Monday, October 18, 2010

"Misfar" Marriages = Slavery and Abondonment

Nearly 1,000 known children have been abandoned in Egypt by their Saudi fathers. Why? Because they are the children of Misfar marriages.

A Misfar marriage is essentially a tourist marriage of an Islamic man to a woman while he travels in a foreign country. The general purpose of these marriages is for sex. These women are often divorced with 1-4 weeks of the marriage, because the men fear what their families will say back in Saudi Arabia. Here is what makes this such a sad case of modern slavery.

1. Most of the Egyptian and Saudi-Filipino girls being married are younger than 16 years old.
2. The fathers of these girls are paid up to $4,000 Egyptian pounds to sell their daughters for a Misfar marriage. This is essentially high-priced prostitution.
3. Many become pregnant during the short marriage.
4. Many are disowned by their families after the facts of the Misfar marriage are made public, even though it was arranged by the guardian or father.

Women of these Misfar marriages have been advised to register their children so they will be recognized and the father can be forced to pay child support. Sadly, this does not always happen. There are reported to be over 900 abandoned children from Misfar marriages, but the numbers could be much higher.

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, has spoken publicly against Misfar and Mutaa marriages to fulfill lustful desires. He said, "Traveling abroad to marry with the intention of divorcing upon return is not permitted in Shariah, and such acts would have detrimental effects on society, women and children from such unions."

I couldn't agree with the Grand Mufti more. It doesn't matter which race or religion you come from, but the practice of buying brides for sex is just high-priced sex slavery. Abandoning your children is an equal atrocity that carries extreme consequences on a society.

More needs to be done to defend these daughters and to hold the parents and "husbands," if I can even use that word, responsible. Under the law, the husbands can be punished and the children must be recognized and receive assistance from the father. As is the case with most forms of modern slavery, awareness and justice through prosecution are essential if changes are to occur.


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