Prison Marriage Brings Humanitarian Issues Into Focus
Walaa Hawari, Arab News
RIYADH, 18 March 2008 — Muhammad Al-Zahrani, a convicted murderer, was executed at the end of February in Taif. Al-Zahrani’s execution, which was postponed for four years, took place after the victims’ family refused to pardon him.
However, what makes Al-Zahrani’s case interesting is that the convicted murderer had married his daughter to another convicted murderer on death row in the same prison, Awad Al-Harbi.
The newly married groom now lives in the hope that he may be saved by the generosity of his victim’s family.
Reaction in society to the prison marriage was mixed. Some saw the father’s decision as a good thing, a way to give a friend and fellow prisoner a second chance in life. Others condemned the step and described it as being unfair to one’s daughter.
The marriage fulfills all legal conditions under Saudi law, according to Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Al-Obaikan, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars.
Al-Obaikan said should a woman accept a man on death row after knowing about his situation there is no reason why the marriage should be stopped from happening. When Arab News questioned Al-Obaikan on the girl’s sound judgment considering she is only 15, he said she is considered an adult and therefore eligible to marry.
Al-Obaikan said that a woman could get married and see her husband die soon after, which would be God’s will, and in Al-Awad’s case it would also be God’s will to keep him alive should the victim’s family pardons him.
As for the idea of marriage in Islam being a form of asylum and haven, and whether this condition applies while one of the spouses is in captivity, Al-Obaikan said that if it is a woman’s choice then no one should object.
Ahmad Al-Hariri, a Ph.D. in forensic psychology, said, “In other countries, a 15-year-old is considered a child and cannot be considered an adult until she turns 18.”
He added that even if such a marriage is legal then it is still considered an assault on her humanity and wellbeing.
Al-Hariri said this could not be accepted both socially and psychologically. “After choosing a suitable spouse, starting a family and having children are the natural outcome of marriage and in this case there is no guarantee for such a family to exist and thrive,” said Al-Hariri.
“The overwhelming possibility of the success of this marriage is bleak, and what we see for the future is a widow with orphans,” he added.
“Even if this marriage is legal, it is totally unacceptable on a humanitarian level as it will harm the girl’s interests. Should the Reconciliation Committee’s efforts fail she will loose a husband after having lost her father,” Al-Hariri said.
Big loss. As if she had a choice in the matter. Somehow I doubt she was all gaga over the convicted murderer.
I wish I could find a pic of the newlyweds.
In what is even more shocking two little children were married in Saudi.
How twisted are these people?
AN 11-year-old boy has married his 10-year-old cousin in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Mohammed al-Rashidi and his unidentified cousin would seal the marriage they contracted under the sharia laws of Islam and move in together after a ceremony to take place later this year, Al-Shams newspaper reported today.
“I am ready for this marriage. It will help me study better,” Mohammed, who goes to primary school in the northern province of Hail, was quoted as saying by Al-Shams.
“I invite all my classmates to do like me,” the boy said.
He wanted to “crown a love story through marriage”.
The boy’s father, Muraizak al-Rashidi, told the newspaper he was busy sending out invitations for a celebration to seal the marriage.
Dahim al-Jaber, the headmaster at Mohammed’s school, said marriage at such a young age was “inappropriate” but wished the couple a happy life together.
“inappropriate”? Downright sick! Making the matter worse is the fact that they are cousins. All the more disgusting and wrong. Inbred child marriage.
And they throw hissy fits when civilized people expose their backwards ways.