Australia is the canary in the mine for New Zealand on forced child marriage

When the Canary dies the Miners know it is time to leave the mine

Australia is currently being forced to deal with illegal religious marriages where a young girl has been forced to marry a much older adult male.

In New Zealand, Labour Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern has already raised this issue much to her credit and has shown a better grasp of the problem than National MP Joanne Hayes who is the one who introduced a forced marriage bill. Ardern, unlike Hayes, understands that a bill addressing legal marriage under the law will not protect girls from forced illegal religious marriages like are already happening in Australia.

Labour deputy leader Jacinda Ardern said Labour would support any way to combat forced marriage. But sometimes marriages happened outside the law.

“The marriage doesn’t have legal standing but it has religious standing. It’s the same consequences for these young women.

“You can put laws in place, but if people aren’t going to conduct ceremonies within the law then it become a blunt instrument.”

-NZ Herald

Footage of an alleged forced wedding ceremony between a 14-year-old girl and a man 20 years her senior held at a Melbourne mosque has been played in court.

Imam Ibrahim Omerdic appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday where he faces charges of conducting the forced marriage at a Bosnian mosque in September, 2016.

During the recording, as the bride’s mother looked on, a male voice can be heard saying “she is very young”. During the proceeding, Mr Omerdic says that the two should follow the example of the Koran.

“As a wife you have a duty to obey your husband,” Mr Omerdic is heard saying in the video.

The footage, which was taken in Mr Omerdic’s office at the Bosnia-Herzegovina Islamic Society in Noble Park, was played in court after it was seized by police from the groom’s phone.

The 34-year-old groom recently plead guilty to taking part in the marriage after a charge alleging he also had sex with the girl was withdrawn by prosecutors.

The video appears to show Mr Omerdic reading from a script for an Islamic wedding. At one point he is recorded asking the man and the girl whether they take each other as husband and wife.

The young girl, which the court had previously heard was aged 14 at the time, can be seen on the video wearing a light blue headscarf.

The court also heard that a $1480 gold necklace was given as a dowry by the groom.

Mr Omerdic, 62, was sacked from the mosque in the days after his first court appearance in January.

…Defence counsel Daniel Gurvich QC said that the marriage was incomplete because the words required to be said by the bride and groom under the law were never repeated.

This is why Jacinda Ardern is right on the money with her comment about New Zealand’s proposed forced marriage bill. All they need to do to get out of prosecution is to ensure that the marriage is not legally recognised. National MP Joanne Hayes must address this loophole as her bill if passed will not protect Muslim girls from forced marriages in New Zealand.

…”It is a certificate of Islamic marriage, it is not an Australian marriage,” he said.


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