Dutch MPs Call to Ban Imam for Stance on Child Marriage

6 December 2011

Dutch parliamentarians are calling for a ban on an imam who supports a young marriage age for girls. Mohamed al- Maghraoui , who is due to attend a conference later this month in the Hague, published a fatwa in Morocco (2008) accepting nine as a marriageable age for girls. Members from the Dutch Labor (PvdA) and Liberal (VVD) Parties have requested that the controversial imam not receive a visa. Muslim MP Tofik Dibi of the Green Left party supported the visit as an opportunity for free-thinking Muslims to “break through this sort of man’s position of power”. He noted further that it was “encouraging to see how many Muslim-Dutch people are giving this man the cold shoulder”.

Dutch government tightens regulation on foreign marriages

The Dutch government plans to introduce measures to stem the influx of foreign brides and grooms. Would-be marriage migrants will have to be at least 18, and marriages between cousins, aunts and uncles will no longer be allowed.

The measures are aimed at marriages between Dutch residents of foreign origin – particularly from Turkey and Morocco, but increasingly also Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia – and people from their respective countries. There are concerns that such marriages are an obstacle to the integration of ethnic minorities into Dutch society, Radio Netherlands reports.

Dutch justice minister, Ernst Hirsch Ballin stated that “the new rules are meant to protect the Dutch society and the women themselves”.

The civic integration exam, which would-be marriage migrants have to pass before being admitted to the Netherlands, is to be made more difficult. Under the new system, potential import brides and grooms will have to meet higher Dutch language criteria. They will also have to participate in job training upon arrival.