Sunday, July 27, 2008

How Considerate

There’s a favorite quote of mine from the movie Operation Petticoat. Cary Grant, as the commander of the submarine said, “When a girl is under 21, she's protected by law. When she's over 65, she's protected by nature. Anywhere in between, she's fair game.”

That doesn’t apply in the seat of the Islamic religion.

According to the Shariah, maturity is associated with puberty, which could start at the age of nine for girls and at the age of 11 for boys?

Thus we have the following – but the old man is being considerate. Right?

In the latest twist to a high-profile marriage in this central Saudi city, a 64-year-old man has announced that he would wait five years to consummate his marriage with his 10-year-old bride.

According to local newspapers yesterday, the man — who has already paid a SR100,000 dowry to the father of the girl and signed the marriage contract — now says he would wait until the girl is 15 to complete the marriage.

Explaining the circumstances that led to the marriage, the man’s son said his father never had a second wife. He said the girl’s father taunted his father saying he was willing to marry his daughter to him if he paid SR100,000 in dowry. “My father accepted the challenge, paid the money and became the husband of the young woman,” the son was quoted as saying.


What a way to lose bet.

Following reports of child marriages in the local media, religious scholars and human rights activists in the Kingdom have demanded legislation to set a statutory minimum age for marriage.

Right. Don’t hold your breath.

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