An article featured last week on CNN’s website by Samuel Burke highlighted the epidemic of child brides throughout the Islamic world. Burke’s article begins by discussing the marriage of Faiz, an 11-year-old girl, and Ghulam, a 40-year-old man, in Afghanistan. For most who read this article, the story was enough to turn their stomach. But then the story continues. At age 11, this little girl has already been married for seven years. That’s right, a 33 year old man married a 3 year old girl. In the article, the little girl expresses how sad she is to be married because she had once dreamed of becoming a school teacher. Now that she is married, however, she will never go to school. Her future will only consist of being a domestic and sexual slave to a 40-year-old man.
According to Burke, there are approximately 51 million such child brides in the world today.
The report continues to show that while Muslim men are supposed to wait until their child brides reach puberty before consummating the marriage, the private testimony of many women is that few Muslim men, once married, actually wait.
In the report, another little girl from Yemen, named Tehani, recalls being married when she was 6 to a 25-year-old man whom she didn’t even know. Tehani is quoted as lamenting, “Whenever I saw him, I hid. I hated to see him.” Tehani didn’t even know she was getting married until the actual night of her wedding.
Another little girl in Yemen named Nujoud Ali, at age 10, after having already been married for two years, was actually granted a divorce. Among those few married girls who have actually heard of Nujoud’s story, she has become a symbol of freedom from their present life of enslavement. But few girls will ever find the freedom Nujoud achieved.
Now, it is important to note that in even in today’s post-modern culture so imbedded with moral and cultural relativity, very few can support this barbaric and perverse practice. Rare are those who are so morally depraved or calloused as to defend what the modern world has long recognized as perverse. One would think, therefore, that this is an issue liberals and conservatives could agree on. It should be condemned in every way imaginable.
Beyond this, one would think that any effort to discuss child-rape-by-marriage practiced throughout portions of the Islamic world would include an acknowledgment that the widespread custom can be squarely traced back to Muhammad, the founder of Islam. It is Muhammad, after all, who is viewed by Muslims as the supreme example of moral behavior and as one who should be emulated in every way.
The simple fact of the matter is that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, married a little 9-year-old girl named Aisha when he was 55 years old. Don’t believe me? I am not the one making the claim. It is Islam’s own sacred sources that have long established this. Consider some of the following Islamic sacred traditions:
Aisha said: The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of 6 (years) … my mother, came to me while I was playing on a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of 9 years of age. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234)
Hisham’s father said: Khadija died three years before Muhammad departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married ‘Aisha when she was a girl of 6 years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was 9 years old. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 236)
Aisha said that the Prophet married her when she was 6 years old and he consummated his marriage when she was 9 years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death). (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64; see also Numbers 65 and 88)
Aisha reported that Allah’s Apostle married her when she was 7 years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was 9, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was 18 years old. (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3311)
Aisha said: The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) married me when I was 7 years old. The narrator Sulaiman said: Or 6 years. He had intercourse with me when I was 9 years old. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Number 2116)
Hundreds of other traditions and Muslims scholars could be cited.
But here is where the liberal worldview breaks down. Here is where the hypocrisy, cowardice and double standards of the left are made evident. When given the option of condemning a dirty old man such as Jerry Sandusky, they will do so with gusto. As they should. But when Muhammad, the founder of Islam, at age 55, is known to have had sexual intercourse with an innocent little 9-year-old girl, the left will go completely silent. And when someone does bring light to this matter, they will attack him like a band of jackals.
When we look back and ponder the many sins committed in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, it was not only Sandusky’s sins of abuse that were so condemnable, but also the ring of silence and cover-up that surrounded him. If the whole nation, both right and left, can rally behind the removal of a statue of Joe Paterno for his silence, why is the left so enraged when anyone mentions the truth with regard to Muhammad, who is so clearly the primary source of the child-rape-as-marriage practiced throughout many quarters of the world?
When given the option of offending Muhammad’s followers or standing with the most innocent little lambs this world knows, there is no option. People of moral courage simply cannot be silent any longer.