News24

Imam charged in Australia over child marriage

2014-02-11 12:33

Sydney - A Muslim cleric was on Tuesday charged in Australia with conducting an illegal marriage between a 26-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl.

It follows the arrest of a Lebanese national - the "husband" - last week on child sex offences.

Police said the imam, reportedly Pakistan-born, was arrested in Sydney on Monday afternoon by the Child Abuse Squad and charged with solemnisation of a marriage by an unauthorised person.

He was granted strict conditional bail to appear in court on 2 April.

Last week police revealed that the Lebanese man, in Australia on a student visa, met a 12-year-old girl in the Hunter region north of Sydney in 2013 and allegedly became involved in a sexual relationship with her.

The pair then allegedly moved to Sydney where they continued the relationship, with police claiming the man and child were married in an Islamic ceremony earlier this year.

While child marriages remain prevalent in parts of the world, in Australia 18 is the minimum age to tie the knot.

The "husband" has been charged with 25 counts of sexual intercourse with a child between 10 and 14 years and remains in custody.

Police have not laid charges against the parents of the girl, but investigations are continuing, police said.

Comments
  • Moi - 2014-02-11 12:41

    If only this was the norm worldwide. A 12 year old is a child, regardless of whether she's started menstruating or not. She should be at school, learning and playing with her classmates.

  • Cameron Roy Hart - 2014-02-11 13:13

    And that is what you call pedophilia, not some homophobes definition they attach to people who are gay.

  • Sarah Stanton - 2014-02-11 13:18

    Any system where the bride does not actually have to be present for the marriage *ceremony* is bound to be flawed. True story, the prospective husband has to ask the father for permission, then takes a stroll down to the mosque, the imam performs the ceremony, the new husband stops in at his in-laws again and picks up his 12 year old bride. (or any aged bride for that matter, willing or unwilling). How could abusers and perverts NOT take advantage of this system?

      Ebrahim Khan - 2014-02-11 15:04

      Sarah your ignorance is astounding.forced marriages,child brides are a culture issue.islam does not promote oppression of any persons(research this).I agree in this case the imam should have follwed the laws of the country.what he did was wrong.the other point I want to make clear,please don't mock our marriage system its far more accommodating to the bride than the norm .yes the father has to give his permission.I'm glad this happens .would you allow your offsprings to marry any persons knowing as a parent this guy is no good or involved in drug etc... Parents always want what's best for our kids and as a muslim I can tell you I consider their feelings in the process.we are human just like you.we also face the same issues life churns out. islam is perfect don't confuse peoples culture ideologies as being islamic..

      Ebrahim Khan - 2014-02-11 15:09

      And if you confused about culture ideologies. indians have a different culture to arabs as white to chinese ,chinese to russian ,russian to african. hope this helps.

      Cameron Roy Hart - 2014-02-11 16:22

      @Ebrahim, forcing someone to marry someone they don't love is not right no matter how much you sugar coat it, and from what i can deduce from what you have written you actually agree with underage girls being married off,you aren't outright condemning what happened in Australia you just agreeing that the Imam didn't follow the laws of Australia. By the way it is a Islam issue i have seen many declarations by Imams etc giving their own interpretation of the Quran as to how young the girls may be etc, the correct guidelines on how to beat your wife if she doesn't listen.

      Sarah Stanton - 2014-02-11 17:17

      Ebrahim, I did not wage war on your religion. I pointed out the facts. I never mentioned culture, I simply pointed out that the system currently used is easy to abuse. 1) It is common practice for the prospective husband to gain permission from the bride's father. 1b)The groom proceeds to the mosque, where the imam blesses the union. 1c) The bride's presence is not required. 2) Clearly, this system has a giant loop hole in it, which allows paedophiles and other creatures to abuse it. We know this for a fact, because it is happening... Don't find fault with the facts, rather see the system for what it is, and ask what you can do to change it for the better.

      Ebrahim Khan - 2014-02-11 17:53

      Sarah do you honestly believe the marriage is a spur of the moment idea.there are no loop holes pls elaborate the loop holes you speak of?...educate your self about islam..I'm glad you not waging war on islam.I'm sure you have noticed the biased being waged. As I said we are human just like you.you speak as though we a dumb nation having no clue to managing our lives.really now get real

      Ebrahim Khan - 2014-02-11 18:07

      @cameron pls send me those declarations by those imams.I'd like to give it a read.you can box me on face book. Ebrahim khan I have the Palestine flag as a profile.

      Ebrahim Khan - 2014-02-11 18:12

      @cameron furhter more those imams that declare we can abuse our spouses are talking rubbish.it amazes me that you went through all that trouble knowing something about islam yet you still pick on unsubstantiated nonsense.

      Gjovan Beka - 2014-02-11 23:41

      @Ebrahim Khan, you cannot honestly sit here and tell me that Islam is the posterchild for equality when women cant even eat in the same room as men & get stoned to death for removing their Burka. I find it amusing that a woman speaks the truth and you are instantly abusing her.

  • Willa Prinsloo - 2014-02-11 14:50

    For once I have to concur with the Ozzies

  • SunshinyDay - 2014-02-11 15:26

    I don't get what these adult men see in little girls. They are nothing but pedophiles.

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