In spite of the ban on forced marriages in the UK, many minor Muslim girls are being forced into matrimony with men living abroad via Skype. Imams have been conducting ceremonies on the internet so that these girls can be married before “being put on a plane and consummating the marriage at the earliest opportunity”, reported a charity, Freedom.
Some of these girls are as young as 11. According to the charity, the girls are married with a promise for a Visa that can take the husbands to the UK.
The main reason behind the practice is to curb the girls becoming “too western”.
Forced marriages were made illegal in 2014 across London, Wales, and Scotland. However, the case in discussion didn’t involve a child.
“Once married, there is enormous pressure to get a spouse visa. The hope is the girl will visit (country of husband’s origin) and fall pregnant to make the union seem more legitimate before bringing the partner back,” said Aneeta Prem, the founder of Freedom.
Instances have also been cited across many other religions – even though these do not condone forced marriages – such as Hinduism, Sikhism, and Judaism. But parents are using it as a method of control that can curb their children’s Western behaviour.