She Was 12, But the Sheikh Added 5 Years and She Became 17

It's another "Palestinian" Islamic love story courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.

Official PA TV host: "Tell us how did you meet your wife?"

Palestinian man Abu Wajdi Al-Qassem: "She is my cousin. She was born abroad and lived [there] with her family. At the time, her father said to everyone: 'When we come to Palestine, this girl is intended for Abu Wajdi Al-Qassem.'"

(PA TV host): "How old was she?"

Palestinian man Abu Wajdi Al-Qassem: "Right when she was born she was given to me in my absence, but when she came she was 12. (Laughing) She was 12. However, in Islam it is permissible to add years to one's age, so the sheikh at the time gave her 5 years, and she became 17."

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Oct. 14, 2017]

Arranged marriage and child abuse in one. It's perfect.

Child marriage in the Muslim world isn't an outdated custom. It remains commonplace in more Islamic societies. As does cousin marriage.

The example here of an arranged marriage of an underage girl to a cousin is a means of maintaining family unity and cementing alliances across a clan. Despite claims about modesty and sexual morality, the practice of honor killing has more to do with securing these ties through violence. That's why eloping couples in Afghanistan and Pakistan are routinely killed by family members even though they're married.

The issue isn't marriage. It's the clan.

Marriage isn't an individual institution. It's a tribal one. It exists only to serve the interests of the clan. And what better way to make that point than through the arranged marriage of a 12-year-old girl.

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