Saudi Cleric Defends Marriage of Nine-Year-Old Girls and Blasts Human Rights Treaties as the Work of Atheists and Fornicators

Leading Saudi cleric Muhammad Musa Al-Sharif defended the practice of marrying nine-year-old girls as sanctioned by the prophet Mohammad in his own marriage to a nine-year-old girl, Aisha. In a truly signature moment, Al-Sharif insisted that not only does a girl become a woman at nine but when Islamic law refers to a certain issue – we don’t need human rights.

He further states that human rights treaties are simply the work of “atheists, the Christians, and the fornicators.” The nice thing is that, in the interview below, he adds “with all due respect.”

Here is the interview from February 19, 2010:

Interviewer: One is astonished to hear, in a social gathering, an old man bragging about marrying a young girl, and boasting that his bride was given to him as a gift from her father, or that a business deal was struck at the expense of this poor girl, by parents who did not care about her childhood innocence or her humanity, or by parents whose poverty forced them to pay the old man with their daughter.

In today, show, I will ask my guest, Dr. Al-Sharif, whether it is the right of the parents, or of society, to allow a girl to be married off at the age of 10 or 12 years. the law in the civilized world considers these marriages to be a crime. How are they viewed by our religious law?

[…]

Muhammad Musa Al-Sharif: This issue has been blown entirely out of proportion, and there is confusion about its basics. We say that such a girl is a “minor,” but dictionaries do not define a girl as a minor, if she has reached puberty. ‘Aisha said that when a girl reaches the age of nine, she becomes a woman. Let’s be practical. Let’s put all of this aside.

What is the percentage of these marriages in Saudi Arabia? In Saudi Arabia, we have 20 million people. Half of them are women – that’s 10 million. According to the most extreme statistics I have read, 3,000 girls under the age of 13 were married off to men more than 20 years their senior. That’s 3,000 out of 10 million, more or less.

What does this figure mean?

Interviewer: But don’t you think that 3,000 is…

Muhammad Musa Al-Sharif: Allow me… Does 3,000 out of 10 million constitute a social phenomenon?

Interviewer: But even these 3,000 girls have rights.
Muhammad Musa Al-Sharif: Undoubtedly.

Interviewer: We should consider the humane aspect, even if there were only three girls.

[…]

Muhammad Musa Al-Sharif: In many newspapers, it has been suggested that the minimum age for marriage should be 18. Why 18? They said that Saudi Arabia is committed to something called the Human Rights Treaty, which set the minimum age for marriage at 18 years. This is, of course, unacceptable.

Interviewer: Why not?

Muhammad Musa Al-Sharif: I read that the official spokesman for the US government said that the US is worried about the marriage of girls in Saudi Arabia. This is really funny. The rate of child prostitution in American and Western societies is enormous. This is a well-known fact.

Second, all the children whose death was caused by the US in Palestine and Iraq… These people are not ashamed to say that they are worried about Saudi Arabia, even though they caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children in Palestine and in Iraq. This is really distorted logic.

Third, when Islamic law refers to a certain issue – we don’t need human rights.

[…]

Let’s assume that there is a 13-year-old girl… Let’s make it 14. her father sees that she is physically developed, has reached puberty, and has a sense of understanding – nothing in Islamic law prevents him from marrying her off.

[…]

Interviewer: Would you be willing to marry off your 10-year-old daughter to a man in his eighties?

Muhammad Musa Al-Sharif: No, brother, I would not, but there is a difference between Islamic law and its practice. I wouldn’t be pleased by this, but I do not forbid it.

[…]

Let’s assume that the government listens to these people, God forbid, and sets the minimum age for marriage at 18. There are many good girls who, at the age of 13 or 14, are developed and ready for marriage. There are hundreds of thousands of girls like that in our society. They will not be married off. They will have to wait 3 or 4 years to become 18. This constitutes an injustice to such a large sector of society – compared to the several dozens or hundreds of girls who would be wronged, because of the greed of their fathers.

[…]

We are committed to international treaties as long as they do not violate Islamic law. If they violate Islamic law, we should throw them out, because they are not worth the ink they were written with. With all due respect, the international treaties are worthless.

[…]

Who is responsible for the human rights and international treaties? The atheists, the Christians, and the fornicators, with all due respect.

This follows another leading cleric’s statement this month that people criticizing the segregation of men and women should be killed in the name of Islam, here.

For the interview, click here.

12 thoughts on “Saudi Cleric Defends Marriage of Nine-Year-Old Girls and Blasts Human Rights Treaties as the Work of Atheists and Fornicators

  1. After reading this post, I have concluded that Dr. Al-Sharif could have served admirably as legal counsel to Pres. Bush. His logic, after all, is a theological cousin to that of John Yoo. If the leader of the country endorses a course of action, it is ipso facto legal, and any international treaties to the contrary “are not worth the ink they were written with.” However, I would admonish Dr. Al-Sharif that ending a sentence with a preposition is a disfavored practice.

  2. “The idea that Islam is a ‘peaceful religion hijacked by extremists’ is a fantasy, and it is now a particularly dangerous fantasy for Muslims to indulge. It is not at all clear how we should proceed in our dialogue with the Muslim world, but deluding ourselves with euphemisms is not the answer. (…) (M)ost Muslims are utterly deranged by their religious faith.”

    ~Sam Harris (“The End of Faith”)

    Some truth takes some getting used to, but when an expert on the relgion is the proponent of derangement … well, even I can get it.

  3. Tell Aisha I think she’s a stupid little c’nt… And maybe remind the cleric that people, societies and situations can change over time… That should be a real eye-opener for him.

  4. I see everyone is aghast at the story. Has anyone ever bothered to check out Arkansas’s age of marriage? So long as the parent consents. I kid you not. The Governor knows this and said that its not his problem its the legislatures.

    So whats the beef?

  5. As an atheist and a fornicator, I’m insulted by being grouped in with Christians.

    Not really, but sometimes the low-lying fruit is the sweetest fruit of all.

  6. AY,
    While I am appalled at the age of the children being married off ( personally I was not a woman at 9, and in fact was still playing with barbies at that age ), I am more appalled at the fact that these little girls are being ” given ” as ” gifts “!! Little girls are not chattel to be given by one’s father to win someone over. I am hoping that in Arkansas, while age may not be a factor in marriage with parental concent, selling or giving one’s child away is.

  7. Canadian eh,

    The child can be 1 hour new/old and the parent can consent to its marriage. I kid you not, there is not an age restriction at all.

  8. AY, Ok, yes that is digusting, please tell me that there is a law against selling or giving the child as chattel?

  9. When are the Saudi conservatives going to learn from their American brethren, and start blaming “the Mainstream Media”?

  10. And Obama is opening the floodgates for these 7the century barbarians to flood into the United States- and sending billions of our tax payer money to them.

  11. Bailey,
    How is Obama sending billions to these barbarians? Are you talking about oil money? If you are, the US has been sending billions to the Saudi’s for decades. That issue is not owned by Obama. It is owned by all of us since we, as a country, are addicted to oil.

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