Thursday, October 02 2014

Sunday Times front page story on ‘Islamic child brides’


The Sunday Times (£) over the weekend carried a front page article on ‘Islamic child brides’ (also covered in the Mail on Sunday and the Sun). The story, based on an undercover investigation by reporter Mazher Mahmood, saw Mahmood posing as a father wanting to marry off his twelve year old daughter to a man in his twenties.

From the Sunday Times report:

“Muslim clerics in Britain are prepared to conduct sharia marriages involving child brides as young as twelve, an investigation by The Sunday Times has discovered.

“Two imams told an undercover reporter that they would be willing to officiate at the wedding of an underage girl to a man in his twenties, despite the possibility of the youngster then having sex with her husband.”


The two imams were Mohamed Kassamali of the Husaini Islamic Centre in Peterborough, who is reported to have resigned from his position, and Abdul Haque, a retired imam of a mosque in Shoreditch, East London who, according to the ST, “still officiates at weddings”.

Haque is said to have told the reporter, “Tell people it’s an engagement but it will be a marriage. In Islam, once the girl reaches puberty parents have the right.

“Nobody should know about this. If she talks in school, social workers will take her. You and I will be in trouble.”


The article continues that “it is not illegal for imams to perform Islamic marriages even when one or both of those marrying are under the age of 16. While some Muslims interpret Islamic law as allowing girls to marry as soon as they reach puberty, the practice is frowned upon by the majority.

“Farooq Murad, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “We are strongly opposed to it on the basis that it is illegal under the law of the land where we are living and even under sharia it is highly debateable”


When confronted by the newspaper following the undercover operation, “Kassamali insisted he would not have performed the marriage without the girl’s consent and that he would have first sought legal advice.

He said “he would want to meet the girl and her prospective husband to satisfy himself that they were both content to proceed”. The paper states that he also urged Mahmood, posing as the father, to encourage the newlyweds to delay sexual relations.

The article also includes a comment from Jim Fitzpatrick MP, who serves an east London constituency, saying that he would consider tabling an amendment to the impending legislation on forced marriages “to help prevent underage sharia marriages”.

Fitzpatrick’s conflation of ‘forced marriages’ and ‘sharia marriages’ is disturbing for its implication that all forced marriages in the UK are committed by Muslims. Significantly, on the back of the investigation, the Sunday Times published an extensive article on forced marriages in the UK.

Moreover, the opening sentence of the article states “Muslim clerics in Britain are prepared to conduct sharia marriages involving child brides as young as twelve” – is it fair to lead with ‘Muslim clerics’ when there were only two of them? The papers have pounced on the conduct of two imams to suggest widespread ‘rogue’ activity in the Muslim community. For example, the Sun’s headline: ‘Girls, 12, married off in UK’- conflicts with the facts contained in main report which found that two imams would agree to marry a twelve year old girl but not that such marriages were actually being conducted.









Comments  

 
0 #7 MrDavid Young 2012-09-21 13:38
If it had been an undercover investigation into the British National Party or English Defence League, I doubt that you would have contested the notion that two representatives independently expressing the same opinion was sufficient grounds to describe what each organisation stood for.

The point is that two imams have agreed to the marriage of a 12-year-old, one of whom had something to hide from the authorities about the practice.
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0 #6 Where's Hanson?Anonymous 2012-09-20 18:43
Okay, good. They're still scared to openly be child rapists in Britain. Now how do we stop them everywhere else?
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+1 #5 RE: Sunday Times front page story on ‘Islamic child brides’Zoe Bremer 2012-09-20 09:53
We need a change in the law, preferably not only at national but also at EU level, to make it compulsory for all religious leaders (ministers, rabbis, imams, etc.) to have a bachelor's degree in theology or another degree plus a post-graduate theology diploma/MPhil and be registered at national level. No legally constituted church or other place of worship could possibly object to this. A registration fee like the one required of nurses would cover the cost of maintaining a national register of ministers.

I have heard some pretty lame excuses by MPs for not introducing compulsory qualifications and registration. I hope that stories like this and the recent prosecution of an imam in Nottingham for abusing boys in his care will put an end to this inertia. There are countless benefits of having a national scheme that covers all religions, not least improved protection for congregations against embezzlement. If we did this in the UK, it would encourage all other EU countries to follow suit and allow easier movement of labour between member states.
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+1 #4 RE: Sunday Times front page story on ‘Islamic child brides’Thad 2012-09-20 08:32
"Kassamali insisted he would not have performed the marriage without the girl’s consent and that he would have first sought legal advice"

For a better understanding of this sentence you ought to know what consent means in islam. In islam 'silence means consent'. So if the girl is not able to speak, e.g. for she is in shock or in fear because she will be punished if she refuses, this silence will be assumed as consent. In islamic weddings it is common that the groom speaks out to take the girl as his wive. The bride remains silent. It is not done and prohibited for the bride to speak for or against the wedding.
Beside this, if the girl is allowed to speak out, it is way out of common sense to ask a child of 12 years old, she wants to marry right now or not.

The legal advice the imam is talking about is the legal advice from sharia law which for muslims is standing above the country's law. And the sharia law doesn't prohibit to marry a vijf year old girl since the islamic prophet Muhammad does the same, he married Aishia when she was five years old. Reading the hadith Sahih Bukhari narrated Aishia, Muhammad consomated the marriage when Aishia was at the age of 9 years old. This is according the moon calendar, thus according our calendar she was 8 years old. This assuming that girls are 'mature' at the age of 9 years old, is also the reason that in Iran girls of 9 years old are victims of the dead penalty.
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+1 #3 RE: Sunday Times front page story on ‘Islamic child brides’Henry Page 2012-09-18 19:23
My ex-wife, who is North African and a titular Muslim, went to the local swimming pool with our 9 year old son. When she was there she met two Bangladeshi women that she knows. One of these women said to her, while they were pointing out their children: "that's my daughter, that's my son ... and that's my daughter-in-law". My ex-wife said "Oh, have you got an older son and the Bangladeshi woman said. "No, that's my son's wife, him there. He's 15 and my daughter-in-law is 14"

This problem is neither isolated nor rare. Open your eyes (and your mind).

Henry (ex-Muslim)
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0 #2 RE: Sunday Times front page story on ‘Islamic child brides’Eden Eustice 2012-09-15 11:29
Typical Shia! Why is this news anyway? Shiism and Islam are not one and the same.
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-2 #1 Prof-essorimran 2012-09-15 09:26
Is it okay for Non-Muslims to allow their young girls as small as from 10 years to have sex in rave parties or in schools or school camping or elsewhere one these little once are drunk?

CAN any British Non-Muslim parent GUARANTEE that their daughters have not had sex either with her schoolmate or a boyfriend before she turned into her age.

Sorry this doesn't meant that I am supporting those fool imams of ignorant
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