One Australian father is in hot water for marrying off his 12-year-old daughter. Now, the father, whose name has not been released to protect the girl’s identity, is facing child abuse charges.
According to Mirror Online, the young girl was married off to a 26-year-old man in an Islamic ceremony that reportedly took place at his Sydney, Australia home. The child’s mother, who is reportedly divorced from the father, asked that he not carry out the ceremony, but to no avail. Although the wedding was not recognized under Australian law, the series of events that took place after the wedding have led to the father’s arrest.
On Wednesday, Apr. 1, the father was reportedly convicted on child abuse charges for procuring a child under the age of 14 for unlawful sexual activity. It has been reported that on the unconventional wedding night, the father encouraged the man to have sex with his daughter.
According to police documents, the unofficial newlyweds went to a hotel following the wedding ceremony at the father’s home. They allegedly had sex for the first time at the hotel. The father is also accused of making “accommodations” for them to have sex again the following weekend at his home. The child had gotten pregnant, but ultimately miscarried, reports Free Malaysia Today.
“He made up a room and bed… for them knowing they would have sexual intercourse,” the judge said.
Although he has been found guilty of the charges, surprisingly, he still stands behind his decision to marry his daughter off. He also justified his actions, by insisting that he’d done his daughter a favor. He felt his actions were quite noble because he made the decision in an effort to save his daughter from the potential sin of having sex outside of marriage, reports Telegraph. However, his explanation insinuates that he actually blames his daughter for his actions.
“These boys started hanging around my daughter, she seemed like she got excited,” he said. “She’s getting all excited and looking at the boys and just like different, a bit scary to me. I never wanted my daughter to get married, at the same time she had reached puberty — it’s a sin to commit sex before marriage.”
“She is 12 years old, 12. You are saying you couldn’t stop a 12-year-old from getting married?” the prosecutor asked.
“That’s right. If Allah says she can get married when something happens then I agree with that. I agree with everything our creator says.”
Surprisingly, the father’s actions have actually sparked a debate online. Of course, most readers condemned the father for his shocking actions. However, some actually felt his intentions were decent, but his method of “protecting his daughter” is quite disturbing. Some readers have even argued that the father shouldn’t be held accountable for his actions since they’re based on religious beliefs.
“This is the correct law for the society. What a father to allow this to happen to his young child? Either he is mentally retarded or he is a pimp.
“We can’t blame the Lebanese man as the mistake was contributed by his religion…! This man committed a barbaric action similar to Prophet Muhammad who too had married a 12 years old girl – Aisha..! This is a classical example of a religion’s (Syaria/Hudud) failure to protect a little girls’s privacy, rights and dignity….! I hope the forward thinking religious scholars will get rid of all provisions of sex slavery from Islam…! No universal rule will fit to justify a man’s barbaric sex desire to victimize an innocent child of 12 years old..!”
“Religious issue aside, biologically at what minimum age a girl can have sexual intercourse? Personally, I think any sexual intercourse notwithstanding of any permissible age without one’s consent is deplorable.”
The 26-year-old husband was recently found guilty of sexual abuse of a child. He is now serving a seven-year prison sentence. The father will also be sentenced in May. However, it has been reported that the local sheikh who performed the ceremony will not face charges.
Do you think the father should face charges for adhering to the beliefs of his religion? Share your thoughts.
[Image via Indiana Public Media]