This week a Yemeni court granted a divorce to an eight-year-old girl who was given an arranged marriage with 28-year-old Faez Ali Thameur. Nojud Mohammed Ali just wants to go to school, but the husband admits that he consummated the marriage. In an civilized court of law, he would have walked out with a criminal charge of child rape and abuse. Instead, he left with an uncontested divorce. As shown below, this is not unique in this area of the world.
The child responded out of court that “I am happy that I am divorced now. I will be able to go back to school.”
Nojud’s father, Mohammad Ali Al-Ahdal, said he married off his daughter only after his oldest daughter was kidnapped and later married to her kidnapper. That same man then kidnapped another daughter (and was jailed).
The real problem is would seem is a legal system that treats girls and women like chattel and has a high tolerance for rape. This is only the latest scandal involving the rape or abusive punishment of females by courts in the Middle East. Click here and here.
In this story, other cases of child brides are discussed in Afghanistan. The pictures are disgusting. One shows Roshan Qasem, 11, marrying Said Mohammed, 55. Another shows Ghulan Haider, 11, to be married to Faiz Mohammed, 40. Another shows Majabin Mohammed, 13, sitting with her husband of six months, Mohammed Fazal, 45.
For the full story, click here.
Whatever the father’s motivation, a court calmly granted a divorce without a word about the obvious act of rape of a child. This is clearly not simply a case of a legal system that lacks basic concepts of human rights for girls and women. It is an obvious cultural problem for this country where adults can stand around discussing a divorce and ignore the rapist in the courtroom.
7 thoughts on “Yemeni Court Grants Divorce of 28-Year-old Husband and 8-Year-Old Wife”
Why bother throwing the FDLS when the Catholic Church has paid over 2 Billion dollars settling claims involving pedophilia in the past 10 years.
Arguments need to be constructed of more than emotion, bitterness and the sense of persecution. It also requires research, testing and challenging ourselves to understand the circumstances. We also have to be brave enough to be wrong once-in-awhile.
Kentucky can learn from this case.
The religion of peace speaks out about marrying children. Just read the Haddiths of Muhammed and his child bride. Now I know some here will throw the FDLS at me, but you know what…nothing has been proven yet. Not a thing.
V.C. I agree with you. The film below is very good, but not easy to watch.
Consensus: This compassionate work of social criticism is also luminous, due to both its lyrical imagery and cast. more
Rated: Not Rated
Runtime: 2 hrs 20 mins
Theatrical Release: Apr 28, 2006 Limited
When Deepa Mehta first began filming WATER in 2000, angry fundamentalist mobs burned her sets and threatened her life. The Indian government claimed it could not protect her, and the project had to wait four years before finally filming in Sri Lanka. Her film has raised the ire of extremists because it challenges the Hindu customs that dictate that widows, considered half-dead after the loss of their husbands, must be closeted in holy ashrams–a practice that still exists today. Set in the 1930s, the film tells the story of eight-year old Chuyia, whose husband dies before she even meets him. Her parents shave her head and whisk her away to a house of widows where the women sleep on the ground and beg in the streets to earn their puny portion of rice. Chuyia, feisty and resilient, comes into this world like a ray of light, and soon the women are rethinking their mute acceptance of their fate. Her closest friend and ally is the lovely Kalyani, and soon a forbidden romance begins to develop between Kalyani and Narayana, a young Brahmin man who, following the teachings of Gandhi, has denounced injustice. The film is sumptuously beautiful, Chuyia is utterly winsome, and despite the harsh social issues at its heart, it often feels light and lively: Chuyia and Kalyani play games and dance, Chuyia steals sweets for a dying old widow, the women dance and paint each other’s faces during a color festival, and the Cinderella-story romance between Kalyani and Narayana shimmers with the promise of salvation and happiness. Mehta, however, knows it would be disingenuous to allow such an easy resolution to such a dire situation, and the final chapter of WATER takes a tragic turn. [Less]
Starring: Lisa Ray, Seema Biswas, Kalbushan Kharbadna, Waheeda Rehman, Rishma Malik
Director: Deepa Mehta
Screenwriter: Deepa Mehta
Producer: Mark Burton
Composer: Mychael Danna
Once again, we look at differences in cultures that are astonishing.
Where is the line between hegemony and human rights activism?
When is Sovereignty secondary to the indignity of humanity?
At the very least, it should help us examine how we treat each other in our own country. I’m sad to say, that many of us aren’t doing our part and in fact may look not much different than more primitive fundamental societies.
Considering the Polygamist Compound that was recently raided in San Angelo Texas with facts not unlike the accompanying story – half a world and half a millennium away – we have lot to do.
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