New Saudi Fatwa Defends Pedophilia as ‘Marriage’

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). 


Muslim “child-marriage”—euphemism for pedophilia—is making headlines again, at least in Arabic media: Dr. Salih bin Fawzan, a prominent cleric and member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, just issued a fatwa asserting that there is no minimum age for marriage, and that girls can be married “even if they are in the cradle.”

Appearing in Saudi papers on July 13, the fatwa complains that “Uninformed interference with Sharia rulings by the press and journalists is on the increase, posing dire consequences to society, including their interference with the question of marriage to small girls who have not reached maturity, and their demand that a minimum age be set for girls to marry.”

Fawzan insists that nowhere does Sharia set an age limit for marrying girls: like countless Muslim scholars before him, he relies on Koran 65:4, which discusses marriage to females who have not yet begun menstruating (i.e., are prepubescent)  and the fact that Muhammad, Islam’s role model, married Aisha when she was 6-years-old, “consummating” the marriage—or, in modern parlance, raping her—when she was 9.

The point of the Saudi fatwa, however, is not that girls as young as 9 can have sex, based on Muhammad’s example, but rather that there is no age limit whatsoever; the only question open to consideration is whether the girl is physically capable of handling her husband/rapist.  Fawzan documents this point by quoting Ibn Batal’s authoritative exegesis of Sahih Bukhari:

The ulema [Islam’s interpreters] have agreed that it is permissible for fathers to marry off their small daughters, even if they are in the cradle.  But it is not permissible for their husbands to have sex with them unless they are capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men.  And their capability in this regard varies based on their nature and capacity.  Aisha was 6 when she married the prophet, but he had sex with her when she was 9 [i.e., when she was deemed capable].

Fawzan concludes his fatwa with a warning: “It behooves those who call for setting a minimum age for marriage to fear Allah and not contradict his Sharia, or try to legislate things Allah did not permit.  For laws are Allah’s province; and legislation is his excusive right, to be shared by none other.  And among these are the rules governing marriage.”

Fawzan, of course, is not the first to insist on the legitimacy of pedophilia in Islam.  Even the former grand mufti of Saudi Arabia supported “child-marriage,” since “the Koran and Sunna document it.”

Nor is this just some theoretic, theological point; the lives of many young girls are being destroyed because of this ruling.  Recall, for instance, the 13-year-old girl who died while her much older husband was copulating with her (it was later revealed that, due to her reluctance, he was tying her up and “raping” her—as if there is another way to describe sex with children); or the 12-year-old who died giving birth to a stillborn; or the 10-year-old who made headlines by hiding out from her 80-year-old “husband.”

Then there are the countless anonymous girls who do nothing to warrant any media attention—such as die—and have learned to live with their elderly husbands pawing at them, like, no doubt, the girl who married Islam’s most popular cleric, Yusuf Qaradawi, when she was 14.

What do we make of the fact that it is always Islam’s religious, authoritative voices—not aberrant voices, not “terrorists,” “extremists,” or any other euphemism coined for the occasion—that are constantly demonstrating Sharia’s savageries?  Weeks before this fatwa, a female politician and activist in Kuwait called for institutionalizing sex-slavery (recommending that Muslims buy and sell female Russian captives from the Chechnya war); a popular Egyptian preacher not only said the same thing, but added that the solution to Islam’s poverty is to go on jihad and plunder the lives and possessions of infidels.

Sounds odd?  Perhaps; but it is perfectly consistent.  After all, distilled and in the eyes of the non-believer, Sharia law is nothing less than a legal system built atop the words and deeds of a 7th century Arab, whose behavior—from pedophilia and sex-slavery to war mongering and plundering—was very much that of a 7th century Arab.  Having enticed or enslaved his contemporaries into following him, his teachings continue to entice and enslave their descendants; and, now as then, it is always the innocent who suffer.

  • Mommynator

    Northpal – Fine. It's there. But it doesn't happen, does it?

  • Paul Blair

    @Northpal; Can you reference a Rabbi, or anyone today who sanctions that this practice be continued because of it's mention in the Talmud?

  • Dispozovdaburka

    The Saudi's prefer little boys anyway.
    All under 13 of course,
    otherwise it's considered "homosexuality."

    I'm sure alot of goats and donkeys in Saudi Arabia are breathing alot easier now
    that

    little girls are officially "legit".

  • Pagan

    What is it about ALL religions that just love to torture, rape, murder and destroy females? It's all about those male fantasies. Religion in general is a male fantasy!

  • Ozzy

    Why would anyone insist that a little girl come to full term with a pregnancy?

  • JOHN

    YOU SICK BASTARDS!!!

  • Denis MacEoin

    There are problems in Islamic law with this fatwa. Under shari'a, a woman must give her consent to a marriage. Often, this doesn't happen, but marrying a baby in a cradle certainly would preclude it, so I think the fatwa would be rejected for that reason. It is not paedophilia to 'marry' a child, provided there is no consummation. The objection would be that there is real coercion. Of course, marrying an older child of, say, 14 and consummating the marriage would be considered paedophilia in the UK or US, but not in Spain, and 15 would be legal in several other countries. I would maintain that Islam permits consummation from 9 upwards, and in that respect it favours paedophile relationships and forces little girls into them. I have never heard of a case being brought to court in the UK, and I think the same is true in the US and elsewhere.

  • dr.music

    Soon the whole world will be muslim. Superb.
    Children will be raped legally because mohammad did it. Too good .
    And murder will be sanctioned because mohammad did it. Super cool.
    Women will lose their faces and their identities and all dignity. Fantastic.
    What a glorious age it will be.
    Smelly beards and semen stains on clothes will be high fashion. So good.
    Islam is glorious. Islam is the one . What a planet it will be. Allah o akbar allah o akbar….allah o akbar…. Islam is on the march….allah o akbar….

  • dr.music

    When the whole world turns muslim and the real muslim age will start that will be the final passing of our lovely age that we had always thought that it would last forever and we'd live on mars and have fancy toys and all would be happy and lovely ….but we hadn't the guts to stop islam and then every one had to turn muslim OR DIE and hell started and suddenly we were and will always be in the seventh century barbariaty and before we know it we AND OUR CHILDREN were the imposed dynosaurs thanks to islam …. The days of logic had long passed … Passed ….passed…

  • dr.music

    And what the brits and the yanks and all all all non-muslims don't understand is that the islam juggernaut is going to show the world just how it's going to happen to everyone else…as the british scream and shout at islam to behave islam is just not listening …as islam boot-crushes the UK first and turns it's head and attention to the next nearby victim…the rest of the planet will feel fear and fear only…then it's just a matter of time…. The full world will be muslim.

    Welcome to the glorious age of islam…our sweet and dear great grand children will be in it as muslims.

  • dr.music

    The teenager of tomorrow is named Mohammed, and he takes his inspiration not from the constitutional laws, but the vile Koran. His heroes are not MAHATMA GANDHI or Winston Churchill or George Washington, but that bloody butcher of men and raper of women and little girls, the Islamic self proclaimed prophet Mohammed. He thinks of non-muslim girls as whores, of non-muslim culture as corrupt and worthless, and feels he owes no obedience to its laws or its governments. The word 'Islamophobia' makes him chuckle. He likes the idea that the natives are afraid of him. "They should be," he thinks. They should be indeed. Because ISLAM IS EVIL AND EVIL IS RISING.. ….thru him …..watch….

  • Craig

    Yebhamoth 11b says nothing about intercourse with a little girl. Actually, the reference should be Ketaboth 11b, concerning betrothals. A footnote to that passage says that if a man were to have intercourse with a three year old she should not suffer the consequences of loss of virginity when she become eligible for marriage. The comment is actually a defense of victim’s rights. The man who did such thing would be punished.

  • nefer

    This is just rediculous,i have great respect for all religion,we shouldnt creticise any religion without knowing anything

  • Disgusted with you

    Oh thanks, that makes it ok then.