Denmark has a big problem with Muslim refugees and their child brides. Now one high-profile Danish Imam is leading the fight to have ‘consent laws’ changed in Denmark to allow child brides as young as 9 years old. Imam Oussama El-Saadi, of the Aarhus mosque in Denmark, said that child brides should be looked at from a “different perspective.”
“It is an extraordinary humanitarian situation, and I think you have to take care of these families. They’re married, and even if the man is twice as old, they have built a family. We have to accept that it is a different culture, and we cannot destroy family life” he told the Danish newspaper Metroxpress.
El-Saadi added, “If you look at the situation in the refugee camps, it is often filled with violence and uncertainty. If your daughter marries early and gets a man, it can give the family a safer situation”.
In January, the Danish Integration Ministry reported that there were 27 child brides living with their much older husbands in the asylum system, but many go unreported as young brides often pose as daughters to avoid the law. Denmark registered 21,000 asylum applications in 2015, making it one of the top EU destinations for refugees after Finland, Austria, Germany, and Sweden. In 2016, the Norwegian government reported that 61 minors were married when they sought asylum in Norway and the youngest was only 11 years old.
A recent UN report on child marriages among Syrian refugees, found that these girls face sexual and domestic abuse, poverty and health problems. Child marriages are an Islamic tradition practiced by Muslims throughout the Middle East and accepted under Sharia Law. Even polls in Western countries show the majority of Muslims support family sanctioned marriages for girls nine years old and up – even in America.