Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Imam, 41, who wed girl, 11, is facing official investigation

THE secret wedding between a girl aged 11 and a 41-year-old imam is being investigated in Malaysia.
The marriage of the Thai girl, known only as Ayu, and rubber scrap dealer Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid, who already had two wives, went public after one of his spouses complained to police.
Muslim men in Malaysia can have four wives but girls under 16 need consent from the Shariah court and their parents.
Deputy prime minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the marriage had not been approved and she met officials yesterday to discuss the issue.
‘Paedophilia, child exploitation, child pornography — we must be firm on this as children are our responsibility,’ she said.
Photos show the groom holding the girl’s hand after the ceremony. The father-of-six, who lives in a village in north-east Kelantan state, said his marriage was lawful and had been approved by the girl’s parents, who are poor rubber tappers.
He added he will only consummate the marriage when the girl is 16 and she will live with her parents until then. The girl reportedly said she is in love with him.
But Ms. Wan Azizah said officials are investigating whether the parents approved the marriage due to poverty.
She said investigators found the girl, who does not even go to school, had met her husband only twice and her mother had told him she was too young.

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