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Australian Islamic Teen Doesn’t Have to Get Married–Can’t Travel Says Judge

September 30, 2011

Given the recent studies demonstrating that forced child marriage actually results in sanctioned child rape and mental illness, one would assume that most parents wouldn’t want their teenagers getting married, much less be an accessory to child rape by forcing the so-called “marriage.”  Guess that argument doesn’t hold sway with a Lebanese couple who was going to force their 16-year old child to fly out of the country to get married until a judge stopped the proceedings:

A 16-year-old girl has been placed on an airport watchlist in Australia after going to court to prevent her parents sending her to Lebanon for a forced marriage.

The Federal Magistrates’ Court ruled that the parents of the teenager, who cannot be named, could not remove or attempt to remove their daughter from the country to marry the young man she has met only once.

Magistrate Joe Harman also ordered that the parents not assault, molest, harass, threaten or otherwise intimidate the girl or take her out of school.

In his judgement, delivered in April but revealed by Australian press on Friday, Harman said the girl’s application to prevent her parents from sending her away for the marriage was one that was becoming increasingly common.

“The young person’s evidence makes very clear that she has expressed to her parents that she does not want to go to Lebanon and does not want to marry the person proposed,” he said.

“She has indicated also in her evidence that she is fearful for her personal safety, that she has concerns as to what will occur in relation to her mother’s reaction once she becomes aware of these proceedings.”

He said the girl might be suggested to have betrayed the authority of her parents by challenging the Lebanese Islamic culture in which she had been raised and this only made him more convinced of her argument.

“What has occurred is, in fact, an act of great bravery by this young woman in taking the steps this young person has taken in seeking assistance through the Legal Aid Commission,” he said.

Harman found there was a psychological risk posed to the girl if he did not stop her marriage to a man who was essentially “a stranger”.

The judge here, or maybe it’s Yahoo’s editorial team again, stops short of calling the parents accessory to child rape, or the fact that a child can’t consent to a “marriage,” and so the term is used to sanctify a culture that embraces a form of child rape in the “arranged child marriages.”  I take issue with the fact that the U.S. is quick to jump on the bandwagon of indicting Warren Jefts, who was the lead of the polygamous cult that participated in child rape and child sexual abuse, after years of committing those atrocities but refuses to acknowledge that there is no such thing as “child marriage,” when children can’t consent to something that serious.  Children, by definition, can’t give consent to any concept of marriage or sexuality the way an adult would.

In any case, the girl has been protected, for the time being, from a parentally-arranged rape, but I still wish the new outlets would move away from marriage and acknowledge child sexual predators and their conspirators.


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