The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is giving its stamp of approval for criminal practices, such as paedophilia. Crimes that victimize children must not be tolerated. The European Court of Human Rights does not deserve its name. Pictured: A court room of the ECHR in Strasbourg, France. (Image source: Djtm/Wikimedia Commons)
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) recently ruled that referring to the Islamic Prophet Mohammed's marriage to a 9-year-old as paedophilia is "beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate."
As Judith Bergman explained in the wake of the October 25, 2018 judgement, which was handed down seven years after "free speech and anti-jihad activist, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, was convicted by an Austrian court of 'denigrating religious symbols of a recognized religious group'":
"Sabaditsch-Wolff was ordered to pay a fine of 480 euros and the costs of the proceedings. The Vienna Court of Appeal upheld the decision... Sabaditsch-Wolff then appealed... to the European Court of Human Rights. She stated that her right to freedom of expression, safeguarded in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, had been violated."
According to the recent ECHR ruling, Article 10 had not been violated. Furthermore, it stated that the Austrian court that convicted Sabaditsch-Wolff had "served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace in Austria."
Even more shocking than ignoring the whole point of freedom of expression by talking about "preserving religious peace" was the ECHR's defense of the Austrian court for stating that that "child marriages were not the same as pedophilia, and were not only a phenomenon of Islam, but also used to be widespread among the European ruling dynasties."
The problem here is the word "were" -- as though child marriages in Islam are a thing of the distant past. In fact, such unions continue to be sanctioned by Muslim religious authorities in many countries across the world.
According to the famous Saudi Arabian mufti, Sheikh Ibn Baz, there is nothing wrong with a girl of 9, 10 or 11 getting married, as Aisha was 7 when she wed the Prophet Mohammed, and "only" began having sex with him when she was 9.
The Qatar-based Egyptian theologian, Yusuf al-Qaradawi -- chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars -- has confirmed that the Quran is clear about a girl being able to marry prior to reaching puberty, as long as her husband refrains from having sex with her until she begins menstruation, just as the Prophet Mohammed did when he married Aisha.
Sheikh Saeed Numan, an Egyptian cleric at Cairo's Al-Azhar University, the largest and most important religious educational institution in the Sunni world, recently went as far as to say that a girl can be married well before the age of 9 -- even, "according to the Quran," when still in her mother's womb.
Child marriage exists today in more than 100 countries, including in the West.
Take, for instance, Germany. As Soeren Kern recently wrote:
"The Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH), Germany's highest court of civil and criminal jurisdiction, has ruled that a new law that bans child marriage may be unconstitutional because all marriages, including Sharia-based child marriages, are protected by Germany's Basic Law (Grundgesetz).
"The ruling, which effectively opens the door to legalizing Sharia-based child marriages in Germany, is one of a growing number of instances in which German courts are — wittingly or unwittingly — promoting the establishment of a parallel Islamic legal system in the country."
It is important to note, however, that not all Islamic scholars consider child marriage legitimate, even from a Quranic standpoint. One such researcher is Islam Bahiri, who views the nuptials of young girls as rape. Bahiri has even refuted the assertion that Mohammed's wife, Aisha, was 9; he claims that she was actually 18.
It is a shame that voices such as Bahiri's are being drowned out in the West, not only by fundamentalist Islamists but by liberal apologists -- and courts. They are evidently more fearful of being called "Islamophobic" than they are of protecting the victims of radical Islamism. It is possibly this fear that leads to the curbing of free speech for all of, as in the case of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff in Austria.
The recent ECHR ruling against Sabaditsch-Wolff for speaking her mind about Mohammed's marriage to a little girl is not merely a slap in the face to freedom of expression in an academic sense. It also serves to keep silent all those Muslims who are physically and mentally victimized by the practices sanctified in the Quran and by those adopting only the strictest interpretation of Quranic texts. In so doing, the court is giving its stamp of approval for criminal practices, such as paedophilia. Crimes that victimize children must not be tolerated. The European Court of Human Rights does not deserve its name.
Saied Shoaaib is a Muslim writer and researcher, specializing in Islamic movements. He is so-author of the recently published book, SUBMISSION: The Danger of Political Islam to Canada – With a Warning to America, written with co-authors Tom Quiggin, Tahir Gora, Jonathon Cotler, and Rick Gill with a foreword by Raheel Raza. The book is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle versions. His Email: firstname.lastname@example.org