I know, I know, I live in the Seattle area, typically vote Democrat or even *gasp* third party, I was a vegetarian for a while, I'm a proponent for gay rights AND I'm against child marriage. I'm a walking progressive stereotype. Well one man is fighting the good fight so that skeevy old Muslims everywhere can marry kids in the name of their religion. Thank Mighty Atheismo there's someone out there willing to speak up for traditional religious values and traditional religious marriage.
Nigerian group slams trial of senator over child marriage
ABUJA — A Nigerian Islamic group on Tuesday challenged a suit filed by a government agency against a senator, Ahmed Sani Yerima, under fire over his marriage to a 13-year-old Egyptian girl.
The Registered Trustees of Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria is seeking an order of the Federal High Court to restrain any government agency from interfering with the rights of the senator.
Defendants in the suit are the government-backed National Human Rights Commission, National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), and senate president and the speaker of the lower house of parliament.
Investigators of NAPTIP last May questioned Yerima, ex-governor of Muslim-dominated northwest Zamfara State, over the marriage.
Yerima, 49, who provided investigators with an affidavit of marriage from the Sharia Court of Appeal in Abuja, slammed the Nigerian Child Rights Act of 2003 which he said "must have been enacted in error".
The lawmaker said that he and his government had rejected the law -- which forbids marriage to anyone under 18 -- when he was governor between 1999 and 2007.
The Islamic body is seeking court declaration that Yerima's rights to privacy and practise his religion have been violated.
"We are saying that the honourable senator, as a Nigerian, fundamentally as a muslim, (that) the constitution guarantees him the right to practise his religion... the way and manner it is prescribed," the body's lawyer, Etigwe Uwa, told journalists after a court session on Tuesday.
"His religion allows him to marry four wives without restriction on age," he said.
Uwa said the section of the Child Rights Act which forbids marriage of a girl under the age of 18 contravenes the country's constitution which guarantees citizen's rights to practise his religion.
Uwa said a Muslim has the liberty to "even marry a child in the womb of her mother."
Judge Adamu Bello adjourned the case till October 21.
The Nigerian Senate has ordered a probe after the national rights watchdog.
Media reports have alleged Yerima paid a 100,000-dollar dowry before marrying the girl.
He faces 500,000 naira (3,270 dollars, 2,680 euros) fine or five years jail term, or both on conviction, NAPTIP officials said.
This freedom of religion bullshit is getting out of control. No. Your freedom of religion does not make it OK for you to marry children. Not in the womb, not when they're 13, not ever. Freedom of religion does not trump basic human rights, and I think the right for a kid to grow up before being bought and made to be some gross old man's wife is pretty fundamental. Now, before all you Jesus lovers start in on how terrible Muslims are and how this very behavior discredits their religion (but not yours) - how is this any different than the Catholic church trying to avoid legal responsibility for the child abuse scandal? I would say moving those priests around and pressuring the kids not to say anything and, oh yeah, trying to seek immunity from being held legally responsible for the abuse in the US is pretty similar to a guy wanting the religious freedom to marry a child. In fact, I'd say the Muslim has more balls because at least he's being open about it.
And that seems to be the Christians main issue with the Muslims. Their tenacity. Their transparency. They have no shame in the archaic and socially reprehensible demands of their religion. Christians are sneaky and two faced about their desire for special treatment. The fundamental ones, like the Phelps, seem to come the closest to real faith and belief and adherence to Christianity as it's written in the supposedly holy book and everyone else dislikes it because it's ugly and cruel. That's what religion is. Religion is the good and the worthless, the saved and the damned, the chosen and the cast offs. It's not hugathons and canned food drives and feeling all high on Jesus at Christmas and Easter, it's segregation, slavery, rape, torture, and simplistic caste system of the ones who are righteous and everyone else, who is essentially kindling for the endless fires of hell.
That's why we need to stop regarding freedom of religion as some greater or more sacred freedom than everything else. Freedom of religion does not mean that Christians have the right to discriminate against gays. Freedom of religion does not give adults the right to be child molesters. Religious rights do not trump other rights and it's time we rational, logical, socially responsible people stopped being afraid of the inevitable social backlash and started making some real noise in saying so.