CAIRO: An Egyptian cleric and member of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting Egypt’s new constitution has said that girls 14-years-old are permitted to have sexual relations under Islam and has proposed reducing the marriage age limit as a result.
“It is permissible for the girl at the age of 9 or 10 to marry,” Yassir Barhami said in discussing a woman’s sexual reproduction and his interpretation of Islam.
The Salafist – ultra-conservative – preacher claimed that under Islam when a girl begins to ovulate she is ready for marriage.
He added during a television debate on Dream TV last Tuesday that “marriage of a girl would not be a supplement for education,” but added that it “was better” to marry a girl young “than falling into sin with customary marriage.”
The cleric cited the Qur’an in arguing that any girl who is menstruating should be married and begin having children.
At the same time of advocating the marriage age be dropped to 14-years-old, he argued that the Salafist Constituent Assembly is also pushing for a law that denies “slavery against women” in the new constitution.
Manal al-Taibi, a now resigned member of the Constituent Assembly, said that this call is the promotion of child marriage and is akin to rape.