It is of course a major issue of public discourse these days that the Catholic church has long systematically covered up child rape in the interests of the organisation’s public image. But to my knowledge, nobody has attempted to justify the rapes with reference to Catholic religious doctrine. The church’s attitude has roughly been “We think this is really nasty behaviour, but more importantly we don’t want any bad press”.

In Nigeria, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to marry. But senator Ahmad Sani Yerima, 49, is under investigation for taking a girl as his fourth wife when she was allegedly 13 years old. He is said to have paid a dowry of $100,000 for her. Sani is an Islamist who, as governor of Zamfara state, oversaw the introduction of Sharia law there in 1999.

Sani denies that the girl was only 13 but agrees that she was under 18. However, he is not concerned with secular Nigerian law on this issue, which may strike the reader as odd given that the man is a member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Nigeria. Said Sani to the BBC, “I don’t care about the issue of age since I have not violated any rule as far as Islam is concerned … History tells us that Prophet Muhammad did marry a young girl as well. Therefore I have not contravened any law. Even if she is 13, as it is being falsely peddled around.”

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Comments

  1. #1 Phillip IV
    May 2, 2010

    I think we’re moving closer to the point where we can define a comprehensive common denominator for all of the Abrahamic religions. Currently we have:

    1. There is only one god.
    2. He created the Universe.
    3. He is omnipotent and omniscient.
    4. He doesn’t like women and gay people.
    5. He wants you to stick your dick in the youngest hole you can get your hands on.

    There are also things about love and compassion, but they come with so many exemptions that they’re really not worth mentioning.

  2. #2 Luna_the_cat
    May 3, 2010

    As far as I am aware, although there are a few [very] basic protections, it is also in the secular Nigerian national constitution that men have the absolute right to administer beatings to women and children “to correct them” as long as it is “within reason.” (To my mind, beating women isn’t within reason full stop, but I am obviously not in tune with this mentality.)

    It’s not a great country to be female. At all.

  3. #3 Martin R
    May 3, 2010

    Mostly poor benighted bastards, sub-Saharan Africa. And it never seems to get any better. )-: