Egyptian cleric calls for early marriage

Sept. 29, 2012 at 3:25 PM

CAIRO, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- A conservative cleric in the constituent assembly drafting the new Egyptian constitution has argued the country should allow girls to marry at 14.

Yassir Barhami, in a television debate Thursday, said Islam allows marriage at even younger ages, Bikya Masr reported.

He said the Koran permits marriage as soon as girls are capable of conceiving children.

"It is permissible for the girl at the age of 9 or 10 to marry," Barhami said.

Barhami is a Salafist, a member of the ultra-conservative wing of Islam.

During the debate Tuesday on Dream TV, he said girls should have an education, but leaving school for early marriage is preferable to "falling into the sin of customary marriage."

Manal al-Taibi, who resigned from the constituent assembly to protest calls for a lower marriage age, said Barhami and his allies want to legalize child rape.

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