Saudi Cleric Advocates Burkas for Babies to Prevent Abuse Updated

The cleric issued a "fatwa" or legal ruling on the issue of protecting babies from abusers

Saudi cleric Sheikh Abdullah Daoud's comments on child abuse and Islam are raising eyebrows this week, with his "fatwa" issued 2 years ago surfacing.

A fatwa is a legal ruling issued by a cleric, which in this case refers to having babies and children cover up.

In an interview with the Islamic al-Majd TV channel, the cleric stressed that babies and little girls should be forced to wear a burka, or a veil covering their face, in order to protect them from abuse.

Jihad Watch quotes a marriage officiant that speaks for marrying girls as young as 1 year old, as long as the relationship is not consummated until a later date.

"There is no minimal age for entering marriage. You can have a marriage contract even with a one-year-old girl, not to mention a girl of nine, seven, or eight. This is merely a contract [indicating] consent.

"The guardian in such a case must be the father, because the father's opinion is obligatory. Thus, the girl becomes a wife," says Dr. Ahmad Al-Mu'bi.

He also brings in question prophet Muhammed's marriage to six-year-old Aisha, with whom he only started a physical relationship when she was 9 years old.

According to Al Arabiya News, the comment has prompted the backlash of fellow Saudis, who are appalled by the concept.

Many do not agree with the radical proposal for baby burkas. Former judge at the Saudi Board of Grievances Sheikh Mohammad al-Jzlana dubs the fatwa insulting.

It was "denigrating to Islam and Shariah and made Islam look bad," he said.

"Now the baby victims are blamed for men’s crimes," adds Twitter user Masleeza Othman.

Huffington Post notes that the cleric's suggestion is not even accepted under the hadith, a set of moral regulations imposed by the prophet Muhammed. However, the same guidelines oblige girls to cover their heads and bodies once they reach puberty.

[Update, February 18 2013]: The article erroneously states that the prophet Allah married 6-year-old Aisha. As one of our readers notes in the comments section, the fact refers to prophet Muhammad.

We have also corrected any other errors that you have pointed out. We thank you for your input, and please don't forget to leave your opinion and comments below.

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