Child marriages denounced by Turkey's religious directorate’s head

Child marriages denounced by Turkey's religious directorate’s head

ANKARA – Cihan News Agency
The head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, Mehmet Görmez, has denounced child marriages, saying that searching for historical evidence of such marriages in Islam harms both minors and Islam.

“The issue of child brides is being discussed. If the girl doesn’t have maternal capacity, and is being forced to marry an older man by her family without her consent, how can one discuss the issue separate from Islam? Those who attempt to find evidence of such mercilessness in Islam are doing an injustice both to this religion and to the girl. This is why it is necessary for us to discuss these issues again and share them with society,” said Görmez, speaking at an Ankara training seminar for personnel who provide religious support in the social services.

He said it was “unacceptable” to mention the Prophet Muhammad’s life when a family attempts to forcefully marry their minor daughter in exchange for money, or when one attempts to abuse a girl.

Görmez also denounced cases of child abuse. “If the apocalypse of this age is near, child abuse will be one of the major reasons for this. Who can think that the fight against child abuse is separate from religious service?” he said.

Touching on the issue of violence against women, he described honor crimes as a tradition from the pre-Islamic “age of ignorance.”