Thursday 6 March 2014

Forced marriage and Islam

It is already some time ago when I took in my home our next neighbour girl in, with bleeding wounds and totally shaken. As a 15 year old she was married out by her brother and she refused to follow his wishes.

I do recognise their where also other underlying factors which made the brother crazy at her. She continuously had lied to him, played truant, had stolen many things, and as such not only violated Islam law but also the law of the Belgians.

He wanted to bring to her more security and a strong hand to keep her on the right track. Though the means to direct her where not ideal and I had to explain to him children could not be married against their will.

English: Islam in New Zealand book launch, 200...
Islam in New Zealand book launch, 2007. Young boy holds book. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Several Americans may think forced marriages are only committed in some Asian-Muslim communities. In West Europe we have seen many cases where children where given, sometimes already at the age of 12 to others in marriage. The West of Europe also encountered several "murders of honour". the law of honour has been a plague a few years ago, and we could regularly hear about such murders or abductions to keep up the honour of the family.

It is good to see to write about the important matter of child grooming and of marriage in Islam culture.

Lots of Muslim groups have different interpretations and do not seem to understand that Islam forbids beating up or torturing children and forced marriages. Last week we saw an imam on television saying it was al-right to beat up the women because the man was responsible for her to keep her on the path of Allah. Many more Muslims should come to understand that for a marriage to be valid there has to be mutual consent from both parties. this is so for the civil law, but also for Islam, Christian and Jewish law.

We therefore would like to invite Muslims to come to read what the Prophet Muhammad dictated and considered words form the Creator of man and wife.

“O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take away part of the dower ye have given them,-except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good.” (Koran 4:19 Yusufali)
Clearly this indicates that it is by the Elohim forbidden to inherit women against their will, which would be the case when a girl is married to somebody she does not love. You could wonder why so many people living in the West still do not want to see that the Western customs are according to Allah His will, having Himself saying
“... it is not lawful for you that you should take women as heritage against [their] will, and do not straiten them in order that you may take part of what you have given them, unless they are guilty of manifest indecency, and treat them kindly; then if you hate them, it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah has placed abundant good in it.” (Koran 4:19 Shakir)
In Islam on Forced Marriages cites many Hadiths giving proof that for a marriage to go ahead the person has to be consulted, her permission must be given.
 She cannot be given in marriage without her permission.
The Rutgers University Muslim Student Association  knows that Islam is beautiful, but also says
 "it is us Muslims that sometimes give it an ugly face".
They hear stories about incredibly contradictory people
—a man frequently in the first row at the masjid for every salah is abusive to his wife at home. A brother dropping fat checks every year at the masjid fundraiser actually makes his money from a chain of liquor stores. Some Muslims avoid MSA because they feel people there are judgmental, which can be true to some extent. One imam reports a young man came to him asking for advice — he had gotten a girl pregnant. The imam asked him, why didn’t he use birth control? The young man said he refused to, because he knew it was makrooh (disliked) in the religion.
We as westerners are confronted with many stories and are often confronted with bad behaviour of Muslims. When I was teaching in Brussels and had in some classes nearly all Muslims they permitted many more things a normal western person would not dare to do. also when I walk on the streets in my neighbourhood I am confronted with words those very young children shout at us or at my dog. It sometimes could may let Christians and atheists think that Islam is just a cover up to allow many things which in our society are just not allowed or not appreciated. Often the Islam is just used for the outward appearance.  A good example I often encounter at work at the Airport Brussels International, where those ladies fully dresssed and covered, even in burqa (بُرقع) (though this is a forbidden dress in Belgium, nothing is done against it) they have a case full of high alcoholic drinks. (!?!) And sometimes I also can find them having lots of cigarettes (which according to Allah is a product damaging the body and not to be used).

According to several Muslims they do not have to take it so seriously, as long as they keep the Ramamdan, by not eating when it is light but enjoying life and eating a lot when it is dark. As such we can find lots of Muslims smoking a lot (defiling their body), speaking with discontent over women, not taking care of their children, not keeping their promises, not telling the truth because they consider they may tell lies to an unbeliever, etc..
Often we also hear to their defence pagans violate their treaties and attack the Muslims first, therefore they as Muslims may use the same tricks those unbelievers use and are also allowed to fight back in self-defence.Many seem to forget that permission to fight the enemy was and should be balanced by a strong mandate for making peace:
 ‘If your enemy inclines toward peace, then you too should seek peace and put your trust in God’

The Rutgers University Muslim Student Association talks about a confused mindset several Muslims may have. It
 isn’t new, but was a problem for the Ahl al-Kitab (People of the Book) in the time of the Prophet ﷺ. They were too concerned with ritual and the letter of the Law, while failing to implement the spirit of the Law.
Those wrong actions by children and adults of the Islamic faith give the world a wrong impression, because in the media they are daily confronted by Muslims who preach violence and hate.
Islamophobes use those media attention and the several Flemish converts who went to Syria to fight as a proof of the danger our world is in for a Muslim invasion by terror.

Please do find the articles:
 بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ Islam on Forced Marriages
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ Quran 9:5 – Sword Verse

Face of Musa, Hand of Fir’awn


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