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Imam who backs child marriage should be banned from Holland: MPs

Tuesday 06 December 2011

MPs on Tuesday called for a controversial imam, or Muslim religious leader, to be banned from the Netherlands because of his support for the marriage of young girls.

Mohamed al-Maghraoui caused a storm in Morocco in 2008 when he published a fatwa - or religious edict - saying it is acceptable for girls to marry at the age of nine. He is due to attend a five-day conference later this month to celebrate the opening of an extension to the As Soennah mosque in The Hague.

PvdA MP Kadija Arib called on the authorities to refuse a visa to Al-Maghraoui, a call echoed by other MPs from across the political spectrum. 'He should not be welcome,' VVD MP Pim van Strien is quoted as saying.


Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam PVV, said the mosque should be closed down if Al-Maghraoui is allowed to speak.

However, Tofik Dibi, a parliamentarian for the left-wing green party GroenLinks, said the visit should go ahead. 'His visit is an opportunity for free-thinking Muslims to break through this sort of man's position of power,' Dibi said.

'It is encouraging to see how many Muslim-Dutch people are giving this man the cold shoulder rather than a warm welcome on social media websites,' the MP told news agency ANP.


According to the Volkskrant, the mosque itself has been at the centre of controversy for carrying out Muslim marriages and giving a platform to radical preaching.

Al-Maghraoui's fatwa led to the Moroccan authorities closing down his schools. He eventually fled to Saudi Arabia. The fatwa was also condemned by Moroccan religious leaders.

Al-Maghraoui justified the marriage of nine year old girls by referring to Mohammed consummating his marriage to Aisha when she was that age.

© DutchNews.nl

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Readers' comments (16)

I completely agree, this guy has strange ancient ideas about society aparently. But then so does Geert Wilders - and he is not banned from the Netherlands!

By Bill | December 6, 2011 3:03 PM

Quote "Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam PVV, said the mosque should be closed down if Al-Maghraoui is allowed to speak". Hey Mr Wilders, where is your, fake, freedom of speech?. Oh yeah, stupid me, its only freedom of speech when YOU insult the muslims claiming its just freedom. What a hypocrite!!!

By WackedUpWorld | December 6, 2011 4:10 PM

Sorry, but i forgot to mention that i am against what that imam is saying, but its not the issue itself but the reactions from Mr Wilders which urged me to reply.

By WackedUpWorld | December 6, 2011 4:12 PM

i think that it's more important and urgent that wilders and his friends from SGP and VVD bans the hundreds of priets that rappef thousands of nederlanders in NL chuches!

By john.van.nl | December 6, 2011 4:20 PM

So Mohammed consummating his marriage to Aisha when she was 9 years old makes it all above board and legal? Which century was this?!!

What ever happened back then, be it true or just a fable, has no relevance in our 2011 society, nothing at all! What is the point of building spaceships, and then going back in the past to adopt 7th century ideas? I fail to see the logic, anyone?

By The visitor | December 6, 2011 5:37 PM

The beauty of freedom of speech is that other people get to know the positive or negative thinking of others. Let that Imam see his 9yr old girl handed off in marriage then....Very soon some of these our leaders will say we should run around naked since it is assumed that the early man did so..What a world of free speech?

By Kojo | December 7, 2011 8:39 AM

@the visitor

I was taught by my church virgin marry got pregnant with Jesus at age 12?!

Wasn't that too young for mother of God?

By david | December 7, 2011 9:05 AM

How then about Dutch(wo)men advocating gay marriage: should they be banned as well from islamic countries?

By janDeFietser | December 7, 2011 6:08 PM

Sure, those were very different times then ours---puberty was reached earlier, people aged and died earlier (on the average) Among moslem scholars the age of "nine" is interpreted sometimes as nine years after they were engaged...so Aïsha was around 14---never mind this or that, aren't our teens in our modern society have sexual experiences very early too? Back then they were put into marriage, so we have to look at this in the proper socio-cultural context.

By BBeshara | December 7, 2011 8:23 PM

Some centuries ago in Europe too, and in all social classes, Christians allowed marriage of 12 and 14 y.o. girls,provided parental consent. Not that long ago girls were married in their late teens, and nobody thought much of it, many of them to a lot older men...I am not saying it was great or ideal, but we should know our historical facts a bit better. And sure, Mr.Wilders can have freedom of speach, why not others? Let this Immam meet his own peers, and he will soon find out that not too many share his views

By BBeshara | December 7, 2011 8:30 PM

@BBeshara: the imam is not Dutch, and not from any European country. Therefore, the Netherlands has a right to determine, at its own discretion, whether he can enter or not. There is no "worldwide right to come to the Netherlands".

By Andre L. | December 8, 2011 6:13 AM

@David. There is no age for Mary mentioned in the Bible - what you have been 'taught' is an interpretation by your teacher, or your teacher's teacher.

Of course, ALL relgious books are just interpretations too, none written directly by 'the man himself' - that's why priests, rectors, imams, rabbis all have jobs, exerting societal control.

BBeshara, and what if this guy convinces just one person at that mosque to pack up his pre-teen daughter and give her to some pervert grandfather back in Pakistan, Afganistan, etc? Is free speech worth ruining a girl's life for? No - this guy is already on the run from his own country: the Dutch should return him to Morocco immediately.

By osita | December 8, 2011 7:35 AM

@osita: No one needs bible itself to ascertain mother of God's age. But it is well mentioned and very well known Virgin Marry was 12 when she got pregnant and Jesus and gave birth to him at age 13.

It is like Jacob's wives, he had 11. Was he a polygamist? :)

By david | December 8, 2011 11:10 AM

@ David: It is one thing to' Believe', and another to 'Know': The proclaimed 'Virgin Mary' was just one of many virgin births during that time, so history tells us.

Girls still play with Barbee dolls when they're 9 years old, not with men in their 30's!

By The visitor | December 8, 2011 1:48 PM

History shows that people like Alxander the great was quite young, clepatra, peole didnt waste time waiting to reach some age in the 20.s to lose virinity. People were lucky to grow that old. Why are men and women virile so young? 9 may be young but i met a 10 year old who bragged of doing it for the last year. Totally prepubesent as was i. I didn't even know what to do! and never did anthing. Just an experience.

By James Woodruff | December 8, 2011 9:34 PM

Men?who have sex with children are called -pedaphiles,regardless of race or religion.

By valda p | December 12, 2011 10:56 AM

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