In setting a non-parole period of seven-and-a-half years, Judge Sweeney said “neither his cultural or religious beliefs excuse his offence”.
The court heard he believed a Muslim girl could marry once she reached puberty.
He’s absolutely right. In fact it is recognized as legal under Islamic law by local Toronto Mullahs.
Al-Islam.org contains a book dealing with Islamic marital morality authored by Toronto’s Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi “Marriage and Morals in Islam“.
Here’s an excerpt: Sexual desire is aroused in human beings at the age of puberty. In Islamic legal definition puberty (bulugh) is determined by one of the following:
1. age: fifteen lunar years for boys and nine lunar years for girls;
2. internal change (in boys only): The first nocturnal emission. Semen accumulates in the testicles from puberty onwards and more semen may be formed than the system can assimilate; when this happens, semen is expelled during the sleep. This is known as nocturnal emission wet dream or ihtlam in Arabic.
3. physical change: Growth of coarse hair on lower part of abdomen.
Since the sexual urge begins at puberty and as Islam says that sexual urge should be fulfilled only through marriage, it has allowed marriage as soon as the boy and the girl reach the age of puberty. In the case of girls, it not only allows them to be married as soon as they become mature, but also recommends such marriage. It is based on such teachings that Islam discourages girls from postponing their marriage because of education; instead, it says that girls should get married and then continue their education if they wish to do so.”