European Groups Call for Action Against Forced Marriage

Several governments and women's rights groups say forced and arranged marriages are a growing problem in European countries. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul the Turkish city recently hosted one of a series meetings that brings together non-governmental organizations and local governments to examine the issue of people being forced to marry against their will.

A women from southeast Turkey told representatives of leading non-governmental organizations and local governments meeting last week in Istanbul about her forced marriage.

"I got married when I was 27, it was arranged marriage. I only met husband once before we wed, but I had no choice. It was decided by my family and his that this was the man I have to spend the rest of my life, this is how it is for women, marriage is not a question of choice," she said.

With the backing of the European Union, the Hamburg, Germany, city council initiated a series of meetings across Europe to discuss forced marriages. Dr. Matthias Bartke of Hamburg says hearing about the experiences of women involved and about Turkish women's rights groups efforts to end forced marriages was an invaluable experience.

"For us it was actually perhaps the most important conference, because in Germany, especially in Hamburg, the Turks are the biggest minority and force marriages often occur among the Turkish community in Hamburg and also as you know the Afghani community," said Dr. Bartke. "I learned quiet a bit today how they are seen in Turkey."

While there has not been a Europe-wide study of forced marriages, speakers said their first-hand experiences indicated a growing problem. Local studies in several German cities support such concerns.


Source: VOA (English)


Anonymous said...

The forced marriage is illegal to Islam. It is indeed a cultural formation.

I read the sunnah of Muslim based on their Prophet's actions and sayings. In term of marriage and contract, all women are requested to give their permission to their parent to conduct the marriage. And if the women disagree to marry and if their parent/family continue the process, the contract is considered as void. And she could take legal action toward their own family.

There was one occasion when a woman was forced to marry and she complained to the Prophet Muhammad of her unwillingness. As the result the prophet cancel the marriage.

I think all marriage in the name of religion no matter what the religion is must be based on trust, respect and willingness.

worth reading indeed.

Anonymous said...

That's right. Muhammad only took slaves and concubines by force. It's illegal to take a brother muslim by force.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Finance islamique : 15,7 millions d’euros pour les placements halal

Anonymous said...


I admire you for reading not only Quran but also for reading on Muhammad actions and saying as reported to us by sahih Muslim, sahih Bukhari and others. It is really great that you spend so many of your time to know it all.

You wrote of illegality of forced marriage in Islam may be illegal theoretically but practical aspects of it are quite different.
You also wrote that forced marriage is a cultural formation, however according to majority of muslims Islam is a culture as well as a religion. Forced marriages or a marriages arranged by parents were a rule rather than exception in the muslim cultural milieu for the last thousand of years. So you are saying that muslim tradition is un-islamic???

Anonymous said...

Forced marriage culture is abusing all, males and females..this is my general view.

what I understand - the culture - which is legally accepted in Islam Sharia should be based on the moral teaching of both sources - Quran and the hadith.

just like the example of wearing a long dress like abaya dress among the Arab ladies. The dress is not Islamic dress but Arab/ethnic dress. it is accepted coz it follows the Islamic principle of dress code. A lot of my friends wear hijabs, jean and t-shirts and many of them also find trouser suits suitable for their daily dress work and these dresses are accepted in Islam as they said they cover their body and their hair. These attire are western culture but they are accepted according to Islam.

from my reading, the element of culture/custom ('urf) is employed/used by the Muslim scholars only after they cannot find the solution from Quran, Sunnah, consesus of opinions, anological reasoning etc.

And I think the parents neither refer to their Islamic primary sources nor following the principles of Islamic jurisprudence when they were forcing their son/daughter to get married. The couple should voice out.And the Imams who involve the the marriage ceremony or before the ceremony should ask them their willingness.

I can agree with 'arranged marriage' - but - it should be based on the sharia principle, mutual agreement, freedom of expression, free of any abusing element.

worth reading book about Islamic Jurisprudence - Kamali , Principle of Islamic Jurisprudence. Cambridge. can get it from amazon.

Anonymous said...

You are writing about separation of islam from the "background" culture, saying that "culture" should be based on Qu'ran/sharia, but how can you do that?
Take as an example "freedom" of choice in Islam regarding the woman's marriage.
Muslim women in the west can meet future husband in school, at university, at work, through the familly and through(male and female) friends, then they can choose (more or less) freely. However half of what they can do in the west is not accepted in sharia, they do not live in the muslim culture so their behaviour is by necessity changed from the one dictated by sharia.
Now in muslim countries in theory, according to Qu'ran and sharia, the woman:
- can not meet man/future husband in school (the men and woman have separate classes)
- can not meet him at university as according to sharia the classes should be separate for men and women
- can not meet him without the presence of a male from her familly
- may meet him at work if and only if her father/brother/cousin allow her to work, after all in sharia fathers have power over their daughters doings until the daughter's marriage.
BTW forget that in some muslim countries women can work without prior agreement from their family - these are foreign influences not native to Islamic jurisprudence..
In these circumstances how free is the woman marriage agreement and how can there be any other way for a women to marry but by the arrangement.

Of course in practice everything is a wee bit different but still we are talking about pure Islam/sharia unstained by western/eastern cultural mores , aren't we?