Child ‘Marriage’ and Sharia Courts: It Must End Now


Dear Friend,

We are writing to you today to ask for your urgent and immediate support.

As you may have seen in the papers recently, there is growing evidence that young children – some as young at 5 years old – are being “married” to older men in Sharia courts across Britain. This is increasingly being sanctioned by the Islamists who run Britain’s network of Sharia courts, and there is evidence that this practice is growing.

Recent Investigations

recent undercover investigation by the Sunday Times found imams in Britain willing to “marry” young girls, provided this was carried out in secret. The imams had been approached by an undercover reporter posing as a father who said he wanted his 12 year old daughter married, to prevent her from being tempted in to a “western lifestyle”.

Imam Mohammed Kassamali, of the Husaini Islamic Centre in Peterborough, sanctioned the marriage, but stressed the need for total secrecy. He stated: “I would love the girl to go to her husband’s houses (sic) as soon as possible, the younger the better. 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).”

Abdul Haque, who officiates at weddings at the Shoreditch mosque, east London agreed to carry out the formalities of the wedding. However, he told the reporter that he should “tell people it is an engagement but it will be a marriage”. He added: “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”.

Earlier this year, it was also reported that at least 30 girls, some as young as 9, were “married” in sharia courts in one London borough alone.

Clearly, child “marriages” are an abomination; they are nothing short of religiously-sanctioned child rape and paedophilia.

Sharia proponents deceptively say that forced marriages are unacceptable under Sharia and that both bride and groom must choose to marry as if that is the issue at hand. Islamists have gotten away with years of misogyny against Muslim women under cover of “choice” and are now using similar language with regards children. Nonetheless, child welfare must take precedence irrespective of religious beliefs. This is something we must urgently remind the Government of. Sharia courts are a scandal and must be stopped.


Written By: Maryam Namazie
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  1. What is the difference between a muslim of marriageable age and a pedophile? None whatsoever apparently.
    While we got excited by pedophilia in the various xtian churches, which was accompanied by at least some shame and the knowledge they did wrong., in muslim culture the only thing deemed illegal is to not hide the crime from the public.
    If they cannot abide by the  laws of the host country – why are the perpetrators, the leaders of each mosque, not either incarcerated for child abuse or deported to their home country? Is the British law against child abuse that weak?
    What a bunch of vile and nauseating human beings.

  2. Because weak-kneed western politicians are afraid about the uproar it would create if we actually started to enforce the rule of law in muslim communities.

  3. Signed.
    The bill seems quit soft merely making it illegal to discriminate on grounds of sex in the arbitration courts.
    I would have thought that this was already covered by the UK discrimination laws.

  4. Meanwhile, here in France, the Government just turned down a request from the Muslim council to have an official protest march through Paris against some American film.
    The unreasonable french infidels stated that it is nothing to do with France so they wouldn’t sanction it!

    Does anyone know if the Koran allows the french to govern their own country? Or should there be violent burning of everything from Aznavour to Zutt Alors!

  5. This might not be quite as awful as it first looks. My history teacher, Gregory Holt used to love telling us stories about this stay during WWII in India.

    One day one of his charges, a young man of about 18,  asked for time off.  The astrologers said it was an auspicious day for him to move in with his bride to whom he had been married since he was 2.  He had waited so long, he was not prepared to wait that long again for another auspicious day.

    I have watched so many people train wreck in relationships because they chose the partner based on hormones, ignoring everything else.  Parents and friends consider more factors.  They may well make better matches than people can for themselves. 

    My father married a second time as the result of his wife’s son deciding my dad would make his mom a suitable partner.  The relationship turned out blissful for both.

    There is the matter of freedom to make mistakes, but I don’t think arranged marriages are quite as evil as we in the west imagine, or as they are depicted in film.  

  6. To put this in perspective, find out how long ago it was our culture stopped marrying off pre-pubescent girls. How long ago was it that we stopped allowing a man to beat his wife?

    Hint. In 1890 in Norway the average age of female puberty was 18.

    Rape of your spouse was legal until about 1970.

    One of the lowest limits on marriage age in the world is Texas at 15. Only Tanzania is lower at 14 and then only with special court permission.

    According to Rachelle Carter in Marriage in Medieval Times
    1200 typical marriage age 12 Britain
    1600 minimum age 12
    1790 USA  minimum age 7
    1885 minimum age 16.

    My own theory of why virgin, prepubescent, compliant, loyal wives were so valued is they would not give you a venereal disease before knocking out replacement offspring. There was no way to cure any STD back then.

  7. It is not whether parents with experience could pick a person they may think has the right attributes to be a partner in the world they have lived. It is about freedom and choice.
    A 9 year old girl cannot make a decision on marriage. Marrying her off, removes all choice to the girl no matter how “suitable” he may be.
    It also provides perfect opportunities for financial gain from the marriage and a chance for child rape.
    My parents gave me much advise, most of it good, but they were young through WW2 and some of their values are not relevant to the world as it is today.  Who knows whether they would have made a better choice of bride, but I got to make my choice as an adult!

    Humans should make their own life choices, not have them forced by well meaning or evil people.

  8. Non-muslim pedophiles (including priests) go to jail, yet Islamic ones claim an exemption. Makes perfect sense

  9. Well, I do not share your view at all and frankly am surprised to read it. “Parents and friends may well make better matches than people can for themselves” is the same kind of logic that would support a “benevolent dictatorship” in politics.

  10. Historically, very young virgins were desired as wives because that was the only way a man could be sure that any offspring were his.  A woman always knows her children are her own, but prior to paternity tests a man had no way to ensure that her children were also his except by marrying a young virgin and sequestering her after marriage, keeping her in line with severe (often fatal) penalties for adultery.  Since wealth and property were passed from father to son in most European and Eastern cultures, it was imperative that a father be sure it was his own son who was going to inherit the goods, and not some other man’s brat.  All the sturm und drang over virgin “purity”, in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, can be traced back to this patriarchal inheritance crap.  Women were just property, and no one wanted used goods pumping out questionable heirs.

  11. If you don’t want your daughter (what about your son?) influenced by Western culture, why the hell have you immigrated to the UK!? Beware of the devil – and watch your step, we’ve just entered through the gates of hell.

    Although one point of clarification need to be made, I think. As abhorrent as I find these child-marriage affairs, I’m not sure that these cases are motivated by paedophilia as much as it is by the “need” to control the female and establish dominance. I think the point made by Sue Blue is a much more accurate exploration of this horrible business.

  12. The merest hint of islam sanctioning statutory rape and paedophilia in the press and they will be on the streets threatening violence.

  13. If pedophiles express a desire to make pedophilia legal.Every body( apart from pedophiles of course) in the UK would chase them out of the country, and rightly so. But to make the very same suggestion from a religious viewpoint, for mysterious  reason way beyond my understanding it becomes more tolerable .

  14.  In the 1600’s we were also still burning women for being witches. So does that mean when Christians in Africa want to kill women who are witches we need to “get some perspective” on them as well?  There is a difference between an arranged marriage between two consenting adults and one between an adult and a minor. I would never go for either but if two adults want to go along they have every right. I have two friends from India who had arranged marriages. It seemed weird to me but it seemed to work for them so fine.

    But with a minor its just child rape with a legal veneer. Its why we have things like the UN Declaration of Human Rights, because as a people we recognize that regardless of national or cultural boundaries there are basic rights: freedom from torture for example, that apply to everyone.  I certainly would add freedom from child rape to the list.

  15. Plenty of the arranged marriages between men and adult women in these places have nothing to do with free choice either.  When a girl/young woman lives her life stuck in the house and her every moment supervised and guarded, how can she get to know men from outside her family at all?  With no way to meet men and judge their good and bad qualities and try to decide whether they are compatible or not, they are doomed to accept whoever their parents arrange for them.  Muslims make a big deal about saying that in Islam, a woman’s consent is necessary for marriage to proceed, but what woman will say no?  She doesn’t know the guy that has been proposed.  She won’t know the next guy who will be proposed if she turns down the first one. At some point she will “age out” of the marriage market and then no guy will be proposed at all!  She will face a lifetime as an “old maid” stuck in her Father’s and Brother’s house as a burden on the family.  Is there any choice at all for her in this scenario?

    Another ridiculous statement by people who think highly of arranged marriages is that they have a much lower divorce rate than that high rate of the immoral West where young people “date” without chaperones and have premarital sex. “Oh see that? All the dating and sleeping around and you still have a divorce rate of over 50 percent! So there you have it. It’s no better than chance!” My answer: If I make a mistake I’ll own that mistake and take responsibility for it. Better than a life of misery and bitter resentment because some controlling parents railroaded me into an intolerable relationship that I had no way to get out of.  Someday, and I hope it comes to pass, if Muslim women achieve equality in education and the means to support themselves financially, then we’ll see who has the higher divorce rate! So there!

  16. Further evidence of how committing criminal behavior becomes so much easier to either get away with or receive a slap on the wrist so long as the conduct is wrapped in the cloak of religious beliefs.  While I do think the problems with Islam are particularly pernicious, let us not forget that double standard in the United States for those parents who refuse to bring their seriously ill or injured children to doctors because it is against their religion, and their decisions, clearly injurious to innocent children, are protected under the law of many states!  The free exercise of religion should mean the right to believe whatever you want to believe, not the freedom to take actions (or non-action where there would otherwise be a duty to act) that differ from those that would be permissible if such actions weren’t religiously sanctioned.

  17.  To Sue Blue,

    While I agree that “Historically, very young virgins were desired as wives because that was
    the only way a man could be sure that any offspring were his.” Evolutionary Psychology has a more fundamental explanation than “Since wealth and property were passed from father to son in most
    European and Eastern cultures, it was imperative that a father be sure
    it was his own son who was going to inherit the goods, and not some
    other man’s brat.”

    We evolved over hundreds of thousands of years (actually millions) in very harsh circumstances as members of small groups and bands that had no property to hand on from one generation to the next.  Throughout tens of thousands of generations,  some men made parental investments in their children in the forms of  provisioning their mother(s) during gestation and lactation and the children themselves while young and in need of protection from predators. Those fathers who did this adequately had more surviving offspring than those who did not. This caring mode of behaviour (moderate in comparison with the mothers’)  has a genetic basis. The relevant  genes lead to the development of a brain which experiences the associated emotions (empathy, sympathy, obligation, pride, etc.) which in turn lead to the necessary behaviour.

    At the same time, another set of genetically based behaviours ensure that this investment is not wasted on the child of some other man, namely, mating, whenever possible, females who can be reliably assessed as not pregnant and then continuous mate  guarding thereafter. Men who manifested these behaviours also left more of their own children than those who did not.  The relevant feelings/emotions are being attracted to young (but not prepubescent)  females and sexual jealousy.

    Tens of thousands of generations of human existence have in effect fixed in men the genes for all these emotions and behaviours.

    There is much evidence that most men do not find prepubescent girls sexually attractive. The making of marriage contracts on their behalf  is a cultural and therefore a cognitive activity.  This means that we would not be fighting human nature to stop it.

    In summary, evolutionary processes  have led men to  act in ways to protect their genetic legacy without their even being aware that they had one to pass on.

    There are equivalent genes, emotions and behaviours in women but these are not relevant to comments on Maryam’s article.

  18. The rape and pedophilia issues are horrific enough, but additionally this deprives these kids of a normal childhood. The only one they can ever have. They should be hanging out with their friends and having fun and coming to terms with their own adolescence as it unfolds naturally. I think it’s a real crime to deprive these kids of their childhood.

  19. It is tragic  that humans can’t  agree on matters of common decency…such as ‘it is not acceptable to abuse women and children’. When decent people criticize those that blatantly do so in the name of their ‘culture’ or ‘religion’  they are accused of abusing freedom of speech!    To make it even more absurd, decent people find themselves apologizing to abusers for criticizing them!  It is high time that humans in general stop tolerating fundamental abuses of  others…anyone who subscribes to a belief system or faith that propagates abuse should be ostracized  and sanctioned until it stops. I do not understand how the US and UK among others,  that portray themselves as defenders of human rights can tolerate the institutionalised and abusive behaviour of  certain groups IN their countries let alone elsewhere on the planet. 

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