Majority of Muslims in Kerala want to reduce marriage age for Muslim girls to 14

September 26, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

kerala muslim weddingKochi, September 24, 2013: Some influential Muslim groups (includes partner of the current ruling front in Kerala) in Kerala have decided to approach the Supreme Court to get marriageable age of girls in the community lowered from 18 and they claim that the marriage age is not stipulated in their scriptures. They want the age to be lowered to 14.

However, political leaders and women’s organization cutting across political and religious lines have strongly criticized the move.They fear this retrograde step may undermine the demographic graph and also force majority competitive fundamentalism. They say the move as a backward step that would harm the interests of the community in general and women in particular.

The move is a conscious attempt by vested interests to restrict the freedom of women by sabotaging their education and social advancement and economic self-reliance, they warn.

Nine Muslim religious outfits had met in Kozhikode a week ago and resolved to approach the apex court to seek an exemption for their women, arguing that setting a minimum age limit went against Muslim Personal Law.

The decision came soon after a controversy sparked by the marriage and divorce of a 17-year-old girl by a man from United Arab Emirates.

Earlier, Kerala’s Social Welfare Department had made an aborted move through a circular to validate the marriage of Muslim girls above 16 years of age.

The department withdrew the controversial circular after most political and social organizations protested, alleging that such an order was issued to appease orthodox sections in the community.

Reacting to the plan to approach the apex court, leader of Congress’ women’s outfit Shanimol Usman said they would accept any move without considering the social, mental and physical factors of women.

“There is no reference about marriage age in Holy Quran. But it strongly advocates that community men are responsible to follow laws prevailing in various countries,” she told the Press Trust of India.

“It is a fact that nobody can demand a change in the existing marriageable age by quoting Quran. Misinterpretations and misquoting of Quran can create problems,” she said


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