Recently Germany was forced to recognize that with unregulated immigration comes new problems. That has resulted in a new problem: a Muslim child bride crisis growing in exponential proportions.
Earlier this week, after finding that there are more than 1,500 immigrant minors, primarily from Syria, with adult spouses in Germany, the government must find ways to assimilate these practices into German culture.
The Daily Caller notes:
“As of July 2016, 1,500 minors of non-German background were registered as married, including 361 under the age of 14.
The largest group of child brides, 664 minors, come from Syria followed by Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Children do not belong at the wedding altar, they belong in school,” Justice Minister Heiko Maas said Wednesday. “We cannot tolerate any marriages that might harm the natural development of minors.”
Schools across the country have warned that young girls frequently stop showing up to school after getting married.
“There are frequently cases where a girl, usually between 13 and 15 years of age, suddenly no longer come to school,” an anonymous teacher told newspaper Welt am Sonntag last August.”
With the marriage of minor females to often much older male spouses, the potential for abuse increases.
Irina Bedawi, an activist in Germany operating under secrecy, has escaped such a marriage. Married as a minor to a 31 year old husband she barely knew, she had 2 children before leaving when he threatened to kill her with a knife. The cost was complete shunning by her family and community to this day.
Bedawi describes what it is to escape such a situation.
“This [is] where they start over again,” Bedawi told me, standing under the bus shelter. “The start of a new life and safe existence.
…The activists help the women find places to stay in one of the safe houses in this and other cities, known in Germany as “women’s houses.” When she meets a young woman at a place like the bus stop, Bedawi said it’s often the case that she is there because her life is in danger.
In the same article, USA Today discusses a legal case in Bamberg. It involved two Syrian refugees living in Germany who sued the government to recognize such a marriage.
“The couple’s lawyer, Birgit NaAmni, told me that she is not in favor of forced marriage. “I’m a mother myself,” she said. But this union between the two young Syrians must be recognized under German law, in part because it is legal under both Syrian law and international law.
“This marriage is OK,” NaAmni said. “Germany is not able, and it’s not possible, to decide about the validity of marriages all over the world, in about 150 countries. So, I have to accept that this marriage, this contract, is OK.”
A group of German lawmakers is worried that this court case might open the door to legal underage marriage. New legislation written by Stephan Harbarth, a member of the German parliament from the Christian Democratic Union, would ban all marriages for people under 18.”
Harbarth told me this should be a simple, straightforward issue. The problem is clear, he said, when you look at some of the legal documents from countries like Syria, where the civil war has pushed many young girls into marriage.
How old is old enough in Germany?
In Germany, the minimum age an individual can legally consent to sexual activity is 14 years old. Ages under 14 are not considered legally old enough to consent to sexual activity. Additionally, in Germany there is statutory rape even if one participant is over 21 and the other is under 14 but the minor must first lodge a complaint.
Germany has decisions to make. To continue to allow mass immigration means the Angela Merkel and her government must decide on child marriage. Will Germans require Syrian and other immigrants to assimilate to German culture, or will German culture accept the practice of child marriage?
If they outlaw child marriage, what will they do with almost 2000 child brides and their children?
Americans must watch Germany and start deciding now. Religious freedom is essential for freedom in America. Where does freedom of religion intersect with the practice of child brides and where should the law decide?
Regardless of the culture of an immigrant, the practice of child marriage in America should be clearly delineated and clarified. Children should be allowed to be children.
This practice should be defined and eliminated in America. However, lawmakers should be careful to not then push these marriages underground, further enabling the abusers and leaving the victims helpless and isolated.