Free Essay On Forced Marriages In Islamic States
There is no consent in a forced marriage. Typically it can be seen that a young woman will be shipped overseas or over great distances to marry another who has not given consent. This can cause great psychological and emotional harm to those involved.2 In fact contrary to what some cultures believe and practice, it states in the Quran, one of the most devout and treasured books in all of Islam, that a woman ought not to be taken against her will, that she should be treated appropriately and be allowed to give consent to a marriage.3
The main issue when discussing human rights within Islam is not political in nature, but rather a civil and cultural matter. Women in Islam culture are at this point still considered far below their male counterparts but are working slowly to gain influence, a voice in other words amongst males. Cultural norms keep this from happening however, forcing the women into subservience and more traditional roles.
In general most of Islam has been widely resistant to the subject of human rights, remaining culturally isolated in a way, particularly when it comes to practices that the rest of the world does not see as acceptable. Forced marriage to the rest of the world is more than just a criminal act, it is a denial of the basic freedoms that every living being is born with, the right to choose and the right to be their own person. Forced marriage is, within Islam, not accepted but at the same time treated almost like a dirty, ill-kept secret that they condemn but don’t wish to acknowledge.
Yet for all that religion and culture says not to, the heinous act of forced marriage continues, regardless that it is all but outlawed in some areas, or masked by the term “arranged marriage”. While many women, girls as well, do not report for fear of being victimized even further, it has been seen that small countries that remain neutral or otherwise differently allied from Islamic states are often subjected to horrendous crimes, among them being forced marriages of young girls to enemy soldiers.4 While it is certain death to deny the marriage, either for the girl, her family, or both, it is undeniably a hardship that the girl must live with and withstand until such time as she can find her way free of her husband. It states quite clearly in the Quran that if a woman is forced into marriage that she has the right to divorce herself from her husband, a relief it would seem for those who cannot abide their current standing.
Within Islam it is not allowed for forced marriages to occur, as this is considered an egregious sin and in no way indicative of their culture.5 Even though such a belief and the utter condemnation of the practice has not abolished its use, the overall belief is that there must be consent on either side for a marriage to be allowed, and that arranged marriages are the preferable way to consummate a relationship. Marrying for love is not completely abhorred, but is seen as sinful if the man and woman live together before they are wed.
In the nation of Islam, a forced marriage is almost the same as no marriage.6 While some Muslim cultures still practice this barbaric and forceful act, the common belief is that it is a criminal endeavor, a means of controlling a woman against her will rather than allowing a relationship to flourish as it must. However as much of a criminal act as it is, there is no set decision on how forced marriage can be enforced, if at all.
A great fear as well as a reality lies in the fact that the act of forced marriage is undeniably real, but goes unreported by women in order to avoid punishment for their disobedience. This makes it increasingly difficult for law enforcement to do anything but deliberate upon the matter and continue to grow frustrated as more and more women are subjected to this cruel treatment. But that is not the only concern.
Without pointing fingers or hurling accusations one also needs to consider that even if arranged marriages are allowable thanks to consent and to the willingness of both parties, they are times strikingly familiar to forced marriages. Consent is given by both parties, but the reasoning behind this could be just as suspect as a forced marriage in that a woman will give her word because she knows of how a refusal will harm her family or their status. In truth this is a way to make a marriage more appealing and more acceptable, not necessarily happy.
Bari, Muhammad Abdul. (2012). Forced marriage is criminal, but criminalising it is not the best
solution. Aljazeera. Retrieved from
Can A Woman Be Forced Into Marriage In Islam? (2015). Women in Islam and Christianity.
Ghisa, Shaykh Muhammad Salim. (2005). What Does Islam Say About Forced/Arranged/Love/
Secret Marriages? The Revival. Retrieved from
Forced Marriage. (2011). Muslim Women’s Network UK. Retrieved from
Iraq: Forced Marriage, Conversion for Yezidis. (2014). Human Rights Watch. Retrieved from
Zuberi, Henna. (2011). Arranged Marriage is not Forced Marriage. Muslimmatters.org.