Culture

Some Afghan Evacuees Brought Their Child Brides to the U.S. With Them

(AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

A senior official in Biden’s clueless and chaotic State Department admitted Wednesday that most of the Afghans who actually served as interpreters for U.S. forces, as well as those who applied for Special Immigrant Visas, were left behind in Kabul. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, “the U.S. still doesn’t have reliable data on who was evacuated.” However, there is growing evidence that among the Afghans who have been brought to the United States is a substantial number of human traffickers, who have brought the children they call their wives with them.

The Associated Press reported Friday that “U.S. officials are looking into reports that in the frantic evacuation of desperate Afghans from Kabul, older men were admitted together with young girls they claimed as ‘brides’ or otherwise sexually abused. U.S. officials at intake centers in the United Arab Emirates and in Wisconsin have identified numerous incidents in which Afghan girls have been presented to authorities as the “wives” of much older men.…U.S. officials in the United Arab Emirates have expressed similar concerns, sending a diplomatic cable to Washington warning that some young Afghan girls had been forced into marriages in order to escape Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover.”

One State Department document said that girls were reporting that the older men they had been forced to marry in order to get out of Afghanistan had raped them. And a situation report dated August 27, “Afghanistan Task Force SitRep No. 63,” stated: “Intake staff at Fort McCoy reported multiple cases of minor females who presented as ‘married’ to adult Afghan men, as well as polygamous families. Department of State has requested urgent guidance.”

What kind of guidance State was seeking, and from whom, was unclear, but the dilemma was obvious. AP noted that “the U.S. has strict policies against human trafficking that include prosecutions for offenders and sanctions for countries that don’t crack down on it.” However, CBS News pointed out laconically: “It is not clear how the U.S. would handle the case of an Afghan evacuee found guilty of child trafficking.” Indeed. Deporting such people back to Afghanistan doesn’t seem to be an option. And should the U.S. be so “Islamophobic,” and contravene the principles of multiculturalism so brazenly, as to object to these child marriages?

That question must be asked because as much as State might want to ignore or even deny the fact, child marriage has abundant attestation in Islamic tradition and law. Turkey’s directorate of religious affairs (Diyanet) said in January 2018 that under Islamic law, girls as young as nine can marry. Ishaq Akintola, a professor of Islamic Eschatology and director of Muslim Rights Concern in Nigeria, stated: “Islam has no age barrier in marriage and Muslims have no apology for those who refuse to accept this.” Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-‘Ubeidi, an Iraqi expert on Islamic law, agreed: “There is no minimum marriage age for either men or women in Islamic law. The law in many countries permits girls to marry only from the age of 18. This is arbitrary legislation, not Islamic law.” Dr. Salih bin Fawzan, a prominent cleric and member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, said that there is no minimum age for marriage and that girls can be married “even if they are in the cradle.” Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology ruled: “Islam does not forbid marriage of young children.”

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These authorities say these things because hadiths that Muslims consider authentic record that Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, was six when Muhammad wedded her and nine when he consummated the marriage: “The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)” (Bukhari 7.62.88).

Muhammad was at this time fifty-four years old.

Marrying young girls was not all that unusual for its time, but because in Islam Muhammad is the supreme example of conduct (cf. Qur’an 33:21), he is considered exemplary in this even today.

Other countries make Muhammad’s example the basis of their laws regarding the legal marriageable age for girls. Article 1041 of the Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran states that girls can be engaged before the age of nine, and married at nine: “Marriage before puberty (nine full lunar years for girls) is prohibited. Marriage contracted before reaching puberty with the permission of the guardian is valid provided that the interests of the ward are duly observed.”

In light of all this (and there is much more like it), American officials should be surprised that there have been so few cases of child marriage among the Afghan migrants. But now Biden administration officials should be asked pointed questions about the wisdom of bringing in a large population of people with a value system so vastly different from that of most Americans. Of course, we would need some journalists for that.