Home Next

Child Brides

    Sandra Mackey, in "Saudis, Inside the Desert Kingdom" writes on 
page 161:
"Girls are considered marriageable from the time they reach puberty.
The lower class marries very young. The ages for marriage and first
pregnancy on Tarut Island, off the east coast, were published in a rare study on
women that I unearthed from a library. In the group as a whole, the mean age
for marriage was fourteen, with the first pregnancy occurring at sixteen.
Out of 193 girls, 3 married as young as ten. Among the Bedouins and the rural
poor, a girl can be the second of two wives, married to a man older than her
father, the mother of several children, and suffering from severe
depression by the age of eighteen."

Miriam Ali, in "Without Mercy", pub. by Warner Books, 1995 tells
the story of her daughters being abducted and sold as wives in Yemen.
Their names are Nadia and Zana. The girls were both in their early teens.
Here are relevant excerpts:

page 123: Gowan (a man who purchased one of Miriam's daughters)
laughed in my face. "They are not your daughters Miriam, they are ours (because
the men purchased the girls). Mine and Abdul Khada. I paid good money for
Nadia to bear children for my son, as Abdul Khada paid for Zana....Muthana
(Miriam's husband) knows this. He knew this when we struck our deal. He has no
problem with it........."Do you think I would allow this, the sale of
my own daughters?" What is it to do with you Miriam? This is man's business,
nothing for a woman to concern herself with."

page 300: I discovered that I wasn't the only one to have suffered at
the hands of a Shamiri. I now knew at least 5 other mothers who have had
their children taken to Yemen. This had accounted for at least 10 other
children, the majority of them female. I knew that there were many more like
Zana had met so many girls taken from the Midlands (England), taken
by force who were now in Yemen. One was a petite blonde from Derby. She
was 9 years old when she was taken and had already three miscarriages when
she became pregnant a forth time. This time the child had been stillborn.
The death of this little baby had taken the child-mother's sanity. She was
12 years old. Another, also 12 years old, often chatted to Zana, telling
her she could still count to 10 in English. She told Zana how desperate
she was to go home to England. As they talked together, she suckled a child at
her breast.

page 387: It's the Islam mom, I am Muslim, I can't come home with
you. He said he would bring me, but it is not up to me, if -- if I can come
home or not, it is up to him. I want to come home, but....."

page 390: "Imagine if you will, that this is your life, that this has
happened to your own flesh and blood. Imagine a strange man touching
her, beating her, raping her, impregnating her then laughing smugly in her
face as she suffers."

"Please don't forget me, please don't leave me here too long,
please."--- Nadia Muhsen, Taiz, Yemen. Feburary, 1992.

FROM PRINCESS, BY JEAN SASSON page 74: In Saudi Arabia, the appearance of the first menses means that it is time to select the first veil and abaaya. page 75: A child enters the store, but a woman emerges, veiled, and on that day, of marriageable age. Her life changes in that split second. There are other books I could quote from, but the above is enough to illustrate the point: in the Islamic world today, Muhammad's "sunnah", or lifestyle, has led to the legal abuse of young children. Many of them are coerced, either by their fathers, family, or their families financial situation, to accept marriage with a man old enough to be their grandfather. Other girls probably don't even understand what they are getting into when they are approached to marry a man. Starting after the first menses, these children are valued greatly for their virginity, exploited by lustful old men, who purchase the girl with a dowry, and use them for sexual gratification and child-bearing. They are left to live as second class people, in a culture based upon Muhammad's life. This is the Islam that Muslims in the West don't want to tell you about, or do not know about themselves at all, living in countries with better standards than their religion teaches.
    From reading Aisha's accounts in the Hadith and Tabari's history, 
it is obvious that she raised no objection in marrying Muhammad. She was
still playing with her dolls. It all happened so quickly that she didn't
know what was going on. This is not surprising. As stated, the brain's ability
to be maturely cognitive occurs well after age 9. At age 9, Aisha was barely
able to comprehend the world around her. She knew that Muhammad was someone
special, she knew that her father loved him. She went along for the
Literally. In fact, before the wedding ceremony, Muhammad had her sit
in his lap! One could only wonder what he was thinking. So because Aisha
raised no objection does not make it right. She was too young to truly think and
decide for herself.

And what about all the other little girls in the Islamic world who
are not "fortunate" enough to marry a celebrity like Muhammad? Do they
really have a choice? Are their voices heard? According to what is
documented, many are not. Many little girls become severely depressed following
Muhammad's "Sunnah" in the Islamic world.



Some Muslims insist that Muhammad should not be judged by our
culture today. But what we are dealing with goes far deeper than cultural
Muhammad established a cultural "norm". This practice of taking young
girls continues to exist in the Muslim world today. Culture is important.

Muhammad had the ability to change and shape the culture of the
people who followed him or submitted to him. He ordered his followers to not
bury alive their baby daughters, he forbid the use of alcohol, he mandated
inheritance rules for male and female, he instituted slavery as an
Islamic norm. If this topic dealt with Muhammad alone, (for example, only he
was allowed to have 11 wives), then I wouldn't judge him so harshly. But
he proclaimed himself as the final prophet of God. He taught his
followers to follow his lifestyle, i.e., to have their culture centered around his
way of life. If it was good enough for Muhammad to take a young girl, then it
is okay for Muslim men today to do this.

Just because an action is a cultural norm, does not make it morally
right. In Muhammad's culture it was morally acceptable for him to do
what he did to Aisha. The people of Muhammad's time, both his followers and
enemies, did not think it was wrong for Muhammad to do this. But it is no
longer morally acceptable to continue this barbaric practice. Today, we know

Take for example smoking cigarettes. About 50 years ago, 50% of
all American males were smokers. It was culturally acceptable to smoke.
It was a sign of being "cool, tough, with-it, etc.". However, that has
changed. From science, today we know that smokers are addicted to the drug
nicotine. From science, we know that smoking causes cancer and other illnesses.
Praise God, our culture regarding smoking has changed, and is continuing to
change. What was once culturally acceptable is now becoming culturally
un-acceptable. We have learned, and changed.

In the same way, just because Muhammad's culture accepted marrying
and having sex with girls following their menarche, does not make it
absolutely morally right. In the light of today's science, we know it is morally
wrong to do this to young girls. Muhammad should be condemned, not for what
he solely did to Aisha, but because he instituted this evil practice as
part of Islam's culture.