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Marriage as a short-term lease of property

Posted by Richard on October 9, 2005

The radical Wahhabist/Salafist Muslim Arabs who condemn the West for being corrupt, decadent, and permissive have an interesting way of demonstrating their commitment to moral uprightness and the sanctity of marriage.

Daniel Pipes has a new article that describes Arab tourism in India. Rich, middle-aged Saudi and Gulf Arab men, exploiting fundamentalist Islam’s 8th-century rules of marriage, are traveling to Muslim Indian communities and "marrying" one or more virgin teens, typically 13-15 years old. After a short time, they "divorce" them and depart.

It’s not marriage that these activities most closely resemble:

The Arabs usually "marry" the girls for short periods, sometimes just a single night. In fact, Wajihuddin reports, marriage and divorce formalities are often prepared at the same time, thereby expediting the process for all involved. Akhileshwari notes that "their girl children are available for as little as 5,000 rupees to satisfy the lust of doddering old Arab men." Five thousand rupees, by the way, equals just a bit over US$100.

An Indian television program recently reported on a show-casing of eight prospective brides, most of them minors, at which they were offered up to their Arab suitors. "It resembled a brothel. The girls were paraded before the Arab who would lift the girls’ burqa, run his fingers through their hair, gaze at their figures and converse through an interpreter," recalls one of Nishat’s assistants.

By now, we should all know that fundie Muslims value and treat women like cattle or goats, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Indian Muslims mostly don’t care:

Sunita Krishnan, head of an anti human-trafficking organization, Prajwala, makes the only too-obvious point that girl children are not valued. "If a girl child is sold or her life ruined, it is not a national loss, that’s why this is a non-issue, both for community and to society." …

For their part, Muslim politicians in the city of Hyderabad apparently could care less. … The Majlis-e-Ittihadul Muslameen, the main party of Hyderabad’s Muslims, is blissfully unconcerned: "You cannot deny that the fortunes of many families have changed through such marriages," MIM’s president, Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, cheerfully points out.

 Pipes made several pointed comments, including:

(6) The hypocrisy of this trade is perhaps its vilest aspect. Better prostitution, frankly acknowledged, than religiously-sanctioned fake marriages, for the former is understood to be a vice while the latter parades as a virtue.

(7) Wajihuddin compares the Arabian men to "medieval monarchs" and the analogy is apt. These transactions, involving Muslim minors and conducted under the auspices of Islamic law, point yet again to the dominance of premodern ways in the Muslim world and the urgent need to modernize the Islamic religion.

"Premodern ways" is far too polite and sanitary a phrase, really — how about "a barbaric, savage, contemptible culture"? Back in June, in a post entitled "Slavery is a part of Islam," I wrote:

Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, and radical Islam in general should be all the evidence anyone needs to demonstrate the moral bankruptcy of the leftist multicultural BS about no culture being better than any other. These people still defend and practice slavery, and we’re supposed to worry that making a jihadist uncomfortable might bring us down to their level??

Yes, we had slavery in this country. And our society is still paying the price today. But look at the historical context: Slavery existed and was accepted as normal in every human society throughout history — until the 18th century, when voices in the United States and Great Britain were raised against it. Those voices spoke of liberty and natural rights and free will, and they proclaimed slavery to be a moral outrage.

In a hundred years, those ideas and moral values had swept through the Western world and made people ashamed of a practice they’d accepted for thousands of years. Those ideas and values are part of — are fundamental to — Western culture. And, by damn, it IS morally superior to the barbaric 8th-century culture that still enslaves people, that declares women property, that flays people’s flesh for dancing, that imprisons Christians for praying in their homes, that saws people’s heads off with a dull knife for being Jewish.

No, it doesn’t bother me that interrogators at Gitmo may have failed to show sufficient respect for the beliefs of their jihadist captives. It bothers me that they haven’t expressed contempt for those barbarous beliefs.

I stand by my assessment.

(HT: Jan, via email)

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