A Saudi Arabia judge has refused for a second time to annul a marriage between an 8-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man. (Pause here for gasping. Who knew this could happen, much less require an annulment.)
The mother of the child petitioned the court for a divorce for her under-aged daughter. The rejected her petition. His reasoning was that the mother could not be the legal guardian of her daughter since the mother is separated from the father. In other words, a mother has no parental rights of her own, only through her husband and father of her child. The judge, Sheikh Habib al-Habib, ruled that the girl could petition the court for a divorce once she reached puberty.
The girl's father, who is her legal guardian, "arranged the marriage" to pay a debt to a close friend. In plain old language, he sold his daughter to a friend to pay a monetary debt. Interestingly, prostitution is illegal in Saudi Arabia. If the girl slept with the man to pay a debt, she could be severely punished. But, the father can pimp her out without penalty to himself.
The religious establishment in the Kingdom agree. "It is incorrect to say that it's not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger. A girl aged 10 or 12 can be married. Those who think she's too young are wrong, and they are being unfair to her." So says Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, the kingdom's grand mufti. Unfair to her? No one in their right mind thinks this is about her. No 8 year old girl wants to be married to a 47 year old man. Yet, he says "We should know that sharia law has not brought injustice to women." This is breathtaking in its shamelessness. Clearly it has brought injustice. It robs a mother of her parental rights and allows old men to legally practice pedophilia.
The Dark Ages are alive and well in the Middle East.
This "Kingdom" is the "Kingdom of Darkness".
I've got to get an electric car.