Hege Storhaug, HRS
Som vi skrev i går, ga to imamer på de britiske øyene sitt samtykke til å gifte bort et jentebarn. En journalist stod bak plottet. Avsløringen får konsekvenser. Ledelsen i moskeen i Peterborough vil granske forholdet, samtidig som imamen suspenderes. I en uttalelse stiller moskéledelsen seg uforstående til imamens holdninger. Merkelig at ledelsen tydeligvis er helt sjokkert og uvitende?
‘The management and members of Peterborough’s Husaini Islamic Centre do not recognise the alleged remarks of Imam Mohamed Kassamali, who is reported to have discussed the possibility of underage marriage in Britain with The Sunday Times.
‘In line with our practice, we are in the process of carrying out a full independent inquiry on this matter.
‘The imam has temporarily stepped aside by mutual consent with the centre while an investigation takes place.
‘A legal, British civil marriage certificate is a prerequisite for any Islamic (Nikah) officially conducted at the Husaini Islamic Centre.
‘We respect the law of the land and since the establishment of the Husaini Islamic Centre, no under legal age marriages have been conducted at the centre, nor will it be allowed.
‘We find the practice of forced marriages to be abhorrent, reprehensible and totally un-Islamic and we support the Forced Marriage Unit, established by the Government, in its attempts to tackle this issue.’
Den andre imamen som helhjertet ga sitt samtykke til å gifte bort et barn, nekter å kommentere saken. Heller ikke moskeens ledelse uttaler seg i sakens anledning, melder Daily Mail
A second imam, retired Abdul Haque, who still officiates at weddings at Shoreditch mosque, East London, reportedly agreed to carry out the ceremony after evening prayers on a Wednesday.
He allegedly told the reporter: ‘Tell people it is an engagement but it will be a marriage.
‘In Islam, once the girl reaches puberty the father has the right, the parents have the right, but under the laws of this country if the girl complains and says her marriage has been arranged and she wasn’t of marriageable age, then the person who performed the marriage will be jailed as well as the mother and father.’
He explained how the Prophet Muhammad had married a seven-year-old girl before adding: ‘We are his followers, and that is what you have to explain (to your daughter).’
UK law lets imams marry consenting under-16s provided they do not have sex until the age of 16.
The Home Office has now confirmed that such ceremonies will be examined in the Government’s forthcoming Bill to outlaw forced marriages.
More than 1,000 of the 8,000 forced marriages of Britons each year are believed to involve girls of 15 or under, with one case last year allegedly involving a girl of five.
After being confronted, Kassamali said he would not have performed the marriage without the girl’s consent and would have sought legal advice. Haque declined to comment.
The Home Office said: ‘Child marriage is totally unacceptable and illegal. Perceived cultural sensitivities and political correctness cannot and will not get in the way of preventing and uncovering such abuse.’