- A marriage between an 11-year-old girl and a 41-year-old man has sparked public outrage
- The man has been labelled a child predator after he married the young girl as his third wife
Che Abdul Karim, a Malaysian man who married an 11-year-old girl as his third wife has received public criticism. The 41-year-old man had married the teenager at a small wedding in Thailand.
The man who vowed to defend his marriage to the girl despite outrage and criticism from the public, noted that his marriage to her was blessed by the girl's parents. He revealed that they were present at the solemnization ceremony on Monday, June 18.
Karim who is an imam in a rural village, noted that he promised to get his third wife a proper marriage certification once she turns 16. The imam already has two wives and six children who are between age 5 and 18.
It was gathered that Malaysian Muslims are not allowed to marry below age 16 and they need to also obtain the perssion of the Shariah court before marrying anyone.
He said: “I was disappointed with various criticisms and allegations made against me in the social media after I took her as my third wife. I am looking into this matter to pursue a legal action to clear my name from the inaccurate and malicious allegations.”
According to Wan Azizah, the deputy prime minister of Malaysia and minister of women and family development, an investigation has been launched to find out if the imam married his child bride illegally.
DailyMail reported that Wan Azizah revealed that the investigation would also include finding out if the girl's parents approved the marriage due to poverty.
She explained that investigations showed that the teenager who does not attend school was wooed twice, adding that the mother had initially told the man that the girl was to young to get married.
The mother later agreed under the condition that the marriage can only be consumated after she turns 16.
Azizah said: “P@edophilia, child exploitation, child pornography … we must be firm on this as children are our responsibility."
"Our officers have gone to the house and met the girl's mother. We are waiting for more reports before deciding on the next course of action."
Meanwhile, activists urged the Malaysian government to raise the minimum age of child marriages to 18.
Child activist Syed Azmi said: "Marrying a 11-year-old girl is like the behaviour of a child predator or paedophile."
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