“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,” said Sisters in Islam (SIS), responding to remarks by PAS ulama Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali.
Appalled that Mohd Kharuddin would suggest marriage as a preventative measure against statutory rape, SIS said Islam did not allow for underage marriages, more so if it was to the rapist, as marriage was a bond of love, compassion and mutual respect.
“How can there be love and compassion if there is an unfair balance of power between the spouses and a threat of sexual abuse in the marriage?
“In addition, how can there be mawaddah wa rahmah (affection and compassion) when a marriage is solemnised as a way to absolve a criminal act and the guilt of a perpetrator of rape, as the case of Sabah restaurant owner Riduan Masmud, who was granted by the Syariah court to marry his 12-year-old rape victim?” SIS lamented in a statement today.
Mohd Khairuddin said last week that with the rising number of statutory rape cases, marriage was the best solution by Islam to curb the social ill.
He even said parents should encourage the marriage of their children while the government should help through incentives to lessen the burden of couples planning marriage.
“As a Member of Parliament, it is shocking that YB Khairuddin would undermine the severity and emotional trauma experienced by victims of under-age rape cases.
“His statement, which suggests that under-age 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’.
“It is time we viewed 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,” asserted the non-governmental organisation (SIS).
Reminding that Malaysia was a signatory to the Convention of Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) and Child Rights Convention (CRC), SIS said Malaysia, therefore, had an obligation to educate underage girls, instead of focusing on marriage as a solution.