Sisters in Islam (SIS) has slammed Kuala Nerus MP Khairuddin Aman Razali for making a "mockery" of Islam by proposing marriage as a solution to statutory rape.
"It is a mockery to Islam to say that the solution to statutory rape lies within the religion, which is to marry off children at a young age. Islam does not allow for underage marriages, especially if it is to the perpetrator himself, that is the underage girl’s rapist.
"Marriage in Islam is about love, compassion, mutual respect and mutual responsibility between husband and wife - it is a union of mawaddah wa rahmah (love and affection)," it said in a statement today.
The NGO added that it is shocked that such proposal can come from a MP.
SIS said that marriage should not be used as a way to absolve the criminal act of statutory rapists.
"As a MP, it is shocking that Khairuddin would undermine the severity and emotional trauma experienced by victims of underage rape cases.
"His statement, which suggests that underage rape cases are mostly cases of ‘suka sama suka’ (consensual) is both irresponsible and misleading as rape can never be consensual even if an underage girl does not explicitly say no, thus the term ‘statutory rape’," said SIS.
It pointed out that under Section 375 of the Penal Code, sexual act is defined as statutory rape when a victim under the age of 16 is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.
"It is time we view rape as a crime that it actually is and a violation of human rights.
"Rape is a despicable act that is sinful in Islam and cannot be awarded with marriage.
"It is to the detriment of rape victims and also society at large to mitigate the severity of statutory rape crimes by encouraging early marriage as the solution," it said.
SIS added that Malaysia is a signatory to the Convention of Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Child Rights Convention (CRC).
"Malaysia has an obligation to ensure that underage girls get access to higher education and achieve her potential instead of focusing on marriage as a solution to statutory rape cases, especially if it is a marriage to the very criminal that has destroyed her life," it said.