Afghan cleric, Mohammad Karim, is in his sixties but he decided to marry a younger bride. For most people (including all non-pedophiles), this might mean a woman half his age in her thirties. For Karim it meant a six-year-old girl. After being arrested, Karim insisted that the girl was given to him in wedlock as a “religious offering.” The little girl could only say “I am afraid of this man.”
The marriage of underaged girls remains a common abuse in Muslim countries. We have continued to follow the plight of girls and women in Islamic countries who face honor killings and child marriages. Some Islamic clerics have maintained that there can be no age limitation on child brides. They often note that Muhammad married Aisha when she was seven and consummated the marriage at nine years old.
In this case, the child’s parents are claiming that she was abducted without their consent from the Herat province. The legal age for marriage in Afghanistan is 16 for women and 18 for men. However, child marriages are common and rarely prosecuted.