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Sweden: Government allows child marriage for ‘extraordinary reasons’

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As long expected, Sweden is now capitulating to Sharia, piece by piece. Don’t think it will end with child marriage. There is plenty more Sharia to implement.

Child marriage has abundant attestation in Islamic tradition and law.

Turkey’s directorate of religious affairs (Diyanet) said in January 2018 that under Islamic law, girls as young as nine can marry.

“Islam has no age barrier in marriage and Muslims have no apology for those who refuse to accept this” — Ishaq Akintola, professor of Islamic Eschatology and Director of Muslim Rights Concern, Nigeria

“There is no minimum marriage age for either men or women in Islamic law. The law in many countries permits girls to marry only from the age of 18. This is arbitrary legislation, not Islamic law.” — Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-‘Ubeidi, Iraqi expert on Islamic law

There is no minimum age for marriage and that girls can be married “even if they are in the cradle.” — Dr. Salih bin Fawzan, prominent cleric and member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council

“Islam does not forbid marriage of young children.” — Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology

These authorities say these things because hadiths that Muslims consider authentic record that Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, was six when Muhammad wedded her and nine when he consummated the marriage:

“The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)” (Bukhari 7.62.88).

Another tradition has Aisha herself recount the scene:

The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age. (Bukhari 5.58.234).

Muhammad was at this time fifty-four years old.

Marrying young girls was not all that unusual for its time, but because in Islam Muhammad is the supreme example of conduct (cf. Qur’an 33:21), he is considered exemplary in this unto today. And so in April 2011, the Bangladesh Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini declared that those trying to pass a law banning child marriage in that country were putting Muhammad in a bad light: “Banning child marriage will cause challenging the marriage of the holy prophet of Islam, [putting] the moral character of the prophet into controversy and challenge.” He added a threat: “Islam permits child marriage and it will not be tolerated if any ruler will ever try to touch this issue in the name of giving more rights to women.” The Mufti said that 200,000 jihadists were ready to sacrifice their lives for any law restricting child marriage.

Likewise the influential website Islamonline.com in December 2010 justified child marriage by invoking not only Muhammad’s example, but the Qur’an as well:

The Noble Qur’an has also mentioned the waiting period [i.e. for a divorced wife to remarry] for the wife who has not yet menstruated, saying: “And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women, if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated” [Qur’an 65:4]. Since this is not negated later, we can take from this verse that it is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a prepubescent girl. The Qur’an is not like the books of jurisprudence which mention what the implications of things are, even if they are prohibited. It is true that the prophet entered into a marriage contract with A’isha when she was six years old, however he did not have sex with her until she was nine years old, according to al-Bukhari.

Other countries make Muhammad’s example the basis of their laws regarding the legal marriageable age for girls. Article 1041 of the Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran states that girls can be engaged before the age of nine, and married at nine: “Marriage before puberty (nine full lunar years for girls) is prohibited. Marriage contracted before reaching puberty with the permission of the guardian is valid provided that the interests of the ward are duly observed.”

According to Amir Taheri in The Spirit of Allah: Khomeini and the Islamic Revolution (pp. 90-91), Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini himself married a ten-year-old girl when he was twenty-eight. Khomeini called marriage to a prepubescent girl “a divine blessing,” and advised the faithful to give their own daughters away accordingly: “Do your best to ensure that your daughters do not see their first blood in your house.” When he took power in Iran, he lowered the legal marriageable age of girls to nine, in accord with Muhammad’s example.

“The government says YES to child marriage for ‘extraordinary reasons,’” translated from “Regeringen säger JA till barnäktenskap vid ‘synnerliga skäl,’” Fria Tider, April 9, 2021:

LAW & LAW. The government says yes to approving child marriage if there are “special reasons.” This is stated in a bill that is expected to come into effect on 1 July this year. At the same time, the explicit 18-year-old requirement in the legal text is abolished.

On its website, the government has hidden the new bill behind a press release concerning a ban on the recognition of foreign polygamy.

– That men are allowed to marry several women is not compatible with the principle of equal treatment of spouses on which Swedish law is based and the requirements for equality, comments Minister of Justice and Migration Morgan Johansson, despite the fact that he is prepared to make certain exceptions.

How to deal with immigrants who have married children is an even more sensitive political issue.

Three years ago, the right-wing opposition demanded a total ban on all forms of marriage entered into in which one party is under age. The ruling left-wing coalition instead said that child marriage should in some cases be accepted by Swedish authorities.

– We have girls and boys in Sweden today, ie Swedish citizens, who are cohabiting with each other, who have sex with each other, who live together and who have children together, commented the Social Democratic Member of Parliament Hillevi Larsson during a parliamentary debate in which she tried to defend child marriage.

In a vote in March 2018, the Riksdag finally overrode the government and voted through a total ban. This was because the Moderates, the Sweden Democrats, the Christian Democrats, the Center Party and the Liberals agreed on a motion for such a ban.

Abolished 18-year requirement

Now the government has returned with a bill in which they want to make an exception to the total ban demanded by the Riksdag. The new proposed law abolishes the current explicit 18-year-old requirement for marriages entered into under foreign law. Furthermore, child marriage may be approved in Sweden if “there are special reasons.”

“For there to be special reasons, it is required that a denied recognition in the individual case has serious consequences, for example, for someone in the couple, or that it otherwise seems unreasonable not to recognize the marriage,” the government writes, leaving it to the judiciary to decide what should be considered “special reasons.”

According to a proposed legal text, the exemption applies if both parties are now over 18 years of age, but the marriage was not established in accordance with Swedish law. For example, in cases in which children get divorced or women are forced to marry someone against their will. The government wants the new law to come into effect on 1 July this year.

Several consultative bodies are critical of the government’s proposal to say yes to certain forms of child marriage. Among them “Girls’ Rights In Society” and “Neither Whore Nor Submissive.”

“A state governed by the rule of law such as Sweden must also be able to deal with the rights of these vulnerable women and children, even when there are extremely difficult circumstances in cases where they have entered into marriage abroad under conditions that are contrary to Swedish law,” writes Girls’ Rights In Society in its response.

“We believe that exceptions should not be made when it comes to child and forced marriage, ie not for special reasons,” writes Neither Whore Nor Submissive.

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