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Raping Children under Pretext of Marriage

Saudi Arabia: A Hepatitis B infected 65-year-old man married an 11-year-old girl. Soon she’ll be infected.

Yemen: A 10-year-old was forced to marry a 30-year-old deliveryman. He took her out of school and beat her regularly. (Due to some smarts and luck, she later became a ten-year-old divorcee.) 

Saudi Arabia: A father married off his 13-year-old daughter to a man in his 50s because he wanted dowry money to buy a car.

Afghanistan: A 14-year old was married off to satisfy an obligation. Abused, used as a servant, and forced to sleep in an outbuilding with animals, she eventually (and famously) ended up on Time Magazine’s cover with a severed nose as punishment for fleeing her abuse. 

One Saudi social worker told Al Riyadh that she knows of three thousand cases where girls, 13-years-old and younger, were forced to marry men old enough to be their fathers or grandfathers.  Or as Eman Al Nafjan at described it, “forcing children to be raped under the pretensions of marriage.” 

All of this is ironic as staunchly pious Muslim states somehow forget their religion: The Quran gives females the right to consent to marry. But forcing children to marry removes their say. Early Islam actually had a feminist air, and many Muslim feminists are working to return to that more woman-positive time.

Fortunately, a movement against child marriage is rising in Saudi Arabia. If you would like to read more, go to, where you can also sign petition.

Hopefully, one day the right to consent to marry will not be just an empty promise.

Georgia Platts

Related Posts: Early Islam’s Feminist Air
Don’t Reject Your Culture, Even When It Mutilates You
Cultural Relativism: Must We Be Nazis to Criticize Them?

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