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It was an emblematic incident: the News Agency of Nigeria reported Wednesday that “the Chief Imam of the Nasrul-lahi-li Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), Abdul Azeez Onike, says Islam supports underage marriage.” Onike said thus at a press conference launching his new initiative, “Ending Violence Against Women and Girls,” which was “organised by NASFAT with support from UNICEF.” Is UNICEF troubled by Onike’s support for child marriage? Not enough to keep from working with him. This was yet another example of the abject failure of global “human rights” organizations to confront the uncomfortable fact of why child marriage is so common in some areas of the world: because it is sanctioned in Islam. Onike himself made this clear, insisting “that the Islamic scripture was clear about marriage” and calling for people to refer to Islamic texts “instead of using contemporary standards” to determine whether or not child marriage was an acceptable practice. Numerous Islamic authorities worldwide attest to this. Turkey’s directorate of religious affairs (Diyanet) said in January 2018 that under Islamic law, girls as young as nine can marry.

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