A 16-year-old girl in Morocco killed herself this week after a judge forced her into marriage with the man who raped her, in compliance with Shariah law. Reports Al-Arabiya:
Last year Amina’s parents filed charges against their daughter’s rapist, a man 10 years older than her but it was only recently that a judge in the northern city of Tangier decided that instead of punishing him, the two must be married.
Under Moroccan law, rapists are exonerated if they accede to marrying their victims. The goal, according to certain scholars, is to protect the “honor” of girls who are raped.
Fouzia Assouli, president of the Democratic League for Women’s Rights, told the Associated Press, “We have been asking for years for the cancellation of Article 475 of the penal code, which allows the rapist to escape justice.” The Moroccan government says the law can only be invoked if the girl consents to the marriage – although, as is obvious from this case, girls can be pressured by family into the marriage. This girl was forced to marry despite the fact that the legal age of marriage in Morocco is 18.
It is interesting to note that the so-called Arab Spring has failed to take hold in Morocco, and that there is, as of now, no violent protest in Morocco at this story. Perhaps that’s because the Muslim Brotherhood has vowed to implement Shariah law wherever possible, and has no real quarrel with this situation.