I know I sort of defended Muhammad against claims that he was a pedophile a while ago, but that was because it was socially acceptable in the distant past, whereas today, it isn’t. I certainly wouldn’t defend anyone, religious figure or not, having sex with a child today, but that’s exactly what happened here.
In Yemen, an 8-year old girl named Rawan died on her wedding night, killed by internal hemorrhaging caused by sexual contact with her husband who was 40 years old.
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. This is completely acceptable under some interpretations of Islam, even though, in Yemen in 2009, they tried to pass a law that makes it illegal to marry any girl under the age of 17. Highly religious Muslims call the law “un-Islamic” and the law was buried and forgotten.
Hooria Mashhour, Yemen’s human rights minister, has declared that enough is enough. “This isn’t the first time a child marriage has happened in Yemen, so we should not focus only on this case. Many child marriages take place every year in Yemen. It’s time to end this practice.”
But this continues to happen. In 2008, 10-year-old Nujood Ali became a hero when she went to court and asked for a divorce from her abusive older husband and to the cheers of human rights advocates, was granted one. In 2010, a 12-year-old Yemeni bride died of internal bleeding following intercourse three days after she was married off to an older man, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund. And in 2013, an 11-year-old Yemeni girl named Nada Al-Ahdal put up a video accusing her parents of trying to sell her off as a child bride and the video went viral.
This is what happens when people value religion over human life. It comes as no surprise to anyone that it crops up as often as it does on Horror Show Sunday.