May 17, 2004 Saudi 1 TV
Sheikh Said Al-Qahtani a Saudi preacher who frequently appears on various Saudi television stations, appeared on the Channel 1 of Saudi TV, and spoke against the phenomenon of teenage girls being married to old men. Following is a verbatim translation of excerpts from his comments
Sheikh Qahtani: One of society's biggest mistakes is to force a young girl to marry an old man. We hear of 70 and 80 year old men marrying 14 or 15 year old girls. This issue should be dealt with in a determined and serious manner, first by the guardians who should be God fearing in all things regarding their girls.
This girl is not a commodity that can be sold or expected to bring a price. I have no doubt and I am not afraid to say so… Whoever marries off his 15 year-old daughter to a 70 or 80 year old man does this because he gave him money or because he is greedy and he pretends to forget or ignore his daughter's situation, her future and her life as a 14 year-old girl. He (her husband) is 80. In five years she will be 20, and he will be 85 and in 10 years she will be 25 years old, at the peak of her bloom and he will be at the peak of his death. This child will be depressed or will turn to deviant acts. This is a disaster and a crime.