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Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Yemen: supporting the child bride laws

Sheik Mohammed Hamzi
This is an update on this story:
Sheik Mohammed Hamzi, an official of the Islamist Yemeni opposition party Islaah and the imam of the Al-Rahman mosque in the Yemeni capital of Sana, is one of those who staunchly opposes a legal ban on child marriage.
Although he emphasizes that a woman should not get married before she is physically and mentally ready and that she herself needs to accept the marriage, he believes a law that prohibits child marriage constitutes a rights violation.  
“I am against the child marriage law because it restrains the freedom of others. When a certain age [for marriage] is set, it violates the rights of others. For example, imagine a young man of 13 or 14 years of age who wants to have sex. … This is a violation of his rights,” Sheik Hamzi told The Times in an interview at his Sana home last week.
The fact that girls are abused, raped (see Nojoud’s case - 1, 2, 3-) and even killed is not important. The important thing is that some kind of teenager with pimples could have his “rights” to having sex diminished. Let’s get this right: none of these girls are married to a 15 year-old boy. They are married to full-grown adults (even old guys) who want to have a very obedient girl at home.
Hazmi dismisses claims by rights groups that there is a problem with child marriages in his country. He said the child-bride cases that have been reported in the media were merely isolated incidents.
“Just ask my mother and sisters how many times they’ve found a little girl getting married at the marriages they’ve attended,"  he said. "Not many.”
The country's Ministry of Social Affairs, on the contrary, says child marriages are common in Yemen. According to a 2009 report by the ministry, a quarter of all females in Yemen marry before the age of 15. (Of course, this means that they are so few, doesn’t it).
To Hazmi, however,  women's- and children's-rights activists are putting a few isolated cases of  child marriage in the spotlight to rally support for the law.
"There is no problem here with child marriage," he said. "These cases of young girls getting married are exceptions. These organizations that are promoting for this law couldn’t find any examples except for those of Nujoud and Elham."  (NOTE.- Some days ago another 11-year-old girl was also hospitalised after suffering from genital injuries. If I, that have no ground or deep knowledge of the problem but just what I read, have found another case, which happened very few days ago, imagine someone who has access to the data base of the Interior Ministry. In fact, around 50% of Yemeni girls are married before 18).
Hazmi said the groups that are campaigning for the law were harmful to the country, trying to promote a "Western agenda" in Yemen.
“It’s all a Western agenda they are following," he said. "They get paid from the West to make us to believe in Western culture. This is very bad because our culture is different here."
The best that could happen, in his opinion, is that the government shuts them down.
“No one wants to marry these women's-rights activists anyway," he said. "They’re just depressed that they are not married and jealous.”
Oh, please, this is soooo old an argument. Every woman who wants basic rights is because is ugly and doesn’t have any gorgeous guy this one to marry. But it’s interesting that chauvinist male pigs always use the same type of reason to deny women’s rights. “There are no males to marry these women, that’s why we marry prepubescent girls, in fact 1 out of four”. Doesn’t it sound ridiculous?
By the way, this guy is absolutely disgusting. Sick No wonder he has to marry girls, because I seriously doubt that a full-grown woman would consent to be with him. Of course, he would only have to say that she is very ugly for him and is jealous about it… Laughing
Anyway, for me it’s worse to see women demonstrating against child brides ban, than seen this bearded lazy imam speaking against them.
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2 comments: said...

I think we're in agreement...this arse makes us both want to throw-up...

Claudia said...

Yes, we are. I really pity the women who are married with this guy. They really have hell on earth... :(

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