....marriage of 8 year old.
(CNN) -- A Saudi judge has refused for a second time to annul a marriage between an 8-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man, a relative of the girl told CNN.
The most recent ruling, in which the judge upheld his original verdict, was handed down Saturday in the Saudi city of Onaiza, where late last year the same judge rejected a petition from the girl's mother, who was seeking a divorce for her daughter.
The relative said the judge, Sheikh Habib Al-Habib, "stuck by his earlier verdict and insisted that the girl could petition the court for a divorce once she reached puberty." The family member, who requested anonymity, added that the mother will continue to pursue a divorce for her daughter.
The case, which has drawn criticism from local and international rights groups, came to light in December when al-Habib declined to annul the marriage on a legal technicality. The judge ruled the girl's mother -- who is separated from the girl's father -- was not the girl's legal guardian and therefore could not represent her in court, according to Abdullah al-Jutaili, the mother's lawyer.
The girl's father, according to the attorney, arranged the marriage in order to settle his debts with the man, who is "a close friend" of his. At the time of the initial verdict, the judge required the girl's husband to sign a pledge that he would not have sex with her until she reaches puberty, al-Jutaili told CNN. The judge ruled that when the girl reaches puberty, she will have the right to request a divorce by filing a petition with the court, the lawyer said.
The article goes on for a bit. I think it's interesting how our govt. often condemns the use of Sharia law to validate strict Sunni Wahhabist philosophy. But you only heard about the Taliban in Afghanistan. You never hear much of what goes on in Saudi Arabia. Oddly enough, back in the day, Kabul was a pretty progressive city. It attracted a great number of educators and scholars. I seriously doubt Mecca, or its deep outskirts, has ever been considered a bastion of intellectual freedom and educational development.
It's just fascinating how we arm the Saudis to the teeth and generally back them across the board. Good to know the Saudis are with us. Well, except the 15 of the 19 hijackers from 9/11. George Bush Jr. was really on the money when he wanted to democratize the entire Middle East. He was such a visionary. And Karl Rove has the unmitigated audacity to suggest that Obama has a naive approach to foreign policy. Maybe I'm being to hard on our former president. Sometimes Bush reminds me of a current occupant of the White House. That current occupant being the recently adopted Portugese Waterdog "Bo." Maybe Obama was thinking the same thing and wanted to name the dog "Bosh." It would have certainly been a fitting tribute.