Will New ‘Democratic’ Egyptian Constitution Allow 9-Year-Old Girls to Marry?
An ultraconservative Egyptian cleric– who is part of the committee drafting Egypt’s new constitution– is suggesting the country drastically lower the age limit at which girls can marry, Egyptian media is reporting.
According to BikyaMasr, cleric Yassir Barhami cited the Koran in stating that once a girl begins menstruating, usually around 14-years-old, she should begin having children.
Therefore, he reportedly explained, “it is permissible for the girl at the age of 9 or 10 to marry.”
United Press international adds:
Barhami is a Salafist, a member of the ultra-conservative wing of Islam.
Manal al-Taibi, who resigned from the constituent assembly to protest calls for a lower marriage age, said Barhami and his allies want to legalize child rape. [Emphasis added]
It should be noted that Barhami‘s position doesn’t seem to be popular within the assembly, but as moderates resign or are pressured to leave, there are fewer voices to balance the fanatical Salafists.
Reuters related Thursday:
A group of high profile liberal and leftwing politicians in Egypt has said it will quit the assembly charged with drafting the country’s new constitution within a week unless its concerns over Islamist-influenced content in the document are addressed.
The constitution – which is being drawn up by a 100-member assembly – is meant to be the centerpiece of a new democratic Egypt after veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year and its successful drafting is being seen as a litmus test for its new Islamist rulers including President Mohamed Mursi. [Emphasis added]
Ahmed al-Boraie, a former labor minister, summarized his complaints, commenting: “This is a constitution that brings Egypt backwards not forward.”