A 12-year-old Saudi girl unexpectedly gave up her petition for divorce from an 80-year-old man her father forced her to marry in exchange for a dowry.
Despite support from human rights lawyers and child welfare advocates, the girl and her mother, who originally sought the divorce, withdrew the case Monday in a court in Buraidah. The girl told the court that her marriage to the man was done with her agreement.
"I agree to the marriage. I have no objection. This is in filial respect to my father and obedience to his wish," she said.
COMMENT: Such "marriages" are regarded as perfectly okay by many Muslims (unlike marriage between two, consenting adults of the same sex) because the founder of their religion married a 9 year old girl. However, although fundamentalist Muslim clerics may give their vocal support to this obscenity many clerics are vocal in their opposition to such practices and recommend that 16 should be the minimum age for wedlock. These more enlightened clergy state that the context of society is completely different now to that of Mohammed's time and that the Prophet's actions should not be regarded as a precedent for today.