Jillian C. York

Jillian C. York is a writer and activist.

That Crazy Old Sheikh

The third big brouhaha this month from Morocco is that of Sheikh Mohammed Maghraoui, the imam who issued a fatwa stating that it’s acceptable for 9-year-old girls to marry.  Keep in mind that Morocco’s family code sets the minimum age of marriage at 18 (with exceptions granted only by a civil judge).  Compare that to the United States, where most states allow teenagers aged 16+ to marry with parental consent.

Moroccans are, of course, outraged at the fatwa.  Aside from the fact that most would naturally disagree, many of my friends have stated annoyance at the negative attention this crazy imam is drawing to their country.

From Magharebia:

University student Khaled Najib said such fatwas distort religion and “give enemies of Islam a good reason to attack us and call us backward-minded.”

Housewife Fatima Banani said “I do not think any two sane parents who care about the best interests of their daughter, who is still below the age of menstruation, will marry her off, even if the suitor is a good and honourable man.”

Of course  the anti-Islam sites are jumping on this as well, stating that although they understand that the Moroccan public disagrees, Maghraoui’s statements are actually based in Islamic doctrine.

Personally, I’m dying to know what Sheikh Maghraoui’s motivations were for making such an inflammatory statement.  The fact that he did so on a website rules out the possibility of him being a crazy old man stuck in the middle ages.  Thoughts?

2 Comments

  1. Wow. What’s the rationale for this fatwa to go against the family code?

  2. Ari,

    The Family Code is civil; Morocco’s Islamists tend to be anti-government and therefore the Family Code is irrelevant to them.

    It’s worth noting that civil marriage is required in Morocco, contrary to the laws in many majority-Muslim countries.

    Jillian

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