Former Islamic Sharia Judge in Malaysia hints at Child Marriage of 9 and Marrying your Rapist
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The parliament of Malaysia heard a former Islamic Sharia judge, now a political member of parliament, call for the allowing of nine-year-olds to get married. If this wasn’t bad enough, Datuk Shabudin Yahaya, also hinted strongly that females should marry their rapists.
Of course, Shabudin will link his logic of child marriage to certain Islamic hadiths. Also, with Gulf petrodollars impacting on indigenous Sunni Islam in Malaysia and Indonesia, then given the struggle of child marriage in Saudi Arabia, then a certain correlation can be found.
The former Islamic Sharia judge said, “They reach puberty at the age of nine or 12. And at that time, their body is already akin to them being 18 years old. So physically and spiritually, it is not a barrier for the girl to marry.”
His comments came when Malaysian members of parliament were meant to be debating about sexual offences against minors. Equally alarming, Shabudin appears to be playing down the serious issue of rape.
He said, “Perhaps through marriage they can lead a healthier, better life. And the person who was raped does not necessarily have a bleak future. She will have a husband, at least, and this could serve as a remedy to growing social problems.”
It is shocking that such thinking was espoused openly in the Malaysian parliament and clearly this logic needs to be challenged openly. Hence, Sharmila Sekaran, the Voice of Children, told The Guardian, “I was outraged that he would make such a statement. Basically to justify and legalise a wrong, a statutory rape.”
Sharmila further said, “It does send a message across the country that it is something that we are supposed to be OK with. That’s a very worrying trend: ‘Go and rape someone and if you get caught offer to marry them.’”
Reuters stressed last year “that most complaints of child sexual abuse in Malaysia do not lead to successful prosecutions, largely due to weaknesses in the criminal justice system… Only 140 of the 12,987 cases of child sexual abuse reported to police between 2012 and July 2016 resulted in convictions.”
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