A Malaysian cleric said that marriage is the best solution for statutory rape
The Sisters In Islam group has expressed outrage at his comments, calling them irresponsible and misleading. (Twitter)
A cleric in Malaysia has sparked outrage after claiming that the best fix for statutory rape is marriage. Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said that parents should encourage their children to get married because “marriage is the best solution provided by Islam in curbing this social ill,” local media reports.
He added that dress codes and social interaction rules based on Islamic guidance should be focused upon in schools.
The non-governmental organisation Sisters In Islam disputed his comments, saying that it "is a mockery to Islam to say that the solution to statutory rape lies within the religion, which is to marry off children at a young age.”
The cleric had reportedly suggested that over half of the cases of rape in recent years had been statutory, and of that number most had been consensual.
“His statement, which suggests that underage rape cases are mostly cases of ‘suka sama suka’ (consensual) is both irresponsible and misleading as rape can never be consensual even if an underage girl does not explicitly say no, thus the term ‘statutory rape’, Sisters In Islam said in a statement.
In Malaysia, the legal age of consent is 16. Civil law states that the minimum age to get married is 18 for both genders, however Muslims are able to marry at a younger age if they have permission from a Sharia court.