At a time of rising alarm over the marriage of girls as young as eight years old, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh has declared that such marriages are proper and moral under Sharia law. Indeed, he views such criticism as unfair to these girls despite the fact that such arrangements are viewed as per se child abuse and statutory rape in most other countries.
The Grand Mufti insists “[i]f it is said that a woman below 15 cannot be married, that is wrong. If a girl exceeds 10 or 12 then she is eligible for marriage, and whoever thinks she is too young, then he or she is wrong and has done her an injustice.”
Nevertheless, this week a court in Taif allowed an eleven-year-old to divorce her 75-year-old husband.
She is fortunate in comparison to the eight-year-old girl near Riyadh, who was denied a divorce to a 58-year-old man — at least until she reaches the age of majority.
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