By Salam Bustanji
In accordance with Shari'a law, a Pakistan court has ruled that men can marry underage girls as long as they have had their first period.
After #Italy decided to bear legal fees to defend Huma Younus, 14-year-old #Catholic bride kidnapped and raped against her will by a Muslim extremist, #Pakistan High Court rules with Shari‘a law:— Melissa Butz (@MelissaNButz) February 6, 2020
Underage girls can be married as long as they have had their first menstrual cycle. https://t.co/m2X36UApwe
The ruling was made by the Sindh High Court in Karachi during a hearing into an alleged abduction, forced conversion and marriage of Huma Younus, a Catholic girl taken from her home on October 10, 2019.
Huma’s mother, Nagheena Younus, told ACN that Christians are not treated as equal citizens in Pakistan after court rules men can marry underage girls if they have had their first period, meaning abducted Huma's marriage was valid. https://t.co/6r82kdLihq— AbolishBlasphemylaws (@EndBlasphemylws) February 5, 2020
The Catholic teen's parents say that she was born on May 22, 2005 and have provided a baptismal certificate and school testimony as evidence that she is 14.
During the hearing, the parents argued that her marriage is invalid in line with the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act, which forbids marriage under the age of 18.
The judges, Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Irshad Ali Shah, ruled that as per Shari'a law, even if Huma was a minor, the marriage between her and her alleged abductor, Abdul Jabbar, would be valid as she had already had her first menstrual cycle.
Underage #Catholic girl Huma Younus & other girls can be married as long as they have had their first menstrual cycle, High Court in #Pakistan ruled. This is so wrong and disgusting! I urge the @EU_Commission and the international community to stop all relationship with Pakistan. https://t.co/oQl1INCGY0— Marijana Petir (@marijana_petir) February 5, 2020
The Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act was passed in 2014 in order to stop forced marriages to minors in the province, primarily of Hindu and Christian girls, where it is prevalent.
However, the new court ruling proves that it was merely an attempt to improve the image of the country in front of the international community.
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