Marriage of 12-year-old Malaysian slammed

2012-11-23 15:06

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysian activists on Friday slammed the wedding of a 12-year-old to her 19-year-old boyfriend, renewing their calls for the government to outlaw child marriages.

Nur Fazira Saad and Fahmi Alias married last week in northern Kedah state after the girl's father agreed to the union and an Islamic court granted permission, The Star daily reported.

"It is better for them to get married rather than doing something improper," Saad Mustafa, the girl's father, was quoted as saying.

But Ratna Osman, executive director of activist group Sisters in Islam, described the young couple's marriage as "shocking".

"I don't understand why this is allowed in a country like Malaysia... We are talking about a developed country," she said. "The concern is that this is a child being married off... No parents should be doing this."

Child marriages are not uncommon in the conservative Southeast Asian country, where 60% of the population of 29 million people are Muslim.

Permission granted too easily

Two years ago, the marriage of a 14-year-old Muslim girl to a 23-year-old schoolteacher triggered similar calls for reform.

Girls below the age of 16 must obtain the permission of Islamic courts, which regulate civil matters for Muslims. But activists say such permission is too readily granted.

There was another outcry in October when two men, aged 19 and 22, were released on probation after courts convicted them of statutory rape.

In both cases the girls, aged 12 and 13, had not been forced, lawyers said.

But activists slammed the judges for freeing the men, saying the question of consent should not have arisen as the victims were below 16 years old.

Earlier this week, a high court overturned the ruling in one of the cases, jailing the 22-year-old man for five and a half years.

  • dmuzondo - 2012-11-23 16:47

    Do you think a rational person will see, Islam in good light, when issues that clearly demonstrate partiality toward the girl child. Not to say other religions are not without fault. I guess this case is a bit extreme.

  • roger.kaputnick.90 - 2012-11-23 17:26

    More madness from the Muslims.

  • dbo.kacebisa - 2012-11-23 20:27

    Hey leave muslims alone. If they wanna do it let them go ahead

  • Faizal - 2012-11-23 22:27

    I have been to hospitals an seen girls that are 12 years giving birth to bastard children. If these women had husbands there would be no bastards and we the tax payers wouldn't have to bear the responsibility of these kids.these girls are sexually active and stopping them from marriage is stupid and denial of reality

      Heather Bee - 2014-02-11 14:47

      Yes Faizal, let's all just disregard the girls mental, physical, psychological and emotional maturity right??? Let them get married so that us taxpayers don't have to pay anything for them !! Don't you see that the core problem here is not that they are being denied husbands and marriage - the issue is no-one should be discussing the marrying, sexual activities or children of CHILDREN !!!

  • hazazulaida.mohdshahbidin - 2012-11-24 04:01

    it better them to get married rather than they doing improper.

  • Tony-Lapson - 2012-11-24 10:15

    2 out of 5 commenters support 19 year olds marrying 12 year olds.

  • charmaine.mcdonald2 - 2012-11-26 07:51

    Well that's the muslims and their self made laws, and they want all human beings to follow them in religion and become Slaves to their men and. These children need to be in School, not be married off and become wives and mothers at this early age. The Muslims are living in Darkness. Yet, there are amongst them who condemn this, because they are real believers and common sense is what these people lack. God have mercy on these children.

  • allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-11-26 07:56

    Child rape and sex slavery , cloak it in religion and its cool.

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