Saudi Prince Marries 6-Year-Old Girl-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
A meme making the rounds online claims that a 51-year-old Saudi prince married a 6-year-old girl.
A Saudi prince has not married a 6-year-old girl.
The meme, which has been circling the web since 2013, shows a picture of a man who is supposedly a Saudi prince next to a little girl in a wedding dress with a caption that reads:
Saudi Prince Abou Libarae Kahtani, 51 years old, and his new bride Hind Nawaf, 6 years old, exchanged vows in Saudi Arabia last week. Reporters say it was a beautiful ceremony.
In completely unrelated news, Saudi Arabia was elected the Chair of the United Nations Human Rights Council in September.
The man pictured, however, is not a 51-year-old Saudi Prince. He is a Saudi cleric named Sheik Adil Kalbani, the first black man to become an imam at the Grand Mosque in Mecca. The photo was taken during an interview in which Kalbani argued against calls for universal health insurance in March 2015.
There’s no record of a Saudi prince named Abou Libarae Kahtani, and the name appears to have been made up. We were also unable to track down where the photo of the little girl came from.
Even though this rumor is false, childhood marriage is a real issue in Saudi Arabia. The non-profit group Equality Now reported on a 12-year-old girl who was sold into marriage to a 50-year-old man in 2010. A judge granted the girl a divorce after Equality Now got involved with the case in 2013, but there are countless more cases like that one.
In 2013, the Saudi Ministry of Justice introduced new regulations on the marriage of girls. Those regulations were to set the minimum age for marriage at 16, but it also set a number of “preconditions” that could lead to marriage before 16. Those conditions include approval from the girl and her mother, approval of a designated court and medical reports to prove the “competence of the girl for marriage,” according to Equality Now.