Though much of the civilized world frowns upon and has outlawed the practice of adults marrying young children, the practice has remained socially acceptable in parts of many Muslim nations.
Unfortunately, in a particularly brutal incident a couple of years ago, a young 8-year-old girl in Yemen named Rawan died on her wedding night after her 40-year-old husband caused her massive internal injuries and bleeding during the consummation of their nuptials, according to UPI.
Following that horrifying occurrence, activists and reformers in Yemen and Kuwait, among other Muslim nations, called for an end to the practice of adult men taking child brides.
They also demanded that the young girl’s husband and his family be arrested and held accountable for her death.
“Her family and her groom could have waited for some time before having this marriage,” wrote a blogger going by the name of “Sad.” “It was not fair at all and the marriage should not have happened even if some tribes believe that it is a good custom.”
To be sure, efforts had been made to abolish the barbaric practice of taking child brides, with Yemen even passing a law in 2009 setting the minimum age for marriage at 17.
Sadly, that law was eventually repealed after immense pressure from fundamentalist Islamists who proclaimed the law un-Islamic.
In fact, according to the BBC, a prominent cleric by the name of Abdulmajeed al-Zindani issued a fatwa defending the practice of adult men taking child brides and declaring those who supported a ban on child marriage apostates.
It has been estimated that nearly half of all women in Yemen are married before the age of 18, and nearly a quarter are married before the age of 15.
Hopefully there will continue to be efforts by moderates and reformers in the Islamic world to bring an end to this atrocious behavior that is ruining, and sometimes even ending, the lives of innocent young women around the world.
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