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April 13th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Saudi judge refuses to annul marriage of 8-year-old girl

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Last week in the Cafferty File we told you about a new Afghan law that legalizes rape. This week's outrage story comes courtesy of another one of our allies in the Mideast, Saudi Arabia - where a judge has refused for a second time to annul a marriage between an eight-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man.

The Saudi girl pictured here (unrelated to this particular news item) buys a soft drink as her mother waits for her in the city of Jeddah.

The same judge rejected a petition back in December from the girl's mother, who was trying to get a divorce for her daughter. A relative of the girl tells CNN that the Saudi judge says he's sticking by his earlier verdict, and that the girl can petition the court for a divorce once she reaches puberty.

The mother's lawyer says that it was the eight-year-old girl's father who arranged the marriage in order to settle his debts with the man. The judge required the girl's husband to sign a pledge that he wouldn't have sex with her until she reaches puberty. Right.

Child marriage is a controversial topic in the Saudi kingdom. Human rights groups have been calling on the government to pass laws that would protect young girls. But the country's top cleric says it's okay for girls as young as 10 to get married.

This stuff is beyond sick. But there isn't much the U.S. can do or say... is there? We're completely dependent on Saudi Arabia's oil. Saudi Arabia - the country that gave us many of the 9/11 hijackers and a place where it's alright for grown men to marry children.

Pretty disgusting.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when a Saudi judge refuses to annul a marriage between an 8-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Linda writes:
How disgusting. Women’s rights and even their lives are at risk in those totally backward, cave-dwelling countries. Oh, and by the way, it is done in the name of religion. I know that the Good Lord did not intend for this to happen to children. But, let's just keep buying that oil and bowing to the Saudis and all the other cave dwellers!

Dan from Chantilly, Virginia writes:
This is why we have separation of church and state. When you mix religion and politics, everybody loses. In a perfect world, religion would be a source of morality. In the real world, it's a source of justification for immoral acts.

Ron writes:
It means that the U.S. has no say whatsoever in the affairs of another sovereign nation. We may not like situations like this but it’s none of our business. We also don't need to look beyond our borders to find these types of arranged marriages. Have we so soon forgotten about Warren Jeffs and his ranch?

Samir from Florida writes:
As a Muslim, I am disgusted. Muslims keep trying to improve our image with all that is going on, but it is an uphill battle.

Lou writes:
It means that for all our bellyaching about what a mess we are as Americans right now, the truth is we do a lot of things right. Democracy and freedom look pretty good when faced with crazy stories like this one.

Stacy writes:
Maybe Obama should bow to the King a couple of more times and see what we can get!

JD from New Hampshire writes:
If this story doesn't make you want to use solar power, wind power and anything else other than Middle East oil, I don't know what will. It's sick and sad and if we weren't at their mercy for our energy needs we might be able to squawk about it and make a difference. We're as powerless as the little 8-year-old girl.


Filed under: Saudi Arabia
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Madge

    Pretty disgusting is right. We're under a misconception that the Saudis are our "friends". They are not. They are our business associates. We are friendly in the sense you would be friendly to those you do business with, but rarely would you ask them over for BBQ.

    I don't see any way we can effect their policies in any matter concerning women and children. It's a centuries old practice they will not change. The only thing I see positive is that the mother of this child is fighting for her. SHE knows it's wrong. Maybe one day enough men in that culture will stand against it. That's the only way I can see change.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  2. Gene

    What does it mean? It means that the Saudi's are still living in a society where women are just property and even female children are as good as cattle.

    I wonder what would happen if we let just the women from countries like this come over as refugees?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  3. Paul Fernald

    It is hard to believe that there is a country where pedaphiles are protected by law. And it is harder to believe that we can sell our morality for oil. Doesn't seem to measure up to what this country is supposed to stand for.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  4. Dan Sczepanski, New York

    It is disgusting, all I can say.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  5. Andrew

    Jack, this ruling is a violation of the sharia and the word of the Koran, in addition to being a violation of international law and simple human dignity. We've been so busy the past 8 years ripping on Iraq and North Korea, yet until now no one has really singled out our even bigger enemies: China and Saudi Arabia. Both countries have us by the you-know-whats because we became so dependent on oil and the financial backing of the Chinese government to get loans that they can now do whatever they want – including support NK nukes and such disgusting, un-Islamic acts as this. When the US government was making these deals with the Saudis and the Chinese, did they not remember that one of the reasons the Soviets were finally taken down was because they became so dependent on Western European banks that the Soviet government slowly but surely had to kow-tow to the West?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  6. T Rivers

    Raleigh, NC

    This means, quite clearly, that Saudi Arabia has legalized pedophelia. Disgusting.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  7. John Davis

    I have been saying for awhile. We cannot really discuss any major issue facing this nation logically or rationally until we stop our dependence on foreign oil. The economy, foreign relations, etc. etc. just do not have any answers until we can tell unstable and anti-American regimes we don't need their oil any more.

    George Bush should have put at least a 1 dollar gallon tax on oil the day after 9/11. And told all oil producing countries it was going to go up 1 dollar for every terrorist act committed against the U.S. or one of its allies. And all the money collected was going to research to eliminate oil dependency in 10 years. If they want the tax to go down, they need to stop the funding schools and terrorist organizations that teach hate. And they must go after already established terrorist organizations in their countries. That would have been bold leadership and hurt the folks that want to hurt us the most. Needless to say, it did not happen. We decided "war" was the answer. And we see how that worked out...

    So I refuse to discuss possible "actions" or "answers" to individual foreign policy problems. Until our energy strategy is in place and working, it is just a waste of breath. We don't control our foreign policy destiny, Saudi Arabia and the rest of OPEC do.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  8. M

    Decadent Saudi's have no respect for babies. Death to the infidel whom take babies from their mother. Treating everyone but men as property is deplorable. Have the Saudi's no shame?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  9. Katherine Montoya

    What does it mean for the judge to NOT annul the marriage? It means that the judges are pedophiles, too. This isn't a marriage, however. This is slavery, because the child was sold to the 47 year-old man in payment of the father's debts. Marriage is just another word for something left to lose-a child's life. I believe that mothers and children who do not want to sell their children should be immediately allowed refugee status into the United States. These children are being bought and sold like cattle; the United States takes better care of their cattle than this Judge is taking of this little child.

    We don't need oil that badly to be complicit in the slavery and rape of children. As long as we do nothing about this, we are conspirators in the crime; we know it's happening and choose to do nothing.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  10. Alan from Cambridge City, Indiana

    To the Saudi people our social norms are probably skewed at best – public partial nudity, drinking, whatever. Although I am terribly saddened by this case of what I believe to be abuse, the real question is are we so egocentric to believe that our beliefs should always be applied to the world?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  11. Denice S.

    This is unreal. The judge is legalizing pedophilia. This is beyond sick. They are going to ruin this girls life. I'm sure the husband is not going to wait 4 yrs until she is 12. He would of raped her long by then. I'm so upset over this. It's completely unreal they would allow one man to offer another human being to settle his debts to another man. Sounds like slavery to me.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  12. Rosemarie Heindel

    Lets see Jack....the judge is male, and probably has a few wives of his own in that same age bracket. It appears the statement "men's brains are between their legs" is true.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  13. Stephen Grabowski

    The Saudis are not our friends. They have never been our friends. It's a devils bargin. They want our $ we need thier oil. The rest is politics.

    Stephen Grabowski
    Aundel, ME

    April 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  14. RB

    Who says filthy saudi arabia is our friend. I don't befriend any person or group of persons who rape, beat and control others. saudia arabia is a swath of innocent people held hostage and controlled by a few discusting individuals with no front temperal lobes. The saudia arabian government, and I use that loosely, is none other than a middle eastern variation of the KKK.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  15. David F Becker Sr

    Jack, What's the surprise?
    30 years ago, before they figured out that Big oil was taking them for a ride, these bozo's were living in tents, eating sheep's eyes and mutton, and in love with their Camels.
    Now they own Lexes'es, and Mercedes, live in Palaces, still eat sheep's eyes and Mutton, just now they love little girls.
    So they have gone from goat eaters to pedophiles in 70 years. In 300 or so years they might be evolved enough to join modern life, except by then the oil will have run out and they will be using their expensive homes to raise goats and shelter their camels, Life does go round in circles.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  16. Bertha Lopez

    He is just as sick as the pervert who married the 8-year-old girl, and the father who allowed this to happen.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  17. Rob

    It likely means that the judge is of the same mindset as the man that married the child. Has anyone tried to determine if the judge is, or has ever been, married to a child?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  18. Sam

    Disgusting. So according to this judge, she's old enough to be married, but not old enough to petition the court for a divorce. How convenient.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  19. Brian

    What else do you expect from these animals? This is not the least bit surprising nor is it the worst violation of human/women's rights we have seen in recent time

    April 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  20. NA Klamut

    What does it mean? Well it should mean that if these countries want to continue to get our monetary aid, and have our troops there, either they recognize basic human rights, or we pull out.
    Or are our leaders turning a blind eye and saying "....but we need an ally in the area!" ?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  21. Ed in Wisconsin

    Don't they let them marry goats there too? Seriously though, they cover their women in burkas to keep them from "shameful" stares and yet sell their daughters off like slaves, KNOWING that the old perverts are going to have sex with them? And THEN they call the West decadent. Hypocrisy and insanity

    April 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  22. Toni Valenta-Pencille

    Dear Jack,

    Well you are correct it is pretty disgusting, but it is also backwards, barbaric, and a direct assault on the rights of women. As long as American's insist on driving cars that get less than 35-40 mpg, suck water out of plastic bottles, and over use petroleum products, we are not only turning a blind eye to it, we are aiding it. However I would also like to point out that there are religious zealots in this country who would like to strip women of their rights too.

    This is a complex problem. First the economics of big business play a major role in this. Most American's can't afford a new gas efficient car, I certainly can't, but I would love to drive one! So long as we are living in an age where workers can't change their lifestyles we are stuck aiding it. Might I add workers are making less money than they were 30 years ago, but Exxon profits are up so the government doesn't care.

    I could go on and on...thanks for the food for thought.

    Best
    Toni Valenta-Pencille

    April 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  23. CJ

    When a judge endorses a marriage between an 8 yr old girl and a 47 yr old man it means that the 8th century is alive and well in Saudi Arabia. A culture that should be progressing along with the rest of the world is stunted in the Middle Ages with its ignorance, superstition and mysogny because it is codified in their religious texts. Other outrageous cultural practices, most notably slavery, have gone extinct in the cultures that had the Enlightenment. Religion does not progress and continues to rear its ugly and brutal head because it already has the answer. Islam needs to have its own Enlightentment, its own Voltaire, before women will be free.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  24. Lenny Talarico

    The elephant in the room here is Islam. These clueless judges aren't pulling this disgusting nonsense from the sky–they're getting it from their holy books. It's about time that the moderates of Islam loudly and unambiguously condemn this madness. And it's about time the rest of stop pretending that faith isn't lurking underneath these kinds of human rights abuses.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  25. Ron Bailey

    You're right Jack it is disgusting. But where is the outrage from the Famliy Values crowd? Couldn't be the Saudis Have the oil we need, and the profits the oil companies make? It's funny how values go out the window when it comes to money and oil. Just guessing!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  26. Deanne

    All I can say is is the whole thing, the marriage included is Sick Sick Sick. Women are not even regarded as being equal to cattle. I cry for them.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  27. John Bautista

    This comment is about the judge of saudi arabia

    I'm from Toronto Canada and I use to work with the Saudi Ambassador's residence in Washington D.C. (1986-1991)
    My comment is : Yes it is sick and disgusting and I'm not talking about the girl and old man but the Judge.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  28. MikeInOrlando

    Pretty sad. We turn a blind-eye to a country that really doesn't like us anyway except for the good ole American greenback. From the land that gave us most of the 9-11 highjackers, Bin Laden, legalized rapes and now marraiges to 8 year old girls? What else is next? What a great allie we have here.
    Mike B.
    Orlando, Florida

    April 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  29. Tommy

    Not to long ago Obama made a statment about the arogant people of the United States. The reason for that is because we are4 constantly tring to tell the rest of the world how to live their lives. If you have a problem with the way a country does something boycott that country by not buying the goods that are sold in this country. Stop tring to tell the rest of the world how they should act, treat others, or live their lives. That is part of the reason we are hated by so many in the world now. I might not agree with what they do or how they do it but it is thier country and thier right.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  30. Raj kandada

    Nothing can be sicker than this. We should put maximum pressure to change this law. We should request our allies ( the very few we have) to put pressure on saudi king.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  31. Kristen Hoffer

    What it means Jack, is that Saudi Arabia allows, if not advocates, forcing children into marriage and the subsequent molestation/rape that undoubtedly goes hand in hand. This is beyond "digusting" it is heinous! The situation reminds me that Warren Jeffs of FLDS is in prison for advocating the same.

    Kristen Hoffer
    Laguna Hills, CA

    April 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  32. Glenn

    It's a muslim thing, sharia law ya know? But you're too afraid to say that. Just blame the "evil oil" country.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  33. Marilou

    Sick is not the word – it is religious bumbo jumbo period! And it is violently criminal.
    Woman are consider property in a world that contains high speed internet and space stations. Woman are less than people they are simply property to be handled as such by MEN in many cultures.
    Thus, as long as MEN in positions of power, regardless of where they may be located, consider females property versus PEOPLE, females will be used and abused.
    Religions will be used to control women as long as the cultures they live in allow it.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  34. Greg S

    It means he is upholding the law of His land, Its allowed by Shira law.

    We should learn all we can about this type of government, It could be ours someday.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  35. ComplexNumbers

    It means that We have sunk so low as a people that because we need oil ,we have to support these baby rapers.
    I wonder how long it will be before Exxon starts offering our daughters up as collateral ?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  36. Robert

    it means we talk about a plcase were baby girls bring shame to their parents and women are treated as property.

    As long as they have the money and oil that we depend on, all our presidents would do is to hold their hands or bow in front of them..

    pretty shameful!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  37. DAvid, Ontario, Canada

    Oh Snap.
    I have a 12 year old daughter ... no dating til 25!
    How brain dead are these characters?

    This country for all its culture is a pretty sick puppy when it comes to
    some things... women are NOT property or objects.

    I say we go green; tell em to keep their oil and then we can put
    some meaningful pressure on these "guys" to join the rest of the
    human race and treat their women and children with the respect
    they should have as a RIGHT.

    They will not change while they hold all the cards to our respective economies.

    David

    April 13, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  38. Cori

    Jack, I think the father of that child should be put in jail. He should get off his butt and FIND a way pay for HIS debt. The idea of selling his child to pay for his debt is absurd and disgusting. He's treated his human child like some farm animal.

    I know this situation is out of the hands of the U.S. but I hope the Saudi people rise up in her defense. They are her only hope!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  39. dan

    This just makes me ill. The thought of a full grown man with a child. Saudi Arabia is a nation of child molesters. Even the innocent men that choose not to marry young girls and stand by and allow this to happen. I bet they don't even have protests about this. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE ARABIAN MEN? How can they not stand up and protect these helpless girls. They are more fixated on how they can please themselves than how they can protect the helpless. They are a disgrace to the human race.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  40. Beze

    This happens in many parts of the world,especially in Africa.The same thing happens in rural Ethiopia where I was born. This is a major human rights violation.The international community has to condemn and stop this child abuse.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  41. ANDRES SAENZ(Albuquerque, NM)

    This is certainly a case of child abuse, for a 40-something-year-old to get married to a little girl under the age of 10. I agree...this is very disgusting. I'm so shocked by it, I don't know what else to say...

    April 13, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  42. Chris

    It means that it is a different culture, and in typical American style we glance over this story with indignation without even attempting to understand the rest of the story. I'm not trying to defend the actions of this judge or the man who married that 8 year old girl, but I do think your question is indicative of an over all problem of America placing its values upon other countries... I think they call that racism.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  43. Nancy

    The description can be found in the dictionary, under pedophilia!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  44. JOJO Boston

    He probably has two 10 year olds himself. They're so hung up on virgins over there, they have to grab them when their 8 years old. What a bunch of sick pedefiles. But of course the men don't have to be virgins. Are we on the 47 year old virgin gig now.

    Plus isn't selling a human being, human trafficking. They should become dog breeders. get more in a litter.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  45. Bill - Sioux Falls

    Cultural differences, tolerance and respect of national sovereignty are one thing. But there is a limit. Regardless of where in the world you are, who you are, or what your background is; there are some basic truths that apply to humanity. This falls in that category. People will try to hide behind all the things mentioned above, but the truth is, it's repulsive and wrong. It's not wrong because "In America, we don't do that," it's wrong because on an instinctual level – it's just depraved.

    Screw the oil. I'm sick of geopolitical doubletalk and bs trumping our charter to take care of each other on a human level.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  46. Independent, Chicago IL

    It means that the religion of peace still has a long way to go.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  47. Snailgoop

    It seems to me that the central issue is that the girl was sold to a man to settle her father's debts and the way that was done, by Saudi standards, was to call such an arrangement "marriage." Why don't we call a spade a spade, though, for the sake of international human rights? This is human trafficking, albeit with a more innocuous name. The Saudi judge is clearly upholding the practice of human trafficking of girls to older men. I wonder, why is it that we can't do much?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  48. John, Fort Collins, CO

    The Saudi treatment of children and women would have to improve considerably to rise to the level of jus being "disgusting". Any country that would legally allow this to happen to an eight-year old girl must be governed by subhumans. They are living proof that billions in oil money can take a country out of the stone age economically, but it can't take the stone age mentality out of the country.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  49. Stacey St Joseph MO

    I think we should send all our pedophiles over there. It would get rid of them over here, and obviously Saudis don't seem to mind that type of mindset in their men. It would benefit us twofold-Free up prison space, and we wouldn't have to worry about the registries and keeping track of where all the pedophiles are living all the time. If thats what they want over there, I say send them all to Saudi Arabia!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  50. michelle saintil

    they should put all three of them behind bars for life: the father of the girl, the husband and the judge

    April 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  51. Dexter

    Indeed it is sick to create an legal situation that allows the exploitation of minors. I do not know what their clerics are thinking.

    That being said, it's their country, and their laws. The US shouldn't try to impose its views on other countries, in the same way we wouldn't appreciate it when other countries try to impose their way of life on the US as well.

    Personally I think it's gross. Objectively I think it's none of our business.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  52. Jonathan

    It means the Saudi Judge was following Sharia Law as his religion commands him to do. There is nothing wrong with having sex with children (when married to them), raping your wife or possessing slaves in Islam. What annoys me is when President Obama talks of his "deep respect" for the Islamic religion. If you are against rape, slavery and pedophilia, how can you respect Islam?

    Garden Grove, California

    April 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  53. Ron San Antonio

    Jack, When they make me President, The Middle East is one of my first Priorities . After demanding Detroit to put out Electric and Gas cars that get 40MPG city or better, I'll tell Saudi Arabia to Buzz off! I will try once to stop Iran from building a Nuke, Then I will melt Iran when they refuse! That should calm down the Middle East. As far as Afghanistan allowing rape and Saudi Arabia wedding 8 year olds, I'll let t hem know they are no longer welcome in the US and any money they have here is forfeit.

    There will be a flat tax until the deficit is corrected and all debt paid. The United States Military will be used to protect The United States and the rest of the world can protect themselves. The Border with Mexico will close! And the military will line the Southern Border and the Navy will watch for Drugs Runners!

    The Catholic Church will be heavily taxed until to pay for all the care of the children born out of Wedlock! Or they can preach Birth Control!
    Any Church with a political agenda will be taxed!

    Lastly, Sheriff Joe Arapaio will be appointed Federal Prison Chief and prisoners will be treated like convicts!

    And that's just the first month!

    Wal Street CEO's will have a cap and the Banking industry will not be allowed to police themselves!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  54. Russ

    It's obvious...now that Bush has finished holding hands with those folks...we launch Operation Saudi Freedom.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  55. Mary

    It is interesting to me that western culture is considered decadent and immoral by many conservative Saudi Clerics but they can't seem to recognize their own decadence and immorality. I believe if we educated females, protected the environment, and eliminated institutional corruption almost everything else would fall into place. Or is this trying to create heaven on earth, which is what a right wing Christian accused me of. Hum, trying to create heaven onn earth. Sounds better than legalizing child abuse and rape, even if it isn't Christian!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  56. Harriet from Kansas City

    It means they'll continue doing what they please as long as the world remains dependent on their oil. We sit on our butts and yell at the platitudes at the television while we continue to crave their oil like heroin addicts. Time to cut that economic cord and put our money where are morals are.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  57. Jerry

    We (the Western world) may be accused of doing some lavish things that appear to be "in the face" of other non-Western countries....but at least we don't allow adults to marry 8 year olds! I'm sure the judge in Saudi Arabia was only following their "law" and hasn't done anything wrong from a judicial standpoint, but has done everything wrong from a moral and ethical standpoint.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  58. Susan A.

    It means I thank God that I was not born in Saudi Arabia. I am a 45 year old female. My heart bleeds for the females born under Islam control because so often it is proven they have no rights whatsoever, none except for what a benevolent male might grant them. This ruling clearly indicate the absolute lack of concern for a child just because she is female. What will hold the "husband" accountable if he decides to consummate the "marriage"? What hope does this child have of a quality life?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  59. Rich A.

    It's sick, it's wrong, but it's their country and I'm tired of being "Team America: World Police". It's a completely zero-sum policy. People scream "Why doesn't the US do something?" and in the next breath decry our interference. I think we should pursue alternative energy until we are completely free from imported forms of energy, and let these countries wither on the vine.

    Then they can decide if they want to grow up and be part of the modern world, or if they want to continue living in the 6th century B.C.

    Rich
    Crofton, Maryland

    April 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  60. Susan Bogle

    It means the judge probably has an eight-year-old bride at home. What does it mean for kids? - legalized sexual abuse.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  61. Bette

    I think that the Saudi judge has pretty much said the same thing as the idiotic law passed in Afghanistan, that women no matter what age they are, are the property of men. Period. I wonder if female camels get treated any better!

    Grass Lake, MI

    April 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  62. Scott in California

    It means that you want to impose your rules of morality on another culture.
    Is it wrong? Yes, certainly, by our moral standards and those of most of the civilized world.
    The problem here is that we do not rule, run or impose our moral values on this culture. We did not grow up there, were not brought up there, we have no rights under their law.
    Even if we could change their culture, do we have the right to?

    The only people that can make this change our the people that are a part of that culture, and until a majority is willing to push for change, this type of thing will continue.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  63. Jay in Texas

    Whatever the marriage of the 8 year-old in Saudi Arabia means, what Americans should be concerned about is our own country depriving tens of millions of our own citizens of the right to marry. Our government doesn't have much room to talk when it comes to human rights so maybe we would be wise to mind our own business at least until we get equal human rights for all Americans.
    Brownwood, Texas

    April 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  64. Cathy Ewing

    It's a sick, sick thing when an 8-year old girl is FORCED to marry ANYONE, yet alone, a 47-year old pervert; and it is even worse when the people who should be protecting an innocent child are refusing to do so. SHAME on the Saudi government for allowing such a perversion and complete crime! My prayers are with this poor child.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  65. Kathy

    That they're a bunch of "pedophiles"!!!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  66. Thomas Celik

    Saudi Arabia needs an education from grass roots level. As a cradle of islam, it needs to focus on the 21th century and not sharia laws from the prehistoric times.

    If human rights voilations keep continuing in SA, we need to step aside and look beyond oil and reasses... isnt human life worth much more than oil ? In my opnion United States should take over SA and re-educate core 21th century values (by force if necessary)

    April 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  67. DENNIS MENACE

    really disturbing that parts of the world still view females this way.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  68. Bill

    Saudi Arabia is an ancient society thats just found itself caught up in the 21st century. It takes time and effort to alter a society, especially one thats extra insular, rooted in tradition and deriving justification from literal interpretation of medieval religious texts.

    Do not forget that the Western civilization was right there just over a hundred years ago with slavery, lynchings, child brides and feudal systems. What ought to bother us is not that such practices exist today (society needs time to educate itself and grow out of it), but that Bush and such ilk keep trumpeting the "ally argument" (read oil buddy) and invaded a much more modern and liberal nation in the name of democracy and human rights. What hypocricy!!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  69. Amy

    This is just sick.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  70. Nick

    Consider their perspective. Those men who are chosen as an "extension" of political authority have years of experience and must have reason for such decisions. Upholding the Sharia is of utmost importance to these authoritative figures. Since tradition has dictated much of their culture, they will not necessarily accept a foreigner's opinion on such matters. The decision was made by a man who had the qualifications. It would be extremely difficult to affect any change knowing their culture and judicial system.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  71. Ron

    I think we most look ourselves in the mirror as a nation. Saudi Arabia has been referred to as our "greatest ally in the Middle East". This is one of the most barbaric societies in the Middle East. Until the Saudi's abandon these types of midevil practices we should hold them accountable for the human rights violations that take place daily. Woman are not allowed to drive, women get sentenced to many lashes merely for talking to a man without a family member present. A young Sri Lanka female just 17 years old is under sentence of death for merely having a child die in her care and people under penalty of death must pay about $10,000 USD before an appeal will be heard. These just name a few, but as a country when the price of a barrel of oil is right....we will turn a blind eye to about anything.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  72. Scott in Canada

    If you're friendly with the US, you can have human rights outrages that make Apartheid look good. If you're not so friendly with the US, we'll blow you up.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  73. jane martin

    It means the judge is probably a pedophile as well

    April 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  74. Rick

    Jack,

    Its never a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you so lets move to different energy sources, supplied domestically or other, so that we can bite.

    If we are not reliant on their oil, then we can be more vocal about these types of injustices.

    Yes to Trucks powered on domestic Natural Gas
    Yes to domestic electric/hybrid/hydrogen passenger vehicles
    Yes to domestic Wind power
    Yes to domestic Solar power
    No to Middle East oil

    Rick in Toronto

    April 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  75. Mary Ellen

    This is beyond sick...this is utterly evil.....I just cannot imagine something like this....and I agree, that unfortunately not much we can do because of our reliance on these oil rich countries....The hatred of women in these countries is just overwhelming. I am so glad that I live in this country ..and I pray for the day that we have no dependence on the middle east for anything....especially for oil.....

    April 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  76. Kimberly from Houston, TX

    It means that they (Saudis) have no respect for women or girls and only view them as property, to do with as they wish. It makes me literally ill that nothing can be done to help this 8-year old girl.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  77. Dale

    What does it mean? It means it's their country and they have the right to do what they wish there. Who the hell are we to continue to tell other countries what they can and can't do. Do I believe it's right? No. But I also RESPECT other cultures and countries rights. Something the people of the US should start doing more often.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  78. Fran

    It means the judge wants an 8 year old girl himself. This is beyond sick and why we still call those wackos "allies" is beyond me.

    WE NEED ENERGY INDEPENDENCE!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  79. M. Davis

    Perhaps the "judge" has a child bride or two!! If only we could
    enforce an international law protecting the world's children!!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  80. Joe

    This is another example of how the middle east is about 500 years behind the times. ITs still okay to rape and marry little girls for family honor or whatever. Its still okay to stone people to death. Its still okay to prosecute and execute any practicers of other religions. There is no such thing as church and state. And its certainly okay to kill in the name of God, regardless of the fact the the people being killed probably believe in a higher power. The middle east, Muslims, they all believe so finatically in their own religion that they would kill on sight anybody who looks different, let a lone a different religion. The best part is when they run out of oil... who are they going to blame? westerners, nevermind the fact they blew the biggest fortune in any country's history on expensive cars, hotels, and neghborhood shaped
    like palm trees. They are going to blame us.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  81. Jonathan

    Alan, while your comment is cetainly relevant to a great number of things it is not relevant to this. SHE IS 8 YEARS OLD!!! It's not just US values but also almost everyone else in the world!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  82. Americana

    It means that Saudi Arabia is a human rights abuser and has perverted laws in place that exploit helpless children. It also means that President Obama shouldn't have bowed to the Saudi King either. Both incidents are a disgrace.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  83. Richard

    Very sick for a country that refers to itself as the most "modern" society in the Mideastern world. We can not tell other countries what to do but we can voice our views. Women are but only property, they say that they honor them. Some weird interpretation of honor.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  84. suresh

    Jack:

    I am not at all surprised about this. If you study history of Islam, you will notice that such was always the case. To be fair to Islam, all religions had child marriages but with the industrial age people of all other religions, except Islam, became more open minded and banned such marriages between a child and an adult. All such problems, including this jihadi terrorism is all because of religion. Until muslims take control of this and refuse to listen to the scewed interpretation of Koran by the mullas, this will continue. Only muslims can solve this problem.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  85. Suzanne D. from Philadelphia, PA

    Since religion makes the rules, a solution must be found in religion. They aren't going to listen to pressure from the West, we're heathens. Change must be made from within their culture...

    April 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  86. Krista

    It means that women are still considered property by much of the world. Even here in the U.S. sexism is more acceptable to the general public than racism... Neither should be allowed, of course. This is an issue of not just women's right's, and _children's_ rights but Human Rights.

    Of course, men like those you describe obviously consider women as less than human, when it would be an insult to the animal kingdom to refer to them as animals. They are the scum of the earth, and they deserve nothing less than to be treated exactly as they treat the women in their lives... Once they've been made eunuchs, that is.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  87. Damien

    Hi cafferty,

    I will tell you what it means, it means that the Saudi judge is probably marrried to an 8 -year-old girl himself. Also it means that if any country let alone saudi arabia lets this happen to our kids the world is a sicker place than we first thought.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  88. Jim

    It just shows you what a waste of of over 4000 American lives it has been for Bush's war in the mideast. His regime truly believed they could bring our way of life to those people in that region. Those people do not and cannot think the way we do. Such a waste of fine young American men and women following an idiot's leadership, or lack thereof. We need to concentrate our $$ on ways to get us away from their oil influence so we won't need them.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  89. Steve

    I bet the judge has an 8 year old girl for a wife too.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  90. Richard J Mullin

    Most Islamic societies, in our eyes, are sick and perverted. It is common for a father to sell his children for money, it is sick that a Kurd had his 15 year old daughter stoned to death for looking at some men through a crack in a wall, it is sick that the Iraqi Parliament passed laws in 2005 preventing ANY orphan from being adopted, especially out of country.
    In Afghanistan, our big buddy Karzai just signed legislation creating
    more rigid rules for women and restricting education for women.
    Additionally, the Iraqi government does not support these orphans in any way; no shelter, no food, no medical, no clothing, no education,
    nothing! They are called "La Keets" which means "Illegitimates". They are scorned by society and treated like vermin.
    All this cruelty against children and women is a product of history.
    Some of these practices go back to the time of Christ, at least to the time of Muhammad. Be-headings of literally anyone is a favorite practice.
    Wouldn't you think because we support Karzai and al-Maliki we would put a stop to these medieval or stone age human violations?
    There are approximately 500,000 (Red Cross, UNICEF) orphans in Iraq, the best they can look forward to is Death! Shameful!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  91. Amy from MN

    It means they don't give a flying fig about the rights of women in their so-called kingdom. (I guess that's why it is not called a queendom.) This is one good example of why we're so lucky to have separation of church and state in the USA...although the Conservatives seem as though they'd like to change that.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  92. Liz, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    If you ask me, it means that the place is totally SICK! Allowing a 47-year old man to marry an 8-year old girl is beyond sick – it is so totally disgusting, I don't even want to comprehend such things can occur. The U.S. should be placing SEVERE pressure on Saudi Arabia to immediately CHANGE these sick laws – I don't care if the U.S. gets a lot of its oil there. This is totally unacceptable!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  93. Lin

    When a judge won't annul a marriage between an 8 year old little girl and a 47 year old man it means he's either a psychopath or a sexual abuser of little girls.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  94. Matt

    The answer to the question posed is: The Saudi judge, the Saudi society, the Saudi religion, and the Saudi royal family, still firmly believe that women are the property of men. That is the plain and simple truth.

    Why is there no outrage from the women of the world? Why does the President of the United States, a man intimately familiar with the pains of slavery and inequality bow down to these people?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  95. Dave Bullen

    Jack,
    Proof enough that we will never be able to have meaningful dialogue or negotiations with Muslim countries. If the twisted logic of a presumambly sane judge approves a union between an eight year old and a middle aged man, what hope do we have of negotiating with insane religious wackos and crackpot megalomaniacs in that part of the world.
    Dave Bullen
    Houston, Texas

    April 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  96. Ohio

    This is yet another example of how the Arab world is 2000 years behind the times. Sharia law was outdated in the Roman era, let alone this century. I view myself as open-minded and tolerant of other cultures and religions, but this is just plain wrong no matter what religion or culture you call your own. The Saudis need to reform or the world will leave them behind.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  97. Janice from Kansas

    Your question: What does it mean when a Saudi judge refuses to annul a marriage between an 8-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man?

    My answer: The Saudi judge likes to have sex with children as well. So in his eyes, he sees nothing wrong. Most pedophiles don't see anything wrong. The perverts are revealing themselves without knowing it.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  98. John, Jackson, NJ

    " it was the eight-year-old girl’s father who arranged the marriage in order to settle his debts with the man. "

    This isn't really marriage, it's child slavery, condoned by Islam. If the followers of Islam in countries other than Saudi Arabia believe that this slavery insults the Prophet's memory, then it's about time they started issuing fatwas against Saudi Arabian judges. If they don't... I guess we know what kind of religion Islam is and what kind of people follow that religion.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  99. David A. Bass

    What does it mean? What it means is that a judge who condones this sort of activity is the representative of a socially backward nation that refuses to GROW UP and reject at least 2,000 years of sickening patriarchy and the cruel domination of women & girls. Ant religion which condones this sort of thing needs to GROW UP and enter the darn 21st century. I thought women not allowed out of the house without a male relative and never being allowed to drive alone was twisted...this is beyond belief. I do not care what sort of explanations or culture-based excuses are proffered. This is beyond the pale...how can these folks call themselves civilized? Eight and 47? Come on.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  100. Todd McLean

    Hi Jack!

    I'm the father of an 8 year girl and it would be over my dead body that a 47 year old pervert would be allowed this kind of contact with my daughter. This is not a cultural thing on how I pass judgement in this sitaution but rather a simple sense of whats right and whats wrong. What the hell is the US and its allies fighting for over there?

    Regards

    Todd McLean
    Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Canada

    April 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  101. Nancy, Tennessee

    It is sad what is happening in Saudi Arabia, but customs and behaviors of countries much older than ours cannot be changed by outsiders. The ignorant people of a nation that allows men to molest young girls can only be told this is wrong through the means that we have, but our voices are probably falling on deaf ears.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  102. Fatima

    Jack, what do you think it means when a 47 year old man marries an 8 year old? Make it 10 year old, or 13 year old, what difference does it make? We're talking about a nation ruled by primitive laws that arguably made sense in the 8th century but have no place in the community of civilised nations today and should be roundly condemned for what it is, which is state sanctioned child rape or bartering with humans as chattel. Take your pick. Only they can change their laws; what we need to do is make ourselves as independent of Saudi oil as possible so that we have at least a shred of self-respect left.
    Fatima Sakarya
    New Orleans, Louisiana

    April 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  103. Jason

    King of Prussia, PA

    It's sad, and yet there is little we can do. This is a cultural issue that requires their culture to evolve as our's has. That won't be overnight. It was not 200 years ago when arranged marriages for politcal or financial gain were the norm in the Western World. I wish we could influence culture directly but its always politics first, women and children second.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  104. C C

    Jack,
    What amazes me about this story is the Saudi public's acceptance of this issue. While I have heard that many within the Kingdom are outraged at such a thing, clearly it is no where near critical mass.

    I find it hard to understand how this is allowed to go on, even in a Muslim country. Human rights are not dependent on citizenship or religion, they are inalienable. This girls rights have been denied, her freedom taken away, and the legal establishment meant to protect her has failed.

    Where are her family to help her? Outraged neighbors and parents? Fathers disgusted by this mans disgrace? How has no one stepped up to rescue the girl? People often ask themselves about the concept of "a time to kill", to me this defines it.

    Seeing this happen in Saudi Arabia (and past cases involved rape victims), I have little hope for that country, and more importantly, those that buy into the religious and social groups that believe such things.

    If a human can't look at this situation and be outright disgusted, there should be a deeper question asked.... Every person who could physically, even violently, stop that man has failed as a human being, and as a society, well, is it even worth of being called a "society" by our standards?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  105. Ilan from Montreal

    Did President Obama bow before or after the publishing of this story?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  106. Joe Bussell

    I am a father of a 9 year old and a 6 year old. Setting aside the obvious icky aspects of this, neither are capable of understanding what the lifetime commitment of marriage really means. It would be impossible for either of them to knowingly consent to such a thing. The other side of this seems to be that the consent of the girl is not considered relevant there. This is effectively human slavery. If their leaders are the kind of people that would see this as just we need to impose a regime change. I for one have little to no respect for governments that are not democratically elected. This group of miscreants has resources we need and are imposing slavery condition on children. They have lost any legitimate claim to power. We should arrest the Saudi king for conspiracy to commit child slavery. If we don't have the legal authority we should manufacture it. We have certainly done so for less worthy causes.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  107. Zuly

    I am astonished to hear that this is happening to this little girl. It is an irresponsible and selfish decision made from the father. This is showing her that she is not safe with her own family and that she is seen as an object. I hope justice will be done someday and pray to my almighty Lord this Judge taken off his seat. God Bless America.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  108. james

    Saudi Arabia is not our country. We cannot control them. We must realize that it is not our duty to strong-arm every country on the planet, when we would not allow to be strong-armed ourselves. Yes, this is disgusting to us, but we cannot change it. The Saudis do many things we disapprove of. Bottom Line: it is their country, not ours. If we cut off each country we have a problem with, we will be all alone...

    April 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  109. Paula

    While I don't agree with the Saudi's, child marriage law. What is America doing about our own Polygamist's child marriage law. I would prefer we clean up our own back yard which I believe will give us insight to helping our neighbor.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  110. Veronica

    I believe when a Judge allows a 47 year old man to remain married to an 8 year old girl he is as sick as the man that married a child. It sickens me that there are so many countries out there that allow and condone child brides.

    Honestly how is it possible for someone to be considered a pedophile in most civilized countries, but yet a legal marriage in others?

    Aside from the legal hog wash. What is going through the head of a grown man when he looks at a little girl and wants to marry her?

    Suppose she reaches puberty at 10, which so many young girls do? So now he has sex with a 10 year old and in his corrupt mind believes its okay?

    Of course if there were no oil it wouldn't even be in the news because most people would care less about what goes on in Saudi.

    I really believe there are no depths to low for mankind to sink too..there is no line he draws in the sand.

    Its just a matter of time before he takes that final step that results in his extinction.

    Sorry to sound pessimistic but take a look around you Jack.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  111. Susan Parren

    It means that the judge is a pervert also. I wonder how old his wife is?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  112. Lisa Davidson

    What it means when a Saudi Arabian judge refuses to annul a marriage between an 8 year old girl and a 47 year old man?

    Let's see, to begin, It means that we have a major ally that permits children to be given as property to older men for their sexual use to settle debts. Chattel anyone? It means that Saudi Arabia does not care that most of the rest of the world sees their religion and culture as sexist and barbaric. This will mean even more bigotry against Islam, even though most Muslims do not practice such disgusting customs. It will also hurt the reputation of the Middle East, where many countries are trying to build economies less dependent on oil.

    It should show us in the United States, that oil or not, Saudi Arabia is very, very, different from this country. There, Mothers have no legal right to be guardians to their own children or to protect them, and it's okay to traumatize children, especially girl children, to settle the debts of their free spending fathers. If there is ever any way to disassociate ourselves from such people, we should do so, as it does not reflect favorably on us to have such "friends".

    Lastly, it is an incredibly sad comment on humanity itself that we have the kind of world where such an evil man can call himself a "judge" and that poor girl has absolutely no one to help her with such a heinous situation. My heart goes out to her and to her mother.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  113. Ron Kepics

    Hi Jack:

    It is no secret people in this part of the world look at women as property and slaves. When they allow this type of devient behavior it only tells a story of lawlessness and anarchy. They do not respect life and live in the stone ages. They are a dangerous society to the free world and need to be contained.

    Ron San Diego

    April 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  114. George B.

    Jack, I have no great insight on this issue ... I agree with you completely. I know that Americans tend to be ethnocentric rather than being cultural relativists (hey, I actually stayed awake in my anthropology class) hence the term "the ugly American", but there has to be some universal codes of ethics and decency, especially when it comes to protecting children and the elderly. Saudi Arabia has some of the must patriarchal, primitive, and oppressive laws on this planet, it's truly repulsive.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  115. Deirdre M Abbott, Baltimore, Md.

    Jack,

    I fear that the more outcries against this Judge, the more the hard line attitude will prevail. I am disgusted by this situation. Unfortunately, the Muslim nations and clerics are more than likely to rebuff any attempt by the West. They will see it as a move against "Islam" not as a question of "Childrens Rights" , but as an assault on their religion.

    We can not force other countries to our visions of right and wrong. The more we push, the more they resist. Only when the majority of the citizens (meaning men) in Saudi Arabia see that children have right, as well as woman, will there be a change.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  116. John Nixdorf in Ohio

    Its interesting how people draw from this whatever conclusions they need to draw in order to support their own ideologies. To the Christian conservatives, this is proof that Islamic society is sick and wrong. To the liberal environmentalists, this is further evidence that we need to get off of our oil addiction. I don't think I've ever seen any group of people find so many different reasons to disagree with something.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  117. Dean

    Saudia Arabia participates in human sext trafficing. OF CHILDREN!!
    I would rather pay $10 a gallon for gas than support these criminals.
    This is no better or no worse than what the Somali pirates do, what Al Queda does, or what Hamas does in Gaza. We need to cut off ties and trade with criminal nations. Cut them off militarily, financially, and diplomatically. Respect for religous and cultural differences with our allies is one thing, but our inaction looks like we condone these human rights CRIMES. Cheap gas is not worth it.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  118. Arthur

    San Jose CA

    I think that the earth would survive if we began to use more of our own nearby natural resources, can we survive as a people if we continue to "team" up with countries that routinely insult and betry our values.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  119. David Sofy

    They say that it's just the Muslim Fundamentalists that are extreme in their thinking, but now, here is an example of everyday Muslim Society turning their collective heads to an abusive situation. Is this really a religion or just a different spin on a perverse totalitarian community?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  120. C C

    P.S. Obama should never have offered a bow, even to a reformist like the Saudi King, to someone who tolerates something like this. Toleration in this case is implicit permission, so therefore the king is as much at fault for this as the 47-yr old himself...and in my opinion, so is Obama for not standing up to this...even considering national security and oil supply concerns...

    April 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  121. H L Baldwin

    It means this world is sick. How could anyone think it is okay to let an 8 year old be married, she was an innocent child and it saddens me that most likely it was taken by a sick perverted old man....

    April 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  122. Karen - Nashville TN

    If Saudi courts are anything like our courts, judges are required to uphold the law, whatever their personal opinions might be. It sounds like a few of their laws could use an overhaul.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  123. Jonathan

    As far as "marrying children" being legal in Islam. It is well documented from Islamic sources that Mohammed married one of his wives, Aishia, when she was six years of age and consumated the marriage when she was nine. So anyone who says this is against Islam, should do a little research. It's very easy to find.

    Garden Grove California

    April 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  124. FedUp

    This story is another illustratration of the kind of hypocrysy I am fed up with in this nation. I bet you get more Americans and news pundents upset about unlimited travel and money transfers to Cuba than they are about a nation that allows the enslavement and rape of 8 year old girls by law. Where is the United Nations resolution crowd when you need one. That Saudi story is the ultimate in human rights abuses. Yet, the world is silent. Thanks for your courage Jack in shinning light on this sickness.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  125. Sarah K

    I'm sorry, Alan, but it appears to me as though you are equating drinking alcohol and wearing a bikini with selling an 8-year old child into marriage against her–or her mother's– will. Your comparison is disturbing, to say the least. Don't blame this on American egocentrism.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  126. Gwendolyn

    It is absolutely incomprehensible for me to believe that any monotheistic faith, as Stephen Colbert would say, one of the 'G3' could find any justification or doctrine that would support a pre-pubescent child being married off (in this case, to a man 39 years her elder!). The age disparity is sickening in and of itself, but the fact that the child is now the man's matrimonial property in order to settle the debts of her father is simply barbaric.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  127. Mike

    Another enlightened Muslim contribution to world culture. Perhaps this is an example of the sort of international legal wisdom to which we'll learn to defer as we scramble to discard our national sovereignty and cultural heritage.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  128. Dan

    It means that the judge has no power or is fearful of his life.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  129. Brian Bullhead City, Arizona

    This is sick and twisted must be a liberal judge, this is what we are looking at down the road if our Country continues to let our morals slide into the abyss.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  130. Max

    When you look at it from an American perspective, it's objectification in its purest form as women are seen as little more than pieces of property. Although I don't like to impose my culture's or my own beliefs on others, something about this makes me sick to my stomach. I feel immensely sorry for this little girl whose fate was sealed when her father and all the other men in her life seemed to confuse her with a pile of money.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  131. Bill

    It means they live in a different culture. It seems America is not willing to mind their own business when it comes to these matters.

    I'm all over crime and punishment, however, just like the mormon polygamists who were unjustly prosecuted and their kids terrorized, we like to create fear from the "dog who barks with no bite" as the saying goes.

    "Marriage" is none of our business. "Proven Facts" to accuse 'anyone' of a crime is. In this case, the news is trying to sway people to think that 'rape' is inevitable. Sorry, I won't take the bait. I will only live my life on proven factual events and will not live my life out of fear of what "Might" happen.

    This is the same tactics we have used since 9/11, since you bring it up. "Preemptive Strikes" or "Get them before they Get You!". It's ridiculous.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  132. Tanya

    from Washington DC
    When we talk of our dependence on Saudi oil, it is mostly an intellectual argument, which then becomes easier to refute and dilute. But when you think of the terrible human cost of our inability to become self-sufficient in oil, the stakes become a whole lot bigger. Americans share in the blame for this heinous act by not doing enough for self sufficiency in oil. When Bush talked about the axis of evil, I always thought of Saudi Arabia – a country which treats women, minorities and gays as less than dirt. I cannot think of a country that is more ideologically opposed to what America stands for.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  133. Robert Bauer, Sonoma County, CA

    Just like the religious nutcases we have here in the United States, the Saudi (Islamic) nutcases use their religion and their religion-based civil laws to "legalize" their sexual perversions. At least they haven't threatened to put a bullet in her head. In the past, they've used their so-called religion to justify that atrocity too. And, to make matters even worse, the Islamic community around the world stands in deafening silence – and, as usual, does NOTHING.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  134. Diane in PC Florida

    Jack: Are you discussing Saudi law, the FLDS or the conservative rightwing of the Republican Party's attitude toward women and young girls?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  135. Sasha Gordon

    Interesting!! It is amazing how many laws are on the book to protect pedifiers. The judge of that country will not jeopardize something that he enjoys. I am sure they have invested millions of dollars to prove that having sex with a infant child will cure aids.

    This is another reason to find a better source of energy. We really need to separate ourself from such a disgusting and nasty country.

    YUK!!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  136. Roshni Knight

    To answer your question Jack, it means the judge is just as sick as the 47-year-old-man and the little girl's father. I do not understand how a father can rationalize paying off a debt by sacrificing the innocence of his daughter. I get so infuriated just thinking about it. I have been taught to respect other religion and cultures, but how could anyone not see the insanity of these people and they have the nerve to call us terrorists, uncivilized and inhumane.

    Las Vegas, NV

    April 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  137. Linda in Arizona

    Dark ages anyone? Saudi Arabia is bad, but it's not alone. Girls are promised to old men in many other countries as well. Religious customs play a part, but all over Africa, girls are routinely mutilated so they will be "marriageable", and wherever dowries are legal, they are sold into arranged marriages, traded for cows, whatever. It's not easy being a girl in most parts of the "developing" world. And let's not forget the Mormon Church, and the many practicing polygamists right here at home. It stinks, but, let's face it, men will be men. Always have, always will.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  138. Ca

    If the girl can't pettition for divorce until she reaches puberty, I would think the marriage isn't valid until she reaches puberty either.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  139. Bill From Memphis

    Don't blame Saudi Arabia, blame Islam. Saudi Arabia is ruled by Muslim clerics and they are simply providing guidance in accordance to Islam. I know this won't be shown because the media refuses to impy that a minority or a religion might be to blame but the truth is the truth. There are very ugly things about Islam and this is one of them.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  140. Jeff W.

    It's impossible to deal with people who are a thousand years behind in modern thought. How could you ever have a "reasonable" discussion with people who think in this manner?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  141. Trish

    What does it mean? Isn't it curious that they tend to live in such an uncivilized culture when it comes to human rights, children's rights, women's rights etc, however, they are able to dominate the world with the oil. Isn't it amazing that we here in America do not have the technology, the expertise, to over-come our dependence on such a miserable society. Why not put a picture of the girl bride on every gas pump across our nation? Bush kisses the king, holds his hand, and Obama bows to him....what does it all mean Jack?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  142. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    This is an outrage that can only be prescribed in a non-secular theocracy. No one nation can tell another nation what it can or cannot do within its borders without the direst consequences. This is the lesson we need to learn from the Iraq War. Sadly, there is little that we can do in a world that so stubbornly holds nationalistic sovereignty sacrosanct over a federalized world government. Until we wake up, there is little that anyone can do except wring their hands and cry “Woe is me.” This is why North Korea, or any other rogue nation, can hold the world ransom. This is why gross violations of human rights will exist within any nation who chooses to do so. Standing alone, all the nations of the world are left impotent in the face of such a threat. It is time to stop whining about it and poop or get off the pot.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  143. Peg, Norfolk, Virginia

    It means that the female gender is as likely to be used as an exchange such as fruits, vegetables, animals and money for barter. The total disregard of this gender is mind-boggling, since every man was born of a woman....

    April 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  144. Shilpa

    The judge is condoning pedophilia and is in truth defying the laws of the Qu'aran and Islam.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  145. Joshua Johnston

    The only way we can respond to this is with a reduction of our dependence on oil. There is no other way. We have to stop being afraid of the nuclear bogeyman and start building new, safer power plants now so we can take the time to transition to cleaner energy in the long term.

    Carson City, NV

    April 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  146. Kipp St. Louis

    Steal some bread to feed your family..off with your hand. Have an affair with your neighbor's wife..beat her HER and throw HER in jail. Be homosexual...to the gallows you go. Sell your 8 year old daughter into marriage with a 47 year old man...no big deal. Let's wait another 5 years or so, see if she isn't too scared to go back to the same court that would not save the child from this predicament in the first place, and THEN see if she is ready to sign a petition seeking a divorce.

    Sounds like one hell of a legal system to me. Become educated in an archaic form of law taught by simple minded clerics who have no form of true education other than the Quran and this is the type of sick twisted justice your country's people are subject to.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  147. Pete (St. Louis, MO)

    What does it mean? It means that the Judicial System in Saudi Arabia and the Government of that nation supports and sanctions pedophelia. Is there some other hidden meaning here that I am not undersatnding?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  148. Jodi

    Saudi Arabia is supposedly an ally of the US but I don't see how enslaving an 8 year old girl to a man of ANY AGE is right.
    Where do you draw the limit... should a father be able to sell his newborn into a marriage, so long as the "husband"/owner doesn't have sex with them until they've reached puberty?
    This isn't even about putting western morals onto a middle eastern country – this is about PROTECTING CHILDREN. No child should be forced/sold into any relationship whether you want to call it marriage or slavery.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  149. Ken in NC

    Jack, We are not the rulers of the world. This is a sick decision on the part of the judge but it is their law and it is their way of life. You must remember that there are countries that do not agree with some of our positions. What do you think would happen if they come into our country to make us change our laws

    April 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  150. Joel Philipp

    I agree it is disgusting but for Americans to get involved in other countries business is not for us. Let’s work with what we have here in America and change the sick twisted laws.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  151. Sue

    Sounds like the Judge has an agenda to have an 8 year old wife. Disgusting!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  152. Mickey

    Oh Jack and once again the Stars and Stripes rears its head up and declares this is the way it shall be.... Is it right in our society??? No of course it is not. Was it once allowed? You bet – marriage did not become about love until very recently. Marriage has been a business arrangement for a very long time. Child brides – and grooms for that matter – have been the norm for far longer than our "love" based marriages. Marriages were carefully arranged, the children were often sent to live with their spouse's household at a very young age. Consumation was usually restricted to puberty. So is it pedophelia? No – it is a different culture with an entirely different take on what marriage is.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  153. r from ohio

    There is nothing wrong with wanting to protect a child and foster a promising future for her(or him!). That notion should hold no geographic or cultural boundaries. She is a child! We need to stop depending on foreign oil and we can do it if we would let the creative people in this country seriously start moving forward with tangible solutions. These people are very pampered and very backward at the same time. I have very little respect for this judge who denies this young girl a future that doesn't involve oppression. I totally agree–the whole thing is disgusting just like the legalized marital rape is.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  154. Bill in South Jersey

    Kind of makes the assertion that "we can help bring progress to their country by remaining [financially] engaged with them" sound a little silly, doesn't it?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  155. Christina

    Jack – This is where our foreign policy and our public morality collide. For too long we have turned a blind eye to our fair weather 'ally's" human right's abuses. Our foreign policy in the gulf region is tall on self protection, and short on ethics. Just how much can our "allies" snub their noses at human rights and still carry the banner of "ally"? Its time that the U.S. started standing for something other than its short term interests. In no other time in my adult life has this possibility been closer to reality. It is time to make the final push toward being the global leader on human rights. Onward, Obama!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  156. Karolyn

    It means the judge probably has a 9-year old wife.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  157. Chas

    It means another one of our supposed allies is recognising customs that are completely contrary to our beliefs and standards here in the US.
    Kinda like our allies the Pakistanies, or the Egyption, or the Israeli's.
    We like to talk about our rights and standards but as long as these countries go along with our agenda we keep looking the other way.

    Americans need to remember that 13 of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia ( a few were directly from their military). Wake up folks, these are not our allies.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  158. sandman

    The judge is probably a pedophile also.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  159. Mark

    this makes the Saudis the laughing stock of the world, how can a supposed 'great nation' be so ignorant and arrogant?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  160. salam

    Jack,
    As a muslim I share your views. It is disguting and honestly disturbing. They need to really get a life and be more civilized. I wonder what this so called judge's decision would be if she was his daughter?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  161. Angela

    I find it sad that so many stereotype that all Saudi men believe in this law. You will find good and bad in all nationalities and pedophiles run all over the world and in all nationalities. I have met Arab men that are disgusted by this law and think it is wrong . I am a hispanic mixed/European woman that has been flipped off and yelled at for someone thinking I was I Iranian because I had a scarf covering my ears from the cold. We need to watch how far our hate goes, and remember not to stereotype all Saudi men for not all believe in this new law and old beliefs. More and more are being educated these days that the old ways were wrong. Pedophiliac behavior is just wrong in all nationalities.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  162. Kristal

    That means he himself has a child wife, and do not want to be the pot calling the kettle black.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  163. Edward, Los Angeles

    It means this world is still rotten.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  164. Sanni Houston, Texas

    I am a Muslim and embarrassed by this fanatic hypocrites. This is pedophilia at its worst in the name of culture and religion.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  165. Alan Lantz

    Maybe we should invade them and make them more democratic....

    April 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  166. Pioneer

    The dirty old men of Saudi Arabia should contact the slimmy middle aged dirty old men at the El Dorado complex in Texas.
    I bet they have alot in common.
    Child molesting

    April 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  167. triocha

    What can I say when it comes to the Saudis anything goes we have no backbone to take a stand. Of course, we would be told it is not our business HUMAN RIGHTS is not our busines Yeah, right

    April 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  168. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    Perhaps ut means they are all perverts.
    This is a country that turns its nose up at western values, but where are theirs.
    This is a country that calls gays criminals, but allows this travesty to continue.
    This is a country who puts itself on a high moral ground and then does this?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  169. Steve - Mich

    This is a prime example of why i said during the primary campaigns, that Gender bias is more far reaching and violent, than general racism worldwide, and permeates more cultures than racism does.
    Women are disrespected and treated horribly globally from very old backward groups of people to the highest levels of civilized society in Europe and America.
    In no way should Europe and America ever allow any culture to come into their borders and lessen the rights and value of women...Period.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  170. Greg - Cumming, GA.

    How can a someone respect a religion that does this to thier women and children?

    This is outrageous and why America and Freedom loving Country's take the lead in trying to promote Democracies and Republic's across the Wrold.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  171. Daryl

    I am so sick of the US Gov't bowing down to Saudi Arabia, because of our dependcy on petrol.

    I think the Huma Right's groups need to do something about this. This has nothing to do with a country's culture, but a male dominated country that thinks it can try women, at any age, any way they like.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  172. Patrick

    Well Jack it means he is of the Islamic faith and that decision is a reflection of Sharia Law. But don't be critical because peace loving muslims will threaten you with violence. It is their children and they can rape them if they want. God say's it's ok.

    Pretty disgusting indeed.

    Anderson, SC

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  173. Todd from West Haverstraw

    Jack....I wonder how many underage wives the Judge has huh ???
    Just Disgusting !!!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  174. Christian in Miami

    It means that those people are just sick! How could you sell your 8 year old daughter to some one to clear your debt, thats disgusting, and the judge shame on him for refusing to do the right thing.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  175. Russ

    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Our financial interests as a country take precedence over human rights issues, a bizarre and recent example being Obama's bow to the Saudi king. Also, our hypocrisy is revealed in our own reliance on religious laws that have no rational place in a modern world. We mistake religious tolerance for compliance to a vast demographic that would bypass human rights issues by a tyranny of the majority, as in the passing of Prop 8. We suffer from the same disease -the difference only in degrees.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  176. Jerry // Northeast Ohio

    Where is the wonderful United Nations? SOooo concerned about
    "human rights?"
    Wait 'til a bunch of loonies insist upon our acceptance of "sharia law," like they are doing to Britain!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  177. stefan mosley

    You summed it up Jack, it's nauseating! No civilized socitey would commit an innocent child to such a barbaric fate as our "ally" does.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  178. John

    We entered the war in Iraq expecting to be seen as liberators without taking into consideration the religious issues our actions created. We are out of touch with this part of the world. The fact that Saudi's allow this type of marital arrangement to take place is deplorable, crude and sad and they couldn't careless about what we as a nation think about it.

    We need them more than they need us, and they know it.

    John

    Tampa, FL

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  179. Bruce Wilkerson

    Jack, of course it is disgusting, I don't like it any more than any other American probably does. But, it is their country, and we cannot police the entire world. We need to worry about our own problems right here in the USA. We have politicians that are fully willing to give our jobs to foreigners, and that is something we can and SHOULD do something about.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  180. Nancy Lahman

    It means if you check his computer you will find those photos of little boys or little girls being sexually exploited..................

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  181. Steve

    It's just a disgrace – no, it's beyond a disgrace. How can this be tolerated in the international community? The maltreatment of children is escalating out of control. Clearly, a message needs to be sent to adults taking advantage of kids, regardless of cultural norms that permit these things from happening.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  182. Derek

    As Americans we think its sick. But its part of their culture and has been for thousands of years. Its not our job as the US to be the morality police for the rest of the world. Let them be. Do we tell Brits that nude photos in the newspaper are disgusting and wrong? Do we tell them what their drinking age should be? Do we tell them what their age of consent should be? No, its up to the people of each sovereign nation to decide their own standards and how they want to live.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  183. Jay Pellis

    The sad thing is, the American people cannot do anything. We are the largest economy on earth, yet we do not use the power of the boycott, even when we can. In this instance, there is nothing we can do, short of simlply not driving. Integrity and capitalism cannot work together, here, as in many other situations.

    The only clout the US has is to develop alternative forms of energy. Hope we start working faster.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  184. Mitch

    Obviusly sick. Those posted who say we can't impose "our" sense of morality on these people are wrong. There IS a right and wrong in this world. This isn't a grey area where sane people can reasonably disagree. This is black and white, right and wrong. Anyone with a heart knows this is wrong.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  185. Amanda

    Please say PUBERTY right next time.

    Anyway, i belive anyone should think that that situation is just plain rediculous. What has the world come to these day? Seriously this nation needs to wake up and focus on the real problems, not these unneccessary battles.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  186. Brian J

    It means that countries are still controlled by medieval archaic religious doctrines that have no place in modern society.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  187. Jeff in Cleveland

    Jack:

    Other than their obvious need for female judges, these backwards practices underline our need to develop practical, economical alternative energy. We could then undercut the price of oil, revive our economic standing by selling alternative energy to India, China and developing countries, and let the middle east choke on its oil.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  188. Gay

    It means that the Saudi government is still archaic and does not recognize the rights of either women or children. Their only attempts at modernization is the price they charge for their oil!

    Collinsville, IL

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  189. jack frost

    Disgusting. Reprehensible. Criminal. It is child sex slavery condoned by the Saudis and our administration. Our state dept does not seem enraged at all. And Obama is subservient.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  190. chip lyon, missoula ,mt.

    If our prayers and wishes are to care and protect those who cannot do these things for themselves, and these prayers and wishes are never (and never have been) wholly fulfilled,

    For whom do we pray and wish for? Shall we be selective in our choosing? How is that right? Why don’t we keep trying no matter what and defend what is humanly good?

    You cannot divvy out kindness and humanity to only those you choose, you are defeating these concepts from the start. We must strive to do it for all at every turn. When we can know in our hearts that someone is truly suffering at the hands of others, we must alleviate this suffering with all our might and at all costs.

    Regards,

    C.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  191. Alba Brito

    That's really abominable. Many countries have unbelievable laws that just defend men's interests. And let's not be so naive as to think that the husband will wait until her puberty! If in a country where pedophelia is against the law (like in the US) there are "children molester cults", what can we expect from a place that considers these monstrous situations as legal?

    Downingtown, PA.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  192. Michael

    What is worse? A country that does this, or a president that bows to the king of such a country.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  193. Mario

    What does it mean? One word: Crusades!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  194. paul

    JACK,
    I wonder if the 8 year old girl was the judges daughter if he had done the same thing??????

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  195. brian

    As long as the Saudi's and other middle eastern nations keep acting like it's 3000 years ago, they will continue not to be taken seriously by the rest of the world.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  196. Pam

    That Saudi judge is probably envious...

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  197. Kristy

    I am not sure why we are so shocked that a judge will not rule to have this marriage annulled....we are talking about a country who allowed the marriage to occur in the first place. Perhaps the girls husband and father would like to try becoming pirates and take on an American ship?????

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  198. Paul

    It means their Mormon, remember the problem we had in the US?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  199. Casey

    Yes, it is disgusting. It is also their version of "traditional marriage" which they have practiced for thousands of years – keep this story in mind the next time you hear the terms "traditional marriage, recognized for centuries in all cultures".

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  200. Cheryl

    Jack:

    What it means is we should not be carrying on business with Saudi Arabia. But, since money and stuff is all the majority of the world cares about, I doubt any change will be occur. Its not just the United States, but all of civilization that is in decline. We will once be just a memory to this earth, like the dinosaurs. Cheryl

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  201. drew

    in this country...this means nothing...only more fodder for those out there who live for the next piece of news about another country, another people, another set of cultural and societal laws only to become more enraged and even more judgemental.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  202. Wanda in Montana

    It means we need to wise up and realize that religion causes the most disgusting behavior on the planet. Toleration is not the answer!

    Christianity, if taken at its literal word is no better. If we allow it to take over our nation we won't be able to say diddly to the Saudis about their sick "cultural" ideals.

    Ban Sarah Palin and her ilk before it's too late!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  203. Kim

    Jack,

    This is the saddest possible outcome for the young women (in this case young girls) of this country.... why does the government of Saudia Arabia feel the need to oppress women in this way?? Do they fear that by granting women equal rights' they will somehow out wit them... I am sad for these young women/girls and yet so grateful that my own daughter will never grow up in a country like this...

    Kim

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  204. Jay, Schaumburg, IL

    This only means that status quo continues in Saudi and many other countries where the Sharia law prevails. The same is true of the law recently passed by Hamid Karzai regarding the rights of a Afghan husband over his wife, something you brought up in your segment a few days ago.

    What would you say to a guy who considers a shampoo ad where a woman shows off her hair, blasphemy? Well, that is exactly what he is saying to you in response to your question here!

    If you have not read Irshad Manji's book, you may want to consider reading it. Remember to get an English, word-to-word translation of the Holy Quran too.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  205. Ralph - Missouri

    This is disgusting. However, girls in the Middle East are considered property. The Bush Clan has been holding hands with the Saudi king for years. Dubya would probably give his blessing.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  206. Meredith, Iowa

    Some can say that it is a different culture and that we don't understand the rest of the story–but that is an 8 year old girls well-being and childhood that are being foresaken. It is downright wrong, appauling, and disgusting.

    It means that they need help. I say we enlist Oprah.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  207. Jason

    Well Jack as disgusted as I am and agree with you...Lets remember that in the 1800's and turn-of-the-20th century times we as Americans did and felt the same way as the Saudis.
    Now, we have evolved through these cultural differences but there are many cultures that are more hideous than the Saudis.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  208. David

    With the Obama administration announcing loosening restrictions with Cuba today, there is sure to be some backlash from some people who say that this is a mistake. These better not be the same people who supported Bush and his hand-holding with Saudi royalties. Unbelievable!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  209. Emmett

    Saudi hasn't changed. They are who we have always known them to be. What it really means is that we've become so compromised by our energy policy that we can't stand for all the things that America is supposed to stand for. The idealism of America has a big oil smudge on it.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  210. Drishtikone

    I just call it as it is – Institutionalized Prostitution!

    Any other discussion around, over, about it is just semantics.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  211. Bob in Pittsburgh

    It means that the Judge is unwilling to open the door for hundreds of thousands of outraged Saudis to try to annul their family members pedophilia based marriages. Personally I wouldn't want to be responsible to any king for causing social unrest and increased court hearings either.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  212. Harry George

    This is Islam. The cleric is merely following the example of Mohammed who married 6 year old Aishia and consumated the "marriage" when she was 11.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  213. Julie in Lake Mary, FL

    Not to downplay the wrongdoing of the Saudis, but we need to quit focusing our energy on what other countries do and take a good hard look in the mirror. In the US it's appalling how many sex offenders live near our schools and hometowns. What does it say about us when you can pull the names and pinpoints of these offenders up on the web? It's commonplace. Where are the hard line laws to protect our young girls and boys – our raped women? Get it right here first, earn the respect of the world and only then can we begin to dictate morality to others.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  214. Mike

    This is a problem with religion, not culture. Many Americans will blame Saudi culture or tradition but this is the type of problem we see when religion, any religion comes to power.

    Given the current climate, nobody will step up and publicly admit that, even though opposing the marriage of children does in fact oppose practices deemed appropriate in the Koran.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  215. Peggy

    This is a horrifying situation, brought to us by the dear friends (Saudi Royal Family) of the Bush I and II administrations. Is this what the Bushes meant by family values? It would be ironic if it weren't so patently awful.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  216. EKY

    Being a Muslim myslef, I am ashamed that they would allow this for a child to be married in the first place. * year old is still a baby to me and should be playing with dolls and then getting an education not having to worry about some sick idiot as a 47 year that should be marriage his own age.

    This makes me so sick

    I feel that a girl has the right to say no and about the age also is sick. I am ashamed of the family especially the father.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  217. John Lucrezi

    What this means is once again another nation we stand behind makes us look horrible, if we stand for good morals and free rights then why do we still hold hands with these un-moral people....

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  218. Andre R. Newcomb

    Maybe it means Osama bin Laden burying weapons in the Arabian desert . . . and the American public not remembering why American forces moved into there when there was an embargo against people supporting Israel. Maybe it means "Mott the Hoople."

    Andy of Sierra Vista, Arizona

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  219. Bill From Memphis

    To follow up, the Muslims continue to lambast Christianity for its hypocritical Christians and America in general gets lumped in to Christianity to the Arab world they think Chrisitianity is starting wars, 50% divorce rate, and pornography running rampant among men. We think Islam is nuts for allowing stuff like this both are sins but I wish the Americans that do the previously stated would not call themselves Christians when they obviously are not.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  220. Austin Monroe

    I think that it is ridiculous that we are the most powerful nation in the country, and we just stand by and watch these things go on. The fact that we can do business with countries that act like this, is beyond me.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  221. Skip

    Jack,
    this is a good reason to go green and find differerent energy providers and tell these people thanks but no thanks.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  222. Dee

    It's pretty obvious to me that things need to change in Saudi Arabia and the current rulers have got to go. I don't condone violent revolution, but a regime change has to happen from these wahabbiist morons to a new secular, democratic or republican government that is a leader for human rights in the Middle East. I think that news media needs to focus more on Arab liberals. They seem rare, but they do exist, and they desperately need attention.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  223. wendy in VA

    Why would any 40 year old man want an 8 year old "bride"? This is nothing more than legalized pedophelia. This religion isn't only violent, its sick!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  224. jeff

    Well now is the time to ask our new president what is more important, HumandRights or oil? My guess is he will say oil and the change he promised will again be put to the side

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  225. Amy

    I think it is just sick!!
    To me, if the judge does not annul the marriage–it may mean he has an 8 yr old bride himself, or maybe he is trying to marry off his 8 yr old daughter.
    What can we say about it? We do need gas, for goodness sake. I think this would be where offshore drilling would come into play.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  226. Fearfighter1

    Hey Jack, This is pretty horrible from a western perspective and as you are aware this has been happening for thousands of years. The issue that get's me is the inability of a people to outgrow antiquated custom, cultural beliefs and philosophies. The judge's ruling is based on his own inability to transcend laws that by far always favor Men. These numb skulls are scared to the core of women. It is a big reason why they favor such repressive tactics and use their religion as a tool of oppression against Women. The judge is conveying this message to the world: We Middle Eastern Muslim Men are fearful that if we spare this case we will give up our right to young female virgins. We are Men who believe women are nothing more than objects made for us and in some cases sub-human at best. Don't get me wrong! A lot of Muslim men around the world don't believe this way but whenever religion and law are intermixed you can bet plenty of Men take advantage of this situation. It's just plain Devious and Devlish.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  227. Caroline, Los Angeles, CA

    OK Jack, you got me on this one. Quite frankly, I think that if our leaders are too afraid that the oil pipeline will be shut off if they write a tersely worded letter to Saudi leaders about their so-called laws, we should.

    Please, see if you can post the address of the judge or the court or the prince in charge of that district and let US tell the Saudis just exactly what we think of this.

    Maybe 100,000 letters might cause them to think. Maybe. We don't know if it will work, but we have to try.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  228. Armand TADEM, Atlanta, GA

    Jack, it all depends on the rules of law in Saudi Arabia. If this is allowed by the law, then the judge has nothing but to let it go.
    It will be important in this case to pressure to Saudi lawmaker to act and save the life of those young girls who are being sexually molested and Psychologically killed. This needs a deep change in family life in general in the Muslim world.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  229. Binyamin

    It is called a Hypocrisy because they (Saudi Kingdom) have what we need, we cover our eyes and ears. Imagine if this was done in a poor nation somewhere in Africa or Asia...????
    The whole world would be crying...

    Gimme a break...

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  230. Ed

    What does it mean? It means that Saudi judge himself probably has an 8-year-old girl "bride" ...

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  231. Timmy

    It is disgusting by the standards of most civilized nations but then so are genital mutilations in Africa, human sex slavery, and even the consumption of dogs for meat. But are we the world cops, imposing our morality on everyone? But, buckle up... Didn't we just see our President bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia? It's hard to complain about a ruling Monarchy when you're kissing their posterior.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  232. Lynn (Georgia)

    We're supposed to respect and tolerate the beliefs and practices of other cutlures aren't we? Where do you draw the line and who draws the line? Women are but property in the Muslim world.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  233. S, Michigan

    It means stay out of the business of other countries and their societies! How would you like for them to start telling you to do or not do something? Why do we need to constantly stick our noses in other societies (some much,much older than ours)? We've got enough to work on here at home- when we're done with poverty, hunger, lack of healthcare, crumbling infrastructure here at home, then let's work on other society's problems! There are some large democracies that consider dating before marriage (as we do here) to be sick and immoral- so, it's s tie, what's next?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  234. Jeff Freeborn

    What does it mean? It means that women in Saudi Arabia are little more than property. When a man can pay off a debt by giving his 8 year old daughter away it is obvious that our "ally", Saudi Arabia, has a long way to go when it comes to recognizing basic human rights.

    Where is our voice of outrage? It is muted by our lopsided economic relationship with the Saudi's. How can we effectively wave the flag of freedom and human rights when we are attached so firmly to the "teats" of our main oil supplier.

    The sooner we reduce our dependence on ALL oil, both foreign and domestic, the better off we will be. So much of our "voice" as a leader in the free world is nearly silent because we fear the loss of cheap energy.

    Until we regain some of our independence we will be left responding with quiet mumbling when young (female) children are married off in order to settle a debt.

    Jeff
    Manhattan, KS

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  235. Theresa in Atlanta

    It means that we are dealing with a country whose leaders have the morals of neanderthals. My apologies to the neanderthals.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  236. Josh Munroe from Ellensburg, WA

    The idea that an 8-year-old girl (heaven forbid it be a boy) is leverage in absolving debt is arcane at best and a perverse crime at worst. Using theocractic laws to allow this is not just an affront to the global community, it is an affront to God. Shameful.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  237. David

    Jack, what do you expect, this is an islamic country, the cleric is only following the direction and example of the islamic propet Mohamad who himself married a 7 year old Aisha and ofcourse consumated the marraige, now if that is good enough for their prophet it should be good enough for the followers of islam.

    There in lies the problem, pedophilia is the norm in an islamic culture, since it is sanctioned by Mohamad himself

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  238. Bob

    I think the bigger question is: what does it mean that there has been no outrage from supposedly "civilized" governments to condemn this stance by the Saudi judical (government) system

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  239. Joe Binard

    It really is none of our business just like it is none of the Saoudi's business to render an opinion about a country that allows homosexuals to get married and adopt kids!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  240. Matt

    Big deal, This is just the way it is in their culture. It is not our place to tel Judges in foreign countries how to rule.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  241. Tony DeBottis

    I think President Bush invaded the wrong country. He should have going into Saudi Arabia, because that's where all of the 9ll pilots came from. And just think look at all of the oil we would have. How can we even invite the Saud to this country?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  242. tom Moulton

    Hi Jack, Why should the Judge see anything wrong with it . He might be married to a child himself or even the girl's younger sister. I guess this just comes extra with the Oil.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  243. Abena

    It means the saudi legal system doesn't care about child abuse or the rights of girls. This isn't about cultural oppression or forcing western views on others some things are just wrong wherever they occur. God help that child.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  244. Anthony in Canada

    Jack, it highlights the fundamental differences between two vastly different cultures, ours and theirs.
    It also means that the Saudi judge and others of his ilk are not fit to perform their duties.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  245. Carl

    I noticed that not one of the posters has suggested that the US stop buying Saudi oil. Obviously, the outrage is limited to the extent that it means you might actually have to suffer a little bit to make positive change elsewhere.

    And please, someone in the US learn about where you actually get your oil from. 70% of the US oil supply comes from the US, Canada and Mexico. Canada (where I live) is the biggest foreign supplier of oil (and natural gas) to the US, not Saudi Arabia or any Arab country for that matter. It's a myth that the US is dependent on Arab oil, meant only to stoke the uneducated, racist comments that are clear in this comments section. The US is dependent on oil, period. The overwhelming majority of your oil doesn't come from the Arab world. Look it up.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  246. steve

    vipers cannot tell cobras that biting is wrong,the judge in this case is certainly scared to go against the clerics.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  247. Robert Turpin

    Well why don't we just ship all of our child molsters over there and see how thier court deals with that. This is just discusting. Sudbury, ontario canada.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  248. Ann

    There are many perverts here in the United States too. I think we should let the Saudi's deal with their crap, while we deal with ours. It seems like everyday we hear on the news about parents sexually abusing their own children. How sick is that! Why don't we just focus on ourselves, instead of passing judgement on others.

    Birmingham, MI

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  249. Marie - Deptford, New Jersey

    Slavery is obviously alive and well in Saudi Arabia.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  250. Will

    To the prudent viewer – it would seem the Judge has some personal pre-conceived notions about equality, and commom sense, especially as they pertain to Children and Abnormal Sex. Perhaps there a few child wives in the judges closet. It's amazing to me how our elected representatives and American businessmen, can go to this country and shake hands with these slimy low lifes. This is just one ("Clear") example for like mike westerners to make creating an alternative form of energy a national Burning obsession, ASAP.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  251. Mike (Fairport)

    This girl should certainly be allowed to have her marriage annulled, but there are legal technicalities that prevent the judge from doing so. The mother is not the legal guardian of the daughter – the despicable father is – and the girl is not allowed to protest the case until she reaches puberty. She's in legal no-man's land. While I can't know the judge's actual motivation, the legal technicalities certainly prevent him from doing anything. It's just like how the US couldn't renew charges against O.J. Simpson. This isn't really a failure of ethics in Saudi Arabia (which, admittedly, are somewhat questionable), but, rather, a failure of the legal system to properly respond.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  252. Matt Halstead

    It means that Saudi Arabia is a country that fails to recognize the human rights of children and women. It comes as no surprise, disgusting as it is, since it is a society dominated by radical religious men with no regard for anyone's rights but their own. I hope our administration chooses to make it increasingly difficult for regimes who support this kind of behavior to continue to do so...it is the "humane" thing to do.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  253. Blythe

    When Oprah is on her show telling American mothers it is ok to give your 10 year old daughter a vibrator because it will keep her from wanting to have sex, what is the difference? America seems to chip off more of its moral value daily. Sad but true.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  254. Syed Sajjad (Ramsey, NJ)

    Jack,

    This is pretty disgusting and you are right about that. I am a Muslim but these kind of news really freak me out. Saudi's are clearly going against the teachings of Islam which provide equal rights to women.

    But do you think the solution of this problem is Americanizing the whole world? I am an immigrant and that's what I found so far in the American culture. A girl can sleep with anyone and anywhere in America which is really out of any civilized culture. I think before pointing out someone else, why not start from fixing the American culture and getting the youth back to the real values that American culture used to have few decades ago. I am talking about your youth – Jack. You can realize the difference very easily.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  255. Egwim in Canada

    I'm not surprised its been the norm of the oil rich nation to be at the forefront on human rights injustice. What the man cant get a date with a woman his age,can someone say low self esteem?.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  256. Shileshia Goetz

    It means the judge has no sense of morals and has no care for the well being of this child. Did I also mention that it means he is a complete idiot!

    Shileshia
    Union Grove, AL

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  257. Joe

    Jack,
    If you want the true answer to your question you'll probably need to ask the judges 13 year old wife.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  258. Pamela

    This simply highlights what a backward society they live in. Anyone who views other human being, especially females, as simply "property" with no rights, and who can view children with such a low regard, have a long, long way to go toward being considered a civilized society.

    Are there caves in Saudi Arabia? I hope so...they'll need them to house all those cavemen.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  259. ROYCE HUDSON, WI.

    When religion trumps reason bad things happen. Any thinking person can see this is a crime.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  260. keith from New Jersey

    The Saudi judge is proablely married to a six year old.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  261. Florent

    Jack, what this story means is that countries like Saudi Arabia still live in the middle ages and have not grown to become democracies. Unfortunately they have been made extremely rich thanks to natural resources, prompting the leaders of our countries, so called democracies, to make deals and further strengthen the leadership of the Saudi. In the end that leadership has no desire to allow change and neither does our leadership, change would mean an uncertain future for those oil reserves we want and no one will allow this. In the end, change never comes and old traditions like allowing a man to pawn off his 8 year old daughter to a 47 year old are allowed to persist.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  262. Tarik from Potsdam, NY

    Jack, I have listened to your file everyday for several days and I have come to respect your opinion as one of the very few independant opinions on the most biased mass media in the world. Your comments today regarding US inability to do anything because of our dependency on Saudi oil is pure bull. US could not do squat in the Texas case of poligamy where girls were subjected to sex and potentially incestous sex as well. The US court handling a US case in US territory ordered the children returned to the very family(ies) who facilitated their rape. The Saudi case is appauling and another nut case. I am not surprised US and Saudi are close allies. My question to you is why intentionally confuse people?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  263. Sami

    One example after another. Acid in the eyes of girls going to school, wife rape, etc., etc., The whole of Islamic society is rotting.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  264. Lewis Hussing

    It means that their culture is different from ours and thus we see it as wrong. Tribal cultures, stone age cultures, foreign religions, and anyone else who doesn't think like us (me!) is wrong...that is the way we are wired. The story is..."Primitive culture different!"

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  265. Amy Elkridge,MD

    Jack,

    It means that in many parts of the world women and girls are seen as nothing more than property.

    That girl's father traded her like cattle, to pay his debt.

    I thank God everyday that I and my daughter were born in this country.

    We can vote, own property, wear the clothes we want,
    and have control of our own destiny.

    God bless the USA.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  266. gomez

    He is doing no wrong in his mind.......he is just doing what his prophet did........

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  267. PinCT

    We will never break our addiction to oil unless we have an honest, national conversation about the real culprit: the suburbs. It is impossible to break our dependence on automobiles as long as the "America Dream" is understood to be a single family house on a 1/2 acre of land. Mass transit and other solutions to automobile dependence don't work with low-density, single-use development. The "American Dream" is killing us.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  268. christian martin

    If we put up with Saudi Arabia on this then I better buy a bike or a Horse because I don't need Oil that badly!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  269. David in Georgia

    Jack

    It means they have a very different culture. Child marriages are the least of it,

    It is time, we as a nation, gave serious thought to our belief and committment to religious freedom. There are many religious practices becoming more comman in America, many of which violate our laws. A judge recently ruled that the laws preventing the wearing of masks couldn't be applied to Islamic women because it is part of their religiou practice. Sounds inocent enough but leads directly to child marriage, child casration and not allowing females to attend school.

    Just today the Taliban is being given control of part of Pakistan with the express intent of immplemnting the strictest possible Muslem law. The Saudis have legalized rape on religous grounds.

    Is this where we see religious freedom taking our country.

    David

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  270. mylantea sahib

    Seroiusly, where do they get these people now days? I'm sorry, but what kind of women are they making in Saudi Arabia? Because me personally my husband would have lost his life instead of my baby. Either by my hand or the person he owed money too. Secondly how can a grown ass man even agree to something like that HE IS SICK!! Thirdly is education and morales required to be a judge, if so the little girl should apply. WHAT THE HELL IS THE WORLD COMING TO. I WOULD LIKE TO BRING THE JUDGE TO AMERICA AND DEAL WITH HIM MYSELF. All parties involved should be tortured and burned.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  271. Warren in Bellingham, WA.

    These (Saudis) are the people George W. was so fond of having around – "Bandar Bush," a/k/a Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, the binLaden family, etc. – before, during, and after 9/11. It's about time we severed social ties with this sick, demented autocracy and took a stand in the court of world opinion. Civilized societies do NOT buy & sell little girls!!!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  272. David

    I wonder what the judge would do if this was his CHILD?? A very SAD and DISTURBING Story..Oh dont they Kill the GAYS THERE? why not CHILD TOUCHERS?? SICK SICK SICK

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  273. mary ann castellano

    I don't understand a country believes in a God would think that this is acceptable. There is no where on Earth that any God would make this acceptable. I say let us be the Christian country we started out to be and let Saudi Arabia know and the world know that this is an evil act upon children. We all have to answer at the end of our lives wouldn't the world be a better place if we lived that ? Is it all about Oil ?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  274. Kelly

    That poor little girl.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  275. Chimex

    These people have no regard for women and see them as sex objects. The earlier you invest in the object, the longer you enjoy it. They have left women in the darkest ages unimagined.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  276. Anthony

    This is just another example of religion overruling good judgment. It's 2009 for crying out loud. No morally sound human being would allow something like this to happen unless they felt compelled by religion to do so. When will we shed these barbaric practices?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  277. Mr.Ryder (OPM)

    Hello, I seen this judges ruling and I would like to just say I thought a judge was put in power to uphold justice and bring justice not injustice. This judge should consider his place of power and atleast show some common coursity to fellow mankind, justice, and all other forms of justice he is sopose to uphold. this man should be looking for another career in my opinion.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  278. Linda, East End LI

    Repulsive to know. Americans who truly care will pull their automobiles off to the side of the road. Park them and walk home, where they should begin preparing their own soil for everything they truly need...not want; but need.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  279. Renee

    Jack,
    It means no matter how rich we're making them from oil money, apparently you can't buy class or common decency.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  280. stephanie

    How can we (USA)support this? as long as they are our "friends" and we continue to support our addiction to oil, continue to kiss their royal behinds, we are condoning this practice. What does it say about us as a country?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  281. Shelba

    Obviously ,the Saudi attitude towards old men marrying children is barbaric. Conclusion: rich old barbarians are still stinking old barbarians.

    Sick? Well, duh!!!!!!!!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  282. Cecil M. Lopez

    Allies??? Is this who we want to associate our country with? This is despicable, and that is an understatement, as I have no words to relate how I feel about this situation. And we are concerned about Cuba's human rights violations???

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  283. Eric Beck

    When a Saudi judge refuses to annul a marriage between a 47 year-old and an 8 year-old, it means, first, that the judge, Sheikh Habib Abdallah al-Habib, is thumbing his nose at international pressure and outrage, and especially the West, second, that Wahabism is a primitive culture, largely based on the repression of women, and third, that we need to get the hell out of the Middle East, cut as many ties as possibe and let these people suffer the pitfalls of their way of life as quickly as possible, without intervention. We are just slowing the inevitable.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  284. Darrel

    I would question the statement that we're 'completely' dependent on their oil. I believe something like 20% of American oil comes from the Middle East. It's time for America to understand the true nature of Sharia law and which Islamic countries actually practice it. These countries are guilty of human rights violations and should be treated as such.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  285. Hugh ~ Tracy, California

    The action of this judge demonstrates that human rights can be violated with impunity in certain regions of the world where male-dominate societies fail to recognize even basic common decency for women and children, with antiquated reasoning that the rest of the world considers appalling. You said it right Jack, "This stuff is beyond sick."

    April 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  286. Carla

    What does it mean? What does it mean? Jack, if a Saudi judge refuses to annul the marriage of an 8-year old girl to a man who's pushing fifty, it means that justice is a concept that has been been bastardized time and time again. No one really knows what it means anymore! So what if the guy loses a couple of riyals? This girl deserves a childhood; what her father did was disgusting, and is something to be looked upon with repugnance.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  287. Tony, in NY

    It means that contrary to what Obama said on his recent trip that Islam has not made any great contributions to civilization.

    It also means they are a backwards people living in the past and not ready to be a productive part of the modern world.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  288. Donald

    Old saying "Under 16 protected by law, Over 65 protected by nature!" This Saudi ruling makes light of that old addage. And the Arabs wonder why non Arabs (yes! WE THE INFIDELS) think they are so backwards. Maybe the Judge there sold his daughters or gets little girls in trade for a camel or two. Just makes me sick!!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  289. Michael, Chapel Hill

    Death sentence to human dignity.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  290. Ali Sefati

    Saudi Arabia and their Wahabi extremist Islam is the root of the deep troubles in the middle east but American leaders are blinded by their oil to see all the problems that come from Saudi Arabia.

    The Alqaeda, the Taliban, the extremist Pakistanis, and of course the 9//11 hijackers are all product of the Saudi Arabia and their version of Islam.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  291. Al Rawlins

    Yes Jack, the idea of not annulling the 8 yr. old's "marriage' is pretty sick, but not very different to what goes on at the FLDS in Texas, Utah, Colorado, & British Columbia, except that I think they wait until the girl is maybe 14. That's a whole lot better !

    Arthur, Ontario, Canada

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  292. Buzz in Solvang, CA

    What it means is that Saudi Arabia is a country of pedophiles and child rapists and we should CONSTANTLY remind the world of that. Shame works better than anything with these people.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  293. Alesia Philips

    Probably means he is either related to the man who married the 8 year old or a pedifile himself more than likely its the latter, The USA should sanction Saudi Arabia and stop buying its oil or letting its people into the united states do what we did with Cuba restrict all trade and visitation. It's really sickening including the country who said ok to Rape!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  294. Alan Simpson

    Jack, our Canadian troops are fighting (and dying)alongside your brave soldiers in Afganistan. This horrifc act by a US "ally" makes a mockery of this sacrifice.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  295. Joji

    What does it mean? It means nothing, really. Although it seems quite disgusting based on our our norms. The Saudis don't subscribe to our norms. Until they decide themselves that this is an evil practice do something about it, why should we? Sad as it is, it is not our place to impose our norms on others.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  296. Jeff-New York

    Jack,

    Are you kidding me! You and your liberal friends are too worried about protecting the rights of terrorists with "our" Constitution. How do you have the time to be worried about a 47 year old pedophile in Saudi Arabia? When will you realize that our laws do no apply to the globe and why certain people will never accept what we believe.

    Jeff-New York

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  297. Marty

    When the republicans start screaming about Cuban human rights and the presidents new policie toward Cuba,we can point directly to Saudi Arabia who they have embraced.Your right Jack it is absolutely sick!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  298. Chuck

    A good example of hardcore Muslim ideals where women and children are treated as property and not human beings.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  299. Katherine

    This is a vile illustration of the fact that the caste system is alive and, unfortunately, still well in the middle east and south asia. This girl's father clearly is forced to live in a level of poverty that puts him in such a position. The person to whom he owed the money was in a financial position to make such demands and to enforce them. This is a sick and profoundly sad manifestation of how the caste system (whether you call it that or not) really looks on the ground. This is past the point of being a cultural difference; this is a battle of economics. And this poor child will be its real victim if she hasn't been already.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  300. Dave from Virginia

    The article makes it seem like this kind of situation is limited to the Saudi's, but it's not. This is the nature of Islamic (Sharia) law. While it is not practiced by all Islamic societies. It is certainly practiced by many of them. If Muhammad could consumate his marriage to Aisha when she was 9, why would anyone find it terribly wrong that an Islamic society such as Saudia Arabia would follow in the Prophets footsteps? If Islam has its way, America too will eventually fall under Sharia law. A daughters fate under such a society is fairly well determined...

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |