Are we becoming more and more fundamentalists ? That's the question I asked myself when I read on The Jakarta Post that the moderate largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (N.U) has allowed underage marriage.
During its recent conference in Makasar, South Sulawesi, N.U issued a Fatwa/Edict which allow under age children to get married. The reason is because the Islamic Sariah Law does not rule the minimum age for marriage, thus different from the national Marriage Law No 1/1974 which ruled that the minimum age for a man is 18, and for a girl is 16.
Parents are allowed to marry off their under age children, although they are strongly appealed to carry out the marriage after the children reached puberty. The Fatwa also said that underage couples must abstain from sexual intercourse until their are mentally and psychically capable to do do.
This Edict was protested by the National Commission for the Protection of Children, who said that it is against the Child Protection Law Article 48 which forbid the marriage by underage children.
As I have stated time and again, although a Fatwa is not part of our national legal system, however considering N.U is the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, its disciples would regard it and obey it as a law. Thus, in the end it will surely cause great confusion in our society.
Considering this fact, I hope that the new leaders of N.U headed by Dr. Said Agil Siraj would reconsider said Fatwa.