CAIRO, Nov 14 2012 (IPS) - An ultraconservative Salafi cleric recently sparked outrage among Egypt’s liberal circles when he attempted to justify his opposition to a proposed constitutional article that would outlaw the trafficking of women for sex.
Speaking on privately-owned Al-Nas satellite channel, Sheikh Mohamed Saad El-Azhary said he feared the proposed article could conflict with the local practice of child marriage. He explained that in Egypt, particularly in rural areas, there is a culture of marrying off girls as soon as they hit puberty.
“The important thing is that the girl is ready and can tolerate marriage,” El-Azhary declared.
He went on to protest proposed laws protecting women from violence, warning that if allowed to pass husbands could be prosecuted for beating their child brides or forcing themselves upon them.
“If you have intercourse with your wife against her will, she will be able to file a complaint against you,” he said. “That’s where things are headed.”
Followers of the Salafi trend believe in a literal reading of the Quran and hadith (traditions of Prophet Muhammad) and aspire to emulate the lifestyle of the Prophet and his companions. Their puritanical approach to Islam has put them at odds with secular Muslims and minority groups, who denounce their intolerant worldview.
For Salafis, the fundamental justification for child marriage is passages in the hadith that state Prophet Muhammad married his third wife when she was six years old, and consummated the marriage after her first menses at nine.
Sheikh Yasser Borhamy, spokesman for the Salafi Dawah, outlined his interpretation of the Quranic texts during an interview with TV presenter Wael El-Ebrashy. He argued that Egypt’s marriage laws contradict the provisions of Sharia (Islamic law), as girls should be married off once they reach puberty, or before “if she can”.
“If Islam allowed it during the Prophet’s time, it will be permissible until the End of Days,” Borhamy asserted. (Continue Reading.)
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Sheikh Mohamed Saad El-Azhary Raises Concerns That Egyptian Constitution Could Conflict with a Muslim's Right to Marry and Beat His Child Bride
Notice that this article falsely claims that Aisha had reached puberty when Muhammad had sex with her. Absolute nonsense.