The British child brides: Muslim mosque leaders agree to marry girl of 12... so long as parents don't tell anyone
04:47 EST, 9 September 2012
18:53 EST, 9 September 2012
British Muslim clerics are
willing to carry out sharia marriages involving child brides as young as
12, an investigation has found.Two
imams said they would be prepared to officiate at the wedding of an
underage girl to a man in his twenties, despite fears the pair would
later have sex.The
revelations have led the Home Office to confirm that such ceremonies
will be examined in the Government’s forthcoming Bill to outlaw forced
Secret marriages: Some Muslim religious leaders
consent to marry a girl of 12 if she consents - and her parents keep it a
secret (stock image)
Child bride: An Imam at the Husaini Islamic
Centre in Peterborough agreed to the marriage of a 12-year-old girl -
but only if she consented to the nuptials
More than 1,000 of the 8,000 forced
marriages of Britons each year are believed to involve girls of 15 or
under, with one case last year allegedly involving a girl of five.
The clerics were approached by man
posing as the father of a 12-year-old who wanted her to marry to
prevent her being tempted into a decadent Western lifestyle.
Mohammed Kassamali, of the Husaini Islamic Centre in Peterborough,
stressed the need for secrecy with such a ceremony.
He allegedly said: ‘If it (the
marriage) was not possible, I would have told you straight away... I
would love the girl to go to her husband’s houses (sic) as soon as
possible, the younger the better.
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‘Under sharia (Islamic law) there is
no problem. It is said she should see her first sign of puberty at the
house of her husband.
‘The problem is that we cannot explain such things (the marriage) if the girl went tomorrow (to the authorities).
‘The other thing is the underage
thing and if tomorrow the girl is, let’s say coerced or forced into
this, and she goes and reports it to the police then she will put all of
us into the problems.’
Campaigners argue that children can't decide whether they want to be married (posed by model)
He also urged the father to encourage the newlyweds to ‘delay the togetherness’, meaning postpone having sex.
Abdul Haque, a retired imam who still
officiates at weddings at Shoreditch mosque, East London, reportedly
agreed to carry out the ceremony after evening prayers on Wednesday.
‘Tell people it is an engagement but it will be a marriage,’ he told an undercover Sunday Times reporter.
‘In Islam, once the girl reaches
puberty the father has the right, the parents have the right, but under
the laws of this country if the girl complains and says her marriage has
been arranged and she wasn’t of marriageable age, then the person who
performed the marriage will be jailed as well as the mother and father.’
He explained how the Prophet Muhammad
had married a seven-year-old girl before adding: ‘We are his followers,
and that is what you have to explain (to your daughter).’
It is not illegal for clerics to perform Islamic marriages, even when one or both of those marrying are under 16.
Such marriages are not recognised in British law, so civil formalities can take place only if both are over 16.
Islamic law allows a couple to have
sex after marriage but, as the legal age of consent is 16, a husband can
be prosecuted for rape if he has sex with an underage girl.
Secret: Another retired Imam - who worships at
the Shoreditch Mosque in east London - was happy to marry a 12-year-old
girl but only if her parents told no-one about itThe Forced Marriage Unit, set up in 2005, dealt with 1,468 cases last year with 205 involving children under the age of 15.
Farooq Murad, of the Muslim Council
of Britain, said: ‘We are strongly opposed to it on the basis that it is
illegal under the law of the land where we are living and even under
sharia it is highly debatable.’
After being confronted, Kassamali
said he would not have performed the marriage without the girl’s consent
and would have sought legal advice. Haque declined to comment.
The Home Office said: ‘Child marriage
is totally unacceptable and illegal. Perceived cultural sensitivities
and political correctness cannot and will not get in the way of
preventing and uncovering such abuse.’
In: Regional News
Tags: uk, britain, child, brides, pedophiles, child molester, british, sharia, law, islam, dhimmi, caliphate
Location: United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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