A bill that would allow men to marry 9-year-old Shiite minors in Iraq

o BRIDE GIRL facebook 9 years old, minors, MPs, Woman, INTERNATIONAL, Iraq, girls, Bill, Shiites

A bill proposed by Shiite lawmakers in Iraq that would allow girls to marry before they reach puberty has sparked outrage from critics who say it paves the way for "child rape".

On October 31, conservative Shi'ite lawmakers proposed an amendment to the 1959 personal law banning marriage before the age of 18.

This law, which was adopted after the fall of the monarchy in Iraq, took family law from the hands of the clergy and was assigned to state courts.

This part of the law now wants Shiite MPs to change. The amendment provides "that a marriage may be entered into (…) by any person permitted to marry under the legal decisions of the religious doctrine (Shiite or Sunni) to which he belongs".

Under the bill, as independent lawmaker Faik al-Sheikh, a member of the legislature, explains, "judges will be bound by the decision of the Shiite and Sunni ulema."

In this way, "throughout history, girls as young as nine have been married and judges will be forced to allow it," he added.

To allow adolescent girls to marry, some Muslim theologians rely on the fact that, according to tradition, the Prophet Muhammad married Aisha when she was nine years old.

"Nine years old" was the age of social networking sites filled with a barrage of criticism and sketches ranging from outrageous outrage to black humor.

And on the road the rage is the same.

"It is a law worthy of the Islamic State that provides legal cover for child rape," said Hadi Abbas, a retired military man.

"We are killing innocent children," said Ali Lefta, a 40-year-old teacher from Basra.

For his part, MP Amar Toama, leader of the Shiite Islamist party Fandila, who had the initiative for the bill, replies that the goal is not to marry girls.

The bill "does not include an age limit and stipulates that (the future wife) must be in adolescence, able to make decisions on her own and have the prior consent of her guardian and a judge," Toama explained.

However, the bill provoked strong reactions from many foreign governments as well as from the UN mission in Iraq (UNAMI).

"There is an urgent need for legal and institutional strategies to eliminate discrimination against women and girls in Iraq," said UNAMI, noting that the United Nations and other organizations "regularly complain" about the status quo law.

According to the Iraqi constitution, citizens must declare the doctrine to which they belong, which also defines the rules of family law.


Source: HuffPost