9 Year Olds Spark New ‘Arab Spring’ Throughout the Muslim World
Not since the Arab Spring which began in December 2010 has the Muslim world been the focal point of riots, protests and impending civil war. It all began with the marriage of a young Pastun girl called Aysha bint Aziz to a village council man by the name of Mohammad al-Kareem Jaffar. Their marriage caused outrage not because Aysha was 9 years old at the time of marriage and Mohammed 53, but because following the marriage Aysha was unable to register a paypal account under her name so as to purchase a Barbie doll to go along with her favourite toy, a winged horse.
According to Muslim tradition, the Prophet Muhammad married Aysha when she was anywhere between 6 and 9 years old and thereafter consummated their marriage. Muslim Apologists such as Myriam Francois Cerrah have argued that ‘according to some society’s standards women are mature enough to enter the contract of marriage at an earlier age than what would be expected in the social norms of other societies.’ This is the case through much of the Muslim world in which young girls are married to older men in line with authenticated interpretations of Islamic tradition and cultural practices.
However, 9 year olds have routinely lamented that despite being considered mature enough to commit themselves to marriage and be responsible for children that they are barred from participating in the most mundane of tasks. As Aysha explains ‘If we are considered mature enough to be married at the age of 9 then why aren’t we allowed to do other stuff like open a bank account, drive a car or vote?’ This simple question sparked violent unrest throughout the Muslim World which saw the closure of countless pre-schools and a curfew imposed upon all pre-pubescent children.
The anguish that Aysha feels is felt by millions of nine year olds throughout the world. One Pakistani 9 year old who does not wish to reveal her name wrote in her personal blog ‘For too long have we been told that we are mature enough to serve our older husbands and bear their children. Yet we are not considered mature enough to apply for a mortgage, get a steady job as a surgeon or even represent our country in the government. This is a great injustice to us 9 year olds. If we are mature enough to be married at the age of 9 then surely we are mature enough to do other things too. I can’t even watch videos of a ‘mature content’ on youtube simply because I am considered underage’.
Such blogs have resulted in rogue attacks in which husbands who are married to 9 year olds have had their beards shaved off and turbans misplaced. The Ministry of Justice in Egypt has set up a Super Sharia Fatwa Committee in order to deal with the crisis. Shaikh Al-Ashqar had the following advice for old men in their 50’s who are married to 9 year olds: ‘I suggest you keep a supply of Skittles and M&Ms handy so that if you fear reprisals from your young wives that you may allay their discontentment with candy and sweets. I also suggest allowing them to watch Scooby Doo, Tom & Jerry and if need be those dreaded American teenage sitcoms if it preserves the peace at home. If all else fails you may beat your wives with a toothbrush.’ In response to such threats, 9 year olds have organised a rally in which 9 year olds will ride on their tricycles to the capital of their countries and demand change.
Due to its violent nature, the feminist protest group ‘FEMEN’ has disassociated itself with the 9 year old protest movement. Whilst no press release has been issued many analysts suggest this is because the 9 year olds may actually have a legitimate issue to protest against, whereas FEMEN is composed of women who like to take their clothes off.
It is not known how far the 9 year old protests will spread, but already a ‘9 year old Muslim Manifesto’ is circulating the internet calling for such things as the right for 9 year olds to serve in the military, buy a kitten and open up a sweet shop. The underlying message of the manifesto is summed up with the motto: ‘Mature enough to marry, mature enough to do other shit too.’
To the head of the class. Frame it.