The problem Walski has is specifically this: are 13 year olds really prepared for parenthood, both emotionally and financially? The financially part will probably be taken care of by the kids' parents - or so Walski hopes. It would be a damn shame if they had to quit school just because they have a family to look after.
But emotionally? Walski's has a niece who's around 13... a lovely, very intelligent young lady, without a doubt. But mentally and emotionally prepared for parenthood? Walski thinks not. And in all likelihood, neither are the 2 thirteen year-old newlyweds either.
The problem here, in Walski's opinion, is the literal adherence to traditional and religious values - the thinking that if someone is old enough to breed, they should be married off - ASAP. Without a thought about the consequences of marriage - children, responsibility and financial ability to survive. Without even the first thought about education - a person's passport to making a decent living in this day and age.
Walski may be wrong here, but in all likelihood, the mindset that the girl doesn't need all that much education to begin with, comes into play. To be able to fuck and breed is good enough.
On a slightly silly aside, since traditionally the man is required to be "on top" (and both were probably instructed such), there is a good chance that the poor girl had to spend her wedding night sleeping under the bed.
(more juvenile sexual thoughts, in the full post)
Contrast this with what's happening south of the border (hat-tip to Alphabet Soup), where the Muslim comunity there is looking to raise the minimum age of marriage (currently at 16 years). The prime-mover of this effort? To reduce the number of marriages that end in divorce.
Progressive, to say the least. Read the full news report (via ChannelNewsAsia), and you'll see that the Muslim community there is definitely going about things in a more pragmatic, logical, and most importantly, results-driven way. It is a small testimony that it is not Islam that is the problem, but the Muslims, particularly those whose minds are entrenched and sieged.
Which brings Walski to a related issue, which recently reared it's ugly head - that of gender discrimination in academia, in the name of Islam. In particular, it is the insistance, by some narrow-minded academicians, that in institutions of higher learning (in this case, UKM, which might as well stand for Ultimately Killing Minds), dressing is more important than learning. Especially if you're female (hat-tip to Howsy).
The memo reads (translation from the original Bahasa Malaysia, and emphasis, by myAsylum):
Dear respected (sic) students, before coming to see me, or before entering my class, please, please, PLEASE... dress according to the specification displayed. Muslimah (i.e. female Muslims) must cover their aurat (i.e. areas of the body 'required' to be covered) properly (Al-Quran, Surah An-Nur (24), verse 31). ONLY infidel women display their aurat. This is because they kufur (i.e. reject, disobey) towards Allah**. Are you a woman that is kufur towards Allah? Kafir (i.e. infidel, disbeliever) women must wear a scarf, or brooch, around their neck, to cover their exposed chest. I regret being forced to not meet with you, or to ask you to leave a lecture session of my class. This is because classes and meetings with me are also official functions/business. Personal appearance is important, in keeping with UKM's philosophy: "With Guidance of Knowledge, Faith and Deeds".
You have been informed.
** - Kufur towards Allah: Not believing Allah to be the rightfully worshipped God, and therefore disobeying all Allah's laws.
The dressing guidelines in question:
UKM infidel women must dress like girlscouts
Now, don't know about you, but Walski finds this not only offensive and disrespectful of others, but is perplexed as to what the hell dressing has to do with the pursuit of knowledge. In the Faculty of Economics and Business, no less (source). Fortunately for this faculty person, the JPEG was not detailed enough to reveal his identity (only a male could have issued such an asinine memo. If anyone knows whom it was for certain, please e-mail Walski).
To Walski, this give credence to the thought that no amount of academic degrees can irradicate myopia and narrow world views, once they've set in, regardless of what religion you profess. These sort of myopicus extrimica academicians have no place in our public (or any) universities. And then we wonder why local university graduates (especially the Malay ones) are unmarketable post-graduation?
UKM was also in the news lately, rather sensationally, for their female juvenile delinquent study, which "revealed" the connection between sexual activity and delinquency in problem 15 - 16 year olds in Selangor. This report was later rebuked by none other than the Selangor Chief Minister as being inaccurate. Now, some bloggers have immediately lambasted the CM's remarks as being in denial.
But if you read the Bernama news report in which the Selangor CM was quoted, you'd get a slightly different picture. An interesting excerpt:
Dr Mohamad Khir said he had read the study thoroughly and found that several facts including on the state's population were inaccurate.
Also it did not have an accurate definition on the word "sex" in explaining the method of study, he added.
"He (the researcher) should have discussed with us first before doing the study. Even his population figures are not correct. In the first page he wrote 4.1 million, in second page 4.7 million.
"On the question of sex... some people say touching with mouth is sex and brushing noses is also sex. See, even the definition of sex is not correct," he said.
Walski may not be a fan of Khir Toyo, but in this case he does raise some pertinent points. For example, how was "sexually active" defined in the study? If what the CM says is true, the study itself would be kinda suspect.
Funny enough, the report, in the first place, was called for by the Selangor state authorities, led by... Khir Toyo. So the part about talking to the state authorities first before doing the study is a little perplexing. It makes one really wonder if Khir Toyo even knows what's going on under his
And the focus of the report, in the first place. It's as if the Selangor state wants to make life more stiffling than it already is, pinpointing high-risk females. Almost like they were some sort of terrorist threat or something equally life-threatening. All in the name of "morality" and Islam.
Well, Walski could go on and on...
Many will probably label Walski all kinds of things for bringing these things up. Well, fine. Label away to your heart's content. Walski doesn't really care. What's more important is that this post, at least, makes you think (assuming you still have that ability) - is all this stiffling, rigid dogmaticism, literalism and nonsensical behavior going to bring Muslims any closer to the greatness that Islam is supposed to be, and once was, many hundreds of years ago?
If your answer to this rhetorical question is Yes - please do us all a favor and pray tell how. Because Walski really needs to know. As do probably all the other rational-thinking people, of all faiths, reading this.
Walski's Quranic translation footnote: Incidentally, the translation of the verse quoted by the UKM faculty person is this:
"And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss"
(Yusuf Ali translation).
In other words, dress modestly and appropriately (which again is subjective, depending on place and circumstance). It does not mean to cover up from head to toe, save for the face and hands, which is probably influenced more by Arab culture, and not Islam per se, but has become the general practice and belief.
Oh, and myopicus extremica is something Walski made up. It means "myopic to the extreme".