What if she was your daughter?
A Yemeni girl has died of sexual wounds inflicted by her husband on their wedding night. The girl was 8, the husband 40
According To the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), between 2011 and 2020, more than 140 million girls Will Become child brides. Furthermore, of the 140 million girls who will marry before the age of 18, 50 million will be under the age of 15.
It would be naive not so say that all these practices are reinforced, at some level, by religion, which makes them difficult to eradicate.
Yes, of course, abuse of women and children occur everywhere, inside and outside of religious communities. But this argument is banal and not enough to turn a blind eye. The problem is that, currently, still child marriage and marital rape are justified through religious authority in the Muslim community.
There is a problem within the global Muslim community, that most believers do not want or are not able to recognize: The Preachers of Abuse, who work in full time in front of the view of everyone.
Preachers as Muhammad al-‘Arifi, who calls Muslim women (except those of his family, of course) to serve as sex slaves for the Syrian rebels, in “The name of God” . He also has said is ok to hit women to discipline them, as long is “with a toothbrush.”
Perhaps the worst thing is not what he says, we know those are stupid things, but the status and prestige that people like him have within Islamic communities, to the point of having loyal followers, both men and women, which allow them to turn theit statements in logic, profit from Faith and have the life of a celebrity star.
Or Fayhan Al Ghamdi, from Saudi Arabia, who raped and tortured his daughter to death. Fayhan Al Ghamdi broke her left arm, several ribs, caused a skull fracture and even burned her with an iron. Randa Kalee, hospital employee, claimed that the girl had a broken back and had been raped “everywhere”. Fayhan Al Ghamdi has confessed that the girl was subjected to electric shocks and he used a cane to inflict injury to the child.
But, he was released and enjoys good health thanks to impunity. Despite the public outcry of his country, nothing prevents him to continue preaching or performing functions in a mosque, in Saudi Arabia or abroad.
In the following video, a Saudi preacher refers to CEDAW as a tool against Islam because it proclaims “women equality with men” and “She can act with complete freedom” and “She can not marry before age 18 “
Show me a person, no matter the religion, who publicly supports marriage of a girl of eight years with a 40 year old man, who is not considered a fool by his/her own community or denounced for making apology of child abuse.
In Islam, preachers of abuse are protected by impunity and the veil of holiness that they win thanks to Muslims themselves, who, in majority, choose to remain silent, thereby legitimizing the abuse-speech as part of religion, instead of making a stand and take their share according to the Qur’an, which is, to denounce injustice and protect the weak.
And do not tell me “… you know, the Catholic Pedophilia …” because the offense committed by the neighbor does not excuse our own offense.
I wonder: If child marriages and domestic violence are not part of Islam: Why are the human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and not the Islamic organizations, the first to mobilize for punishment of these crimes and justice for the victims?
Why a Muslim preacher, who advocates in favor of violence against women, is still regarded as a wise person in the community?
How much piety you can find in protecting the criminal?
Is there a moment when conscience begins to annoy for keeping so quiet , for so much hypocrisy, for such huge amounts of indifference disguised as “modesty”?
This is not just a problem in the Middle East or Asia. From UK to Chile, Western countries are beginning to fill with mosques and Islamic centers of dogmatic-extremist approach, where preachers of abuse and terrorism,are imported from countries where these crimes are part of the “cultural tradition” .
To say this is not to attack Islam – like most Muslims like to say, too comfortable not taking responsability for the general apathy that affects the community.
If preachers of abuse remain between us and are still considered Muslims, is because the community permitted and thus, is accesory in what those people do.
If you really want to defend Islam, this must start by sincere self-criticism from Muslims themselves on the state of things in the community. It is unfair to blame others for our own vices. In Islam, everyone is responsible for their actions and omissions. If we talk about a Umma, a community, let be coherent and accept that a community is not only a word to talk about to enjoy Ramadan parties: Is also, to assume faults together and work together for solutions.
In defense of Islam, I would begin to expel the preachers of abuse from the mosques and never call them Muslims again, because they don’t promote equity and social justice, but discrimination and violence; and never allow them to call themselves or be treated as Sheikhs, Imams, wise people or authorities of any kind, nor do recognize them any prominence in the community.
Criminals exist between us and must have their proper destination. Be innocent is acceptable, but being indifferent not. Transforming religion into a hope for thousands of girls and women, is an unavoidable task in which Muslims must be present and active and can not and should not miss.
¿How to start? Simply, stop sweeping the dirt under the carpet. Because there is a difference in “not to embarrass a brother for their faults” and “Cover up crimes”. Because neither the “defense” of God is above human rights.