The protection of one’s childhood, encompassing all education and developmental opportunities, is widely considered to be of utmost importance and a human right. But when a county is led by those who fail to acknowledge the needs of children at the expense of religious extremism, we may see the violation of these young lives become protected by the law itself.
This is a current issue in Iraq, as a new law to reduce the age of marriage from 18 to nine years old is moving forward in parliament. The proposal was submitted by one of the leading Iraqi Islamic political parties, Al Fadhiela, to the Iraqi parliament for the first time in 2014. It was rejected back then, but it has recently been resubmitted, the parliament since ratifying it to become a law.
Named the Minors Marriage Law by Iraqi seculars, this law is promoted and proposed under Al Jaffary Law as it is based on the Islamic Shiite Jaffary Sect. The practice of marrying young children can be traced back in Islam to its prophet Muhammad marrying Aisha at the age of six, before having sexual intercourses with her at nine years old, according to most Islamic original textbooks. No respectful Islamic Institute has ever tried to refute this (take Al-Azhar for instance). Further, only a few modern independent scholars have said otherwise and many of them were assassinated for this among other reasons, so for a majority of Muslims it’s a valid, but not mandatory, belief and practice.
Before the systematic ‘Islamification’ of Iraq after 2003, the majority of the Iraqi society refused this practice. There were, however, a few cases of children marriage based on religion, mostly among Shiite Jaffary Sect’s people, at some forsaken villages. The original Iraqi law declares very clearly, in section 188/year 1959, the age of marriage to be 18 year old, however, a judge may have the liberty in ‘very special cases’ to reduce it to 15.The reason behind the refusal of the original proposal in 2014 but ratifying it in 2017 is the strengthening of the Islamists’ grip on Iraq. Through the war against ISIS, the Iraqi Shiite militias hold increased due to parliamentary and legal protection for their crimes. This protection went even further to criminalise any sort of criticism towards the Shiite militias’ crimes, not to mention millions of state’s dollars being put under their disposal. It is an organised crime system but with governmental and sacred cover. So the current situation is now much different from that of 2014, as those militias are now controlling the streets without any rival, the Sunnis have been cleansed, the Christian minority has become a very few silenced groups and any opposing voice will be silenced by legal arrest or direct assassination.
The Islamists propaganda, on the other hand, has been rather constant. A majority of Iraqi people were brainwashed for 14 years through the blood money media for the Islamists’ propaganda. “Our Islamic project in Iraq is always under attack”, often quoted by Nori Malekey, the previous Iraqi PM and the creator and head of the notorious Shiite militia “Al Asaib”. The secular Iraqis became fewer and weaker, with many activists being arrested and assassinated. Nevertheless, morale has not been defeated and the beaten Iraqi secular society have led a small protest in Baghdad which was considered as another threat by the Islamists (the women involved were thereafter labelled as “a group of infidel prostitutes”).
The importance of such laws far away countries like Iraq are more than humanitarian. After studying Islamic terrorism, its origins and tactics it becomes apparent how ignorant and violent societies are the best incubator machines for funding Islamic terrorism with money, logistics and free human resources. In a way or another, this will have a direct effect on our lifestyle as we know it.