Hopefully once the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (Komisi Perlindungan Anak Indonesia / KPAI) make their report to police about Syekh Puji and his marriage to a 12-year-old, the police will have the testicular fortitude to throw the book at this pedophile.
The KPAI team that went to Semarang seem to think that they have sufficient evidence that the marriage was consummated. To be legally correct the fact finding team uses the words very likely that the Syekh had slept with his child bride, Lutfiana Ulfa.
There seems little doubt that this is a valid marriage in the sense of a religious marriage or as it is generally known, kawin siri. However, it is not a valid marriage in terms of Indonesian law. It would be a hard slog to try and prove that a kawin siri type marriage between a 43-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl is recognized in the Marriage Law (Law No. 1 of 1974 -- soft copy in Indonesia if anyone wants it). This would still be the case even where the parents or guardians are said to have given their approval.
What makes this case even more bizarre and sickening than it already is, is the manner in which the whole affair has been played out. Lutfiana was the winner of a bride selection competition where one of the judges was the Syekh's current wife (this would make her complicit in the procurement of a child for sexual exploitation) and some of his followers (also complicit in the procurement of a minor for sex).
This gets even more perverse when one learns that the parents are in considerable financial difficulty and as such were glad that the daughter was chosen. The only thing that could make this even more bizarre and sad is if the parents financial difficulties were in some way related to the man that they eventually sold their daughter to.
The implication quite clearly is that there was a transaction involved in that the parents are in financial difficulties and then not so after marrying off the daughter. This I need to check further because the parents have only said that they hope it improves their financial position and not that it already has.
The KPAI is hoping that the Police will act on this and charge all those involved under Articles 81 - 83 of the Child Protection Law. These articles in essence prohibit the procurement of child for sex. The articles would provide for a term of imprisonment of up to 15 years and a fine in the vicinity of IDR 250 million, if I recall correctly. I need to look at the law (soft copies in Indonesian and English, I think).
The KPAI reckon that before they can call the man a pedophile they would need to get a psychological test. This is one of those shake your head moments. The KPAI are one of the few to do something about this predator and then they come out with the idea they need to psychologically test the man before they can be sure that he is a pedophile.
The evidence speaks for itself. He is married to a 12-year-old and is looking to procure a 9-year-old and a 7-year-old as his next wives. For my mind there is no need to do psychological test on this man, he is a serial predator, a molester of children, a rapist of children, and worthy of jail time. I hear that the inmates of jails have a special liking for men who interfere with children.
The idea that this man is in some way right because he claims he is doing nothing different from the Prophet is ludicrous. He is not the Prophet for starters and has not been granted any special privileges in this regard. Even a cursory reading of the Suras and the Hadiths would highlight that Muhammad was granted special privileges in the marriage game.
It is also pretty likely that Muhammad only slept with his first two wives (I have been talking to people about this offline and learning a thing or two along the way) and that the Hadiths suggest that Muhammad's marriage practices were not to be followed. In fact there is specific mention of not having more than four wives (strict conditions for more than one) and that children are not to be married (I am sure that there will be a reader out there somewhere that can enlighten me on whether I am close to the mark or way off base -- constructive comments welcome because I want to learn more).
It is time that more people came out against this practice. It does not matter that it is rare. What matters is that it happens and it must not. The children of this world are our future, they are our hopes and dreams, and no man (or woman) has a right to strip a child of that future under any circumstances, ever!