the morons that believe everything they hear or read – and you took it seriously?

    I guess you didn’t see the “satire” in the New Yorker cover either.

  17. I am a Muslim girl who is married, but i am 17. In the Muslim culture it is ok to get married, BUT ONLY IF THE YOUNG GIRL HAS HIT THE MENSTRUAL STAGE!!! Allah does not say we must marry young, how ever he does say that when our parents see that we are interested in boys, they must then take the action of marring us to a man worthy of us. I do not agree that girls that young should get married in my country ((Yemen)). Im 17 and honestly i was not prepared for it. Thank god i remained a virgin, other wise my face would be lost…people have to understand that in the Muslim world, once a girl has lost her virginity, she has no face in the Muslim culture. this is why men pay thousands of dollars for us arab girls. If a girl is no longer a virgin, then no man will respect her ((unless he is the one who took it and is her husband)). the Muslim culture is not very bad, its just people tend to abuse it, other wise Because i am a Muslim and lived that way all my life, i do not see anything wrong with how we live. At that, i am half American and i was born and raised in America. Islam will guide a person right, if and only if the person knows the true meaning and understanding of it. This story is just sick and sad and the father is at fault because he should have been a man and realized his daughter is way to young. i know for a fact many people view as a disgusting or bad people, but no one is god and therefore has no right to judge!

  18. GYLES:If the majority of Christians can ignore parts of their holy texts why can’t the majority of Muslims?

    Anonymous: a true Muslim knows there dean and knows how to get into Jennah((heaven)), if they deny god or do the opposite of gods words, then god will deny them! i am not perfect, nor is anyone else, but as human beings we all do make mistakes. For them to ignore what our Qu’raan says just means that they are not true Muslims at heart. Muslim is just a word, it is up to the person to truly follow up that meaning. I can not be hypercritical and say that i am a “true Muslim” i ahve done my wrong KNOWING that it was against gods will, but that is why people get judged. our lives are already written down and it is up to us to decide how to follow it, Allah just gives us the paths and we chose which one to take, thus getting judge for the wrongs. if i were to actually sit down and read my holy Qu’raan, i am positive that i would NEVER do half of what i do, but i am influenced by my surroundings and make my mistakes…

  19. Hmm
    Where Yemen? this is very troublesome…
    I’ll have to investigate this with someone else’s daughter
    lol I’d love to do what he did!
    except the “rape” part eventually she’ll want it

    I am 15… just to clarify

  20. i’m very suprised with the news.
    it happen here too in my country (Indonesia).
    She is 11 years old. but here (in Indonesia) everyone refused it.
    the police call the parent and her husband and investigate them.
    the media broadcast her story everyday.
    now her husband agree to divorce her after his news spread on
    all media (TV, newspaper).

    i’m now 9, and i wish it won’t happen again in any place.

  21. Dear all,

    who told u that Islam , quran or Muhammad (pbuh) ever supported marriging y0ung children ????

    give me one verse from Quran which say marry young children ????

    who told u Muhammad married 9 yrs old??

    nothing is mentioned at all in Quran . Most of the historian tell us her age was b/w 15 to 17 . however some anti islamic ppl in their own propaganda enjoys in telling and narrating unauthorized story of a man who lived in Iraq never met or went to Medina . only he claims Ayesha age was 9 but our dear non Muslims friend usually forget that most of the books say her age was 15 to 17 . for more detail plz visit :-

    http://www.iiie.net/node/59

    JUST QUOTE THE VERSE WHERE GOD SAY IN QURAN MARRY LITTLE GIRLS WHO ARE NOT MATURED ???? IF SOME MEN ARE MARRYING YOUNG GIRLS THEN IT IS NOT EXCLUSIVE TO ISLAM ONLY . IT HAPPENS IN CHRISTIANITY , HINDUSIM , jEWS AND ALL THE THE OTHER RELIGION AS IT IS NEVER ENDORSED BY ANY RELIGION BUT PRACTISED BY TWISTED PPL OF THE WORLD . SO DON’T BLAME ISLAM . I WILL BE WAITING FOR U TO QUOTE THE VERSE FROM QURAN WHERE IT SAY MARRY CHILDREN !!!!

    A 12-year old Christian girl getting married in Romania.

    http://www.answering-christianity.com/gypsy_girl.htm

  22. The father, husband and the Sheikh who did the marriage ceremony got arrested and were investigated, I think the man is in prison.

  23. I don’t think Muhammed is the problem here, the Bible and the Koran were on par 1000 years ago, Christianity has become more tolerant and evolved where human rights i general are concerned, whereas most Islamic countries are still run as they were over 1000 years ago. Let’s not forget that less than 200 years ago the age of consent in the UK was 13 and women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years. The Western world isn’t perfect.

    What amazes me is that the Yemeni people deny that a problem exists. In most Northern areas if something like this were to happen it would be swept under under the rug, because the girl brings shame to the family if she complains. 50% of Yemeni girls are married between the age of 13-15 and 80% at the age of 18. Educated girls are deemed unmarriageable. The average amount of children per woman is 6,7 and women are not allowed to use birth control without a husband’s consent. There are clinics where it is freely obtainable.

    What did they expect him to do with his “wife”? Play ring-around-the-rosies instead of hide the salami? He paid a dowry for her and expected her to perform her wifely duties so he could get value for his money. The one to blame is her father for getting her involved in such a situation, the person who was supposed to protect her!

  24. I don’t think Muhammed is the problem here, the Bible and the Koran were on par 1000 years ago, Christianity has become more tolerant and evolved where human rights i general are concerned, whereas most Islamic countries are still run as they were over 1000 years ago. Let’s not forget that less than 200 years ago the age of consent in the UK was 13 and women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years. The Western world isn’t perfect.

    What amazes me is that the Yemeni people deny that a problem exists. In most Northern areas if something like this were to happen it would be swept under under the rug, because the girl brings shame to the family if she complains. 50% of Yemeni girls are married between the age of 13-15 and 80% at the age of 18. Educated girls are deemed unmarriagable. The average amount of children per woman is 6,7 and women are not allowed to use birth control without a husband’s consent. There are clinics where it is freely obtainable.

    What did they expect him to do with his “wife”? Play ring-around-the-rosies instead of hide the salami? He paid a dowry for her and expected her to perform her wifely duties so he could get value for his money. The one to blame is her father for getting her involved in such a situation, the person who was supposed to protect her!

  25. Islam strikes me as the most misogynist, repressive and intolerant of all the desert religions. I cannot understand how we in the Western world can do business with these primitive thugs who actively enslave 50% of the species without feeling sick to the depths of our souls. Of course American capitalists, in fact all capitalists were capable of selling goods to the Nazi’s during the war then they (and we) are venial beyond comprehension. I can understand why the Islamist have contempt for our values as we seem to have contempt for them ourselves when profit is concerned

  26. Ugh!! I’ so sick of all these stories accross their… How can the law allow a ten year old to get married even have sex… esspecially with a 30 year old.. who over here… would be arrested for peadophilia for even haveing a relationship with a minor… good god we have laws over here… It’s stupid… they are all practically forced to obey the law because theyre scared… fair enough.. but not when they are being forced to ignore what happened and the little girl is being punishhed for leaving the sick pervert… The way i see it. We and the US NEED to work together and find a way of changing their governent and their laws… Without causing an uprise… Like that’s possible though… someone says or implies one little thing wrong about that area (OH, IM NOT BEING RACIST… I JUST DONT AGREE WITH WHAT THEY FIND ACCEPTABLE.) Anyhoo.. if someone even implies wrong doings over there they chant something like die america…
    it’s a good thing we never cross their bad side.. much… well accept the alkiaeda… Which is a whole other story… they dont know better… they are taught that they have to die for god. and they are told not to fear death and thay are told that we are the enemie and throuhout their whole lives they only think of killing us… … sorry for the rant guys.. it’s just annoying how out of control people are over their and how corrupt their govenments are… I mean whats up with the news right now… Sorry for the rant… it just peeves me off….. Iwould swear but this wouldnt get posted.. dount it will cos it sounds like im being racist lol. WHICH I AM NOT..

  27. i think that her father should be killed for doing this to his child .who cares what people say the Holy Prophet” Mohammed did many years ago , or Christians did many years ago .this is so wrong in so many ways this child is still a baby a little girl , that as not even grow up yet not even get to play dress up or with dolls .this is a child who as to cook an clean an have sex at a very young age , i know when i was this age i was not even thing about anything but playing , i think someone need to but a stop to this. yemen is a great an i think it great they have not lost there self in todays world . an i belive mohammed was a great man an i dont think he world let this happy .yes i think its fine to pick your child husband an wife but i think that there should be age set at least 16 years old no younger an i think that should set age for the man or woman to be around the same ages or no more then 10 years apart because they need to be on the same pages .but this young child was put though pain that we as american people wake up everday making sure are children never have to go though this rape. NOW THIS WHAT WE SHOULD BEEN FRIGHTING FOR THESE LITTLE GIRLS WHO ARE CHILDREN WHO AS NO ONE TO STAND UP FOR THERE RIGHTS NOT OIL OR WHAT EVER WE WAS FIGHTING FOR .WE AMERICAN PEOPLE SAY FREE IS US . WELL WHAT ABOUT THESE LITTLE KIDS WHO ARE GETTING RAPE IN YEMEN AN WE ARE JUST STAND HERE LET IT HAPPEN WHAT KIND OFF PEOPLE ARE WE .

  28. LGA you are such a dumbass. the legal age can be 5. There is no legal age. a 5 year old was awakened out of her bed and taken to her wedding. There is no legal age you idiot!!!

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