Shariah lawyer Faiz Fadzil says shariah courts need to balance the best interests of the victim as well as the unborn child.
KUALA LUMPUR: Shariah lawyer Faiz Fadzil has pointed out that getting rape victims married isn’t always the worst option.
He said this came with a condition: that both parties wanted to get married.
“Under civil law, if a girl under 18 has sex with an older man, then it is considered rape.
“In the case where both the girl and the man are Muslims, they both had consensual sex and as a result the girl is now pregnant, it may be in the best interests of both the girl and the child for her to get married,” he said at a forum on Islamic family law in Cheras here today.
He said this was especially true if both parties were willing to get married.
Faiz, who is also Amanah Youth deputy chief, said that in shariah courts, if the girl was 16 years old, then she could get married to the man if the shariah court allows it.
He said those opposed to this often argued that the girl’s education would be affected.
Although he agreed that this was a legitimate concern, he said outsiders must also take into consideration the wants of the girl as well as what is in the best interests of the child.
“Marriage is a form of repentance for Muslims who have committed sex outside of marriage.
“We must also remember that the unborn baby has a right to a good education as well and this can be difficult if the baby is born out of wedlock.”
He also pointed out that if a marriage does not take place, investigations into the offence of rape would continue.
“If the man is found guilty and is then punished for his crime, it is more than likely that he would refuse to take responsibility for the child in the future.”
He said in this kind of case, the best case scenario would be if the girl is allowed to marry the man (if she wants to) and she is also guaranteed that she will be able to continue her studies.
“In this, a lot falls on the future husband and the families concerned to ensure the girl continues to get the best education she can get.”