Hundreds protest against child marriage in Lebanon

1 / 4
A Lebanese women hold a placards as they participate in a march against marriage before the age of 18, in the capital Beirut on March 2, 2019. (AFP)
2 / 4
Lebanese demonstrators hold placards as they participate in a march against marriage before the age of 18 in the capital Beirut, on March 2, 2019. (AFP)
3 / 4
Young Lebanese gilrs hold a placards as they participate in a march against marriage before the age of 18, in the capital Beirut on March 2, 2019. (AFP)
4 / 4
A Lebanese woman hold a placard as she participates in a march against marriage before the age of 18, in the capital Beirut on March 2, 2019. The arabic writing on the placard reads "Not before 18". (AFP)
Updated 02 March 2019
0

Hundreds protest against child marriage in Lebanon

  • Some protestors carried placards with slogans reading “Not before 18” and “Stop early marriage”
  • Organized by civil society groups, the rally attracted women of all ages and some lawmakers

BEIRUT: Hundreds protested on Saturday in Lebanon against child marriage, demanding lawmakers forbid unions below the age of 18, in a country where some faiths allow girls to be wed at 14.
Organized by civil society groups, the rally attracted women of all ages — and some lawmakers — who marched on parliament in the capital Beirut, an AFP photographer said.
Some carried placards with slogans reading “Not before 18” and “Stop early marriage.”
Abir Abdel Razeq, a 22-year-old who carried her young daughter in her arms, said that she married at 14.
“I hope that my daughter does not get married early, and that she finishes school — I hope that she will not marry before she is 22,” Razeq said.
The protest came as a bill designating 18 as the minimum age for marriage awaits parliament’s consideration.
Lebanon does not have nationwide laws on marriage and divorce, since these areas are governed by the country’s 18 religious communities.
Elements of both the Muslim and Christian communities allow girls to be married at 14.


Hate preacher Al-Qaradawi gets ‘best seat in house’ at Qatar emir’s banquet

Yusuf Al-Qaradawi pictured with Sheikh Tamim in Qatar Television footage. (YouTube)
Updated 18 min 3 sec ago
0

Hate preacher Al-Qaradawi gets ‘best seat in house’ at Qatar emir’s banquet

  • Appearance came within 24 hours of latest anti-Semitic rant
  • Cleric known for extreme views, including justifying suicide bombings

LONDON: A notorious hate preacher has been pictured at the top table at a Ramadan banquet thrown by Qatar’s emir, pictures on state TV show.

Yusuf Al-Qaradawi — who is known for his extreme views, including justifying suicide bombings and attacks on Jews — was pictured at the iftar reception hosted by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the current emir of Qatar.

In lengthy footage of the reception, Qatar Television shows Al-Qaradawi as apparent guest of honor, sitting next to Sheikh Tamim and chatting cordially with him. Sheikh Tamim apparently kissed Al-Qaradawi, who was sitting in a wheelchair, on the forehead.

Al-Qaradawi’s appearance at the iftar came in the same 24 hours in which he published a vile anti-Semitic rant in a Qatari publication.

It quoted claims that “the straight path is a separate way (for the Muslims); it is not the path of the Jews,” according to the Middle East Media Research Institute. 

David A. Weinberg, Washington Director for international affairs at the Anti-Defamation League, flagged Al-Qaradawi’s appearance in a tweet.

“Fact: In the same 24 hours extremist preacher Yousef Al-Qaradawi published his latest dehumanizing slander against the Jewish people, he was also kissed on the forehead by #Qatar’s ruler and given the best iftar seat in the house, by Tamim’s side & ahead of all other preachers,” he wrote.

Al-Qaradawi has been a guest at such events for several years running, Weinberg said.

Named in Arab News’ series “Preachers of Hate,” Al-Qaradawi has justified suicide bombings, especially in Palestine, has repeatedly spoken out against Jews as a community, and has issued fatwas (religious edicts) that demean women.

On Al Jazeera Arabic in January 2009, he said: “Oh God, take Your enemies, the enemies of Islam … Oh God, take the treacherous Jewish aggressors … Oh God, count their numbers, slay them one by one and spare none.” 

Despite such hate speech, Al-Qaradawi continues to be based in Qatar, where he is given a platform by the government, said a member of the Counter-Extremism Project (CEP), a non-profit organization that combats extremist groups.

“Yusuf Al-Qaradawi remains a vociferous purveyor of Islamist propaganda and bigotry. Rather than condemn his vile rhetoric, the Qatari government continues to provide Al-Qaradawi with a platform and hold him in a place of esteem,” Josh Lipowsky, senior research analyst at the CEP, told Arab News. 

“It is incumbent on the Qatari government to recognize Al-Qaradawi’s hateful propaganda and cease providing him with a safe haven and media platforms.”