Wednesday, August 27, 2008
One of our Iraqi security operators took the day off yesterday so that he could attend his brother's wedding in a hotel in Baghdad. I asked him how the event went and he said that it was great, even some of the western media showed up for whom his brother works. I asked him, out of curiosity how old his brother was, and he replied 27. Then I asked about the bride, "Oh, she's 14". Huh?!
This is normal here in the Middle East, and you hear stories all of the time of children even younger than that, some as young as 11-years old, being married off to older men. Our co-worker claims that she loves her new husband, his brother, very much. One of the guys retorted that only last week she loved The Magic Pony.
In my opinion the entire practice of child brides is an extreme form of human rights abuse. I'm sorry but I can't give a shit less if the practice has it's roots in some hallowed religion or cultural history, it's a form of child abuse plain and simple. In extreme, but all to common cases, the girls can't take the abuse being doled out by their middle-aged husbands and flee back home to their families, who immediately stone them to death for bringing dishonor to the greater family. If you don't know how someone is stoned to death; they're buried in a hole up to their neck with only their head showing, and then people stand around and hurl big rocks until the person is dead. There's one documented incident of a father wrapping his "run away bride" daughter in bare copper wire and plugging it into the 220 volt socket and walking away.