A twelve year old girl was sold to an 80 year old man by her father under the pretext of marriage. Her price, about $22,600 was paid. And it
turns out that the groom did not seek out the girl but actually her own father offered and insisted that the old geezer take her. The father said to an AlRiyadh Newspaper reporter that he had made his decision based on the development of the girl’s body and not her age. Her mother objected strongly but was unable to stop the marriage. The 80 year old newlywed claims that he tried to take the high road and invite his mother-in-law to the wedding but she would only scream obscenities at him. And the audacity of the mathoon (muttawa who married them off) to say that he thought the girl was 13 and a half years old, as if that would make a difference. The arrangement is that the girl stays at her father’s house on weekdays to attend school and on weekends her “husband” takes her to his place in the desert. When the reporter tried to interview the girl over the phone, the only responses he could get to his questions was sobbing and “I don’t know”. Finally the little girl screamed over the phone “I don’t want him, save me.”
Just like the other two cases I’ve written about before, here and here, the girl’s parents are divorced. And again like the other two cases, the mother is the one who pulled all the stops to get media attention on the daughter’s plight. I’m sure there are many cases similar to these three all across Saudi Arabia. What makes these three different are the educated and determined mothers who are doing everything in their power to save their daughters.
Why the government won’t just set an age for marriage is beyond me. The Prophet (PBUH) marrying 9 year old Ayisha argument has been hashed and rehashed so many times. No one really knows how old she was when she married; moreover she stayed betrothed for several years before actually moving in with the prophet (PBUH). Many claim that the emphasis on her young age was to highlight that she was the only virgin bride of the prophet (PBUH) rather than a child bride. And times and life spans have changed, back then at forty a person was old and now most people live to over eighty.
Without a law we get people like this 80 year old guy who takes advantage of the system to fulfill his sick obsession with little girls. Where else in the world can a man openly say that he is in a polygamous marriage with four underage girls and not get arrested? At this rate we might as well start a tourism industry to attract rich Muslim pedophiles.
One comment I read on the cartoon above really stood out for me; a guy wrote to the cartoonist “just be thankful you’re a guy”.