The flower girls are given lunch and a Brazilian

How to get around those pesky religious rules that say women are sluts unless they’re nailed and sealed into a marriage? How can men have fun if women are all nailed and sealed into a marriage? There is a way. The men can marry them, but just for a few minutes. Win-win!

I knew this was popular in Iran, but it’s apparently big in India. too.

Men from around the Islamic world have been traveling to Hyderabad, India, to purchase marriage contracts lasting four weeks. These “one-month marriages” provide men with young Indian wives, generally from poor families, who must consummate the short-term arrangements. Essentially, men—often already married—come to India with the intent of having religiously sanctioned sex with women other than their wives. Since Islam forbids prostitution, a short-term “marriage” is arranged instead, often with girls from impoverished families.

And that of course bears no resemblance to prostitution whatever, and is in no way exploitative and brutal toward the women in these “marriages.”

The phenomenon is now being exposed because of the bravery of 17-year-old Nausheen Tobassum who cooperated with police after escaping a “marriage” with a 44-year-old man from Khartoum, Sudan. The man, who was married with two children, allegedly paid Nausheen’s aunt $1,800 to marry and live with the girl during his stay in India. The marriage was reportedly presided over by a “qazi,” or Muslim judge who renders decisions according to Sharia, at Nausheen’s parents’ house. After the “ceremony,” Nausheen says her parents forced her to consummate the marriage with the man, who had also been guaranteed a “Talaknama,” which allows for a swift divorce after the marriage interlude, upon the groom’s departure from India.

What a lovely way for parents to treat their daughter – sell her cunt for a month, as if it were like renting a room in their house. The fact that her body and mind are still attached is a small inconvenience, easily ignored by parents who are determined enough.


  1. says


    As I AM brazillian, the “Brazillian” in the title of the post calls my attention. I coundn’t see what it reffers to though, can you clarify, please?

  2. hjhornbeck says

    It refers to a type of hair removal that’s apparently quite popular around these parts. The full phrase might be a cultural reference, but I don’t know it and can’t find it.

  3. miraxpath says

    This purchase of women by the gulf arabs has been going on for the last two decades. Many underaged girls-children- are sold into marriage, either temporary or semipermanent ( arab husband flies in once in a while over a period of years) . The ‘brides” dont get to go live in their husbands’ countries.

    Just had a look at pharyngula today. My post above would qualify as both racist and islamophobic by the leading lights of Pharyngula.

  4. theoreticalgrrrl says

    It’s not nice to point out reality, it offends some people. And abusing female children is not as serious as the slightest chance of racism against the men who do it and the “phobia” of a religion that approves of it.

  5. sailor1031 says

    I’m always interested to see how the allegedly religious manage to get around religious rules that they don’t like. And this avoidance seems to require the willing participation of the “holy men” – those who make the rules. Surely a good religious person would keep to the rule of no prostitution knowing that by doing so he or she was being virtuous in accordance with the commands of doG and was getting points in heaven?

    BTW what does it do to the “family honour” when you sell your daughter into prostitution for a month or so? Must the family now kill the woman because she isn’t a virgin any more? So many questions…….

  6. Eristae says


    Just had a look at pharyngula today. My post above would qualify as both racist and islamophobic by the leading lights of Pharyngula.

    I don’t see how it can be Islamophobic given that you don’t actually mention Islam, only “gulf Arabs.” I assume this is because you are conflating “Muslim” with “gulf Arab.” Are Christian Arabs, Jewish Arabs, and Hindu Arabs in the Gulf States also buying temporary wives? These other faiths don’t have temporary marriages the way Islam does, but your statement doesn’t touch on religion at all, only race and/or ethnicity and/or country of origin and/or language use. If you did stop conflating “gulf Arab” with “Muslim” and instead referred to Muslims, I don’t think anyone would disagree that Muslim men have been using temporary marriages to get around prostitution for even longer than two decades, with these “marriages” often taking place under significant coercion.

    Racist? That would have a foundation to it, largely because of this conflation. The article takes place in India and talks about men from “around the Islamic world.” It doesn’t mention the race of the man in question at all and says only that he is from Sudan, a country is North Africa, not one of the Gulf Arab states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates). There is a sea (the red sea) and a country (Saudi Arabia) between Sudan and the Persian Gulf. The only way that one might turn Sudan into an “Arabic” country at all (and not a gulf Arab state which it cannot be made into, unless one pretended the red sea was the Person Gulf, I suppose) is if you dropped “gulf” and is used “Arabic” to refer to predominantly Arab speaking countries (i.e. the “Arab world”) rather than just the Arabian Peninsula. This would nevertheless be problematic. First, many people in the “Arabic world” don’t consider themselves to be Arabs (see here for some examples of that). Second, I don’t think you were trying to somehow say that having knowledge of or learning Arabic has anything to do with the purchase of women as temporary wives, as illustrated by the fact that you said “gulf Arabs” and not Arabs. However, the fact that this article has nothing to do with “gulf Arabs” doesn’t stop you from using this article as an opportunity to take shots at “gulf Arabs.” So, yeah, your statement has serious issues.

  7. Eristae says

    Oh, and if one doesn’t understand the issues with talking about “gulf Arabs” in an article about a crime that took place in India and was perpetrated by a Sudanese man, consider how you would react if an American man was caught engaging in sex trafficking and someone used this to rag on western Europeans. It’s either racist (if one takes “western European” to be a race), nonsensical, and/or off topic. Take your pick.

  8. says

    Gosh, I’ve never heard of this kind of thing happening before — until now. So presumably the girls would have to bring up the issue all by themselves, if there was any in the aftermath of the consummation of these ‘pretended’ marriages? I wonder… do the mothers, for example, offer their daughters repeatedly in marriage to these desperate men to pay for the upkeep of the would-be-issue, that may arise from these fake marriage contracts.

    Well done to 17-year-old Nausheen Tobassum for highlighting this dreadful scenario in India. It’s the poor who always come out worst in situations of this ilk. They are mostly just toys for the rich. The men don’t want to offend their religion at the expense of the raping the poor. Not dissimilar to child clerical abuse in that respect.

  9. Donnie says

    miraxpath and theoreticalgrrrl

    I would like to nominate the both of you to the Atheist version of the ICP (Insane Clowne Posse) based upon your knowledge of context. You both can be summed up by the following statement: “Context, how the fuck does it work?”

    Now, everyone please point-and-laugh at our newest members of the Atheist ICP!

  10. iknklast says

    The fact that her body and mind are still attached is a small inconvenience, easily ignored by parents who are determined enough

    Mind? Are you implying, then, that women have minds? I don’t think this is necessarily accepted by many people, especially people who have no problem with short term marriages to please men’s carnal urges. It’s very possible that the people involved in this certainly have no idea that a woman has any sort of mind worth bothering with. I could be wrong…but since I see that same attitude so often in so-called enlightened people here in the good ole USA, I suspect I’m not.

  11. says

    Eneraldo – Eristae and HJ are right: I was referring to what’s called a “Brazilian wax” or “Brazilian” for short. The title was meant to suggest an insulting version of the usual jollities surrounding genuine weddings, one that sounds more like slave labor than like an affectionate present.

  12. says

    iknlast – no, you’re right, but you know how it is – the girls in question have a disconcerting habit of acting as if they did have minds, which their parents can’t help noticing. It’s rather like the lobster struggling in the pot. The only thing to do is to pretend it’s not really a mind, it just looks like one to the untrained observer.

  13. miraxpath says

    I was not referring to this particular article at all – I didn’t read it and will not bother to read it. Muslim men from the gulf states have been buying poor muslim girls in Andhra Pradesh for at least the last two decades and this abuse has been long documented in Indian newspapers. So this particular case is but one of a long-lasting trend of abuse. That you and much of the western world is ignorant of it is hardly surprising. You are ridiculously ill-informed if you think that gulf arab isnt synonymous with muslim and that any other kind of gulf arab exists. I come from a part of the world that the race muslim is considered synonymous with muslim (check out the constitution of Malaysia and the pitiful case of Lina Joy) despite there being many more numbers of malay people who are buddhists, christians and hindus and animists. So dont presume to lecture me.

    The islamic aspect is that this kind of temporary wife buying is sanctioned by islam – traditionally shia islam but the practice is spreading with sunnis. It is fucked up and self-serving (for men) aspect of islam – but what else is new?

  14. miraxpath says

    So Donnie, who the fuck are you and what kind of knowledge do you have of the situation in India? In Hyderabad? I reckon that I have a lot more knowledge of context than you.

  15. Donnie says


    Nice! A skeptic that “appeals to authority”. Classy. I have never heard that one coming from, I assume, a skeptic. Or, do you consider yourself a “skeptic, not a skeptic”. Should I counter with the “No True Scotsman” fallacy to you?

    Your comment, as previously explained by Eristae at #8 puts the issue in context. Obviously, you have read the article on Phyrangula

    My post above would qualify as both racist and islamophobic by the leading lights of Pharyngula.

    The criticsm of the pratice is not “islamophobic”. Grouping THE gulf arabs and assuming ALL gulf arabs buy-and-use young girls, as I infered within your comment, would be an “islamophobic” statement.

    The leading lights of Phyrangula is a completely unecessary potshot on your part that detracts from your comment. You are implying that the regular commenters on Phyrangula would call your statement racist and islamphobic which is a recockulous statement on your part. Hence, the “context” comment on my part.

    Thus, are you criticising the practice? Maybe you should try and articulate your point clearer.

  16. miraxpath says


    1. What authority did I refer to? “skeptics” cant have local knowledge of a longstanding situation?

    2. I rather suspected that my use of that article would be pounced on in this manner- rather predictable and pathetc, dont you think? I wasnt off at all in my prediction that my statement would be seen as both racist and islamophobic by the horde right?

    3. So your and Eristae’s comments are all about policing my speech and you admit you dont give sweet fuckall about the girls in India caught up in this sleazy exploitation..?

  17. says

    Donnie – it’s a bit late to come over all “good skeptic” when your opening gambit @ 10 had nothing to do with skepticism. If you really expected Mirax or anyone else to talk to you as one skeptic to another after that comment, you’re the one who’s doing it wrong.

  18. miraxpath says

    Just one link by one of India’s best newspapers on this longstanding issue. there are dozens and google is your friend.

    How the local indian muslim community leaders have reacted to media attention being focussed on this issue :

    >>Some Muslim leaders, though, accuse the media of making a mountain out of a molehill and defaming the community. <<

    Such a familiar refrain.

  19. miraxpath says

    Sorry but my #14 is addressed to Eristae who came up with this priceless pearl : If you did stop conflating “gulf Arab” with “Muslim”

    The people conflating arab with muslim are the gulf arabs and their governments . The GCC with the exception of Kuwait and Bahrain, do not permit non-muslims to become citizens. There are a grand total of 200 christian kuwaiti citizens. I dont expect the number for Bahrain to be overwhelmingly high. The gulf states have foreign workers who may be christian or hindu but they are never likely to become naturalised citizens. There are in fact laws extant in Kuwait forbidding such naturalisation.

    There are other muslim states like the Maldives which ”conflate” muslim with being maldivian. Also written into the constitution. What’s my teeny bit of essentialialising when seen against the scale on which it is done in MANY muslim majority countries?

  20. Anoia says

    This practice is known as misyar marriage (Sunnis) and mut’ah marriage (Shia), it’s practiced a lot in Iran by prostitutes, this way they aren’t prosecuted for zina. But don’t forget, Islam elevates women.

  21. Eristae says

    orry but my #14 is addressed to Eristae…

    My response to you assumed that you had at least read the article. Given that you have not (and have indicated you have no intention of doing so), then of course my response to you isn’t going to make sense to you. You have decided, for reasons that I can’t fathom, that the appropriate thing to do is completely derail any discussion here about the actual topic at hand and render invisible both the young woman this happened to and the situation she exists in so as to further your agenda. I have not decided to do this. I can’t think of much else that I have to say to you.

  22. miraxpath says

    I saw the words Hyderabad and temporary marriage and I didn’t really need to read the link to know what this issue was about. (My only surprise is that African muslim men are getting into the sexploitation in India. You may not realise this but Arabs are seen as a superior race in the subcontinent and in south east asia and get away with a lot. Black people on the other hand face much discrimination. )

    I have no intention of derailing the conversation or rendering victims invisible.

    I am angry about people who are excessively concerned with islamophobia and far more concerned with the gotcha accusations of racism than about the victims of a vicious religious based custom. You are telling me that #10 was not at all about shaming and silencing?

  23. miraxpath says

    On topic, there are victims other than in India. Underaged girls in Egypt are pretty vulnerable too to sex predators from the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia who use misyar marriage because they can get away with it. Sunni scholars who would never countenance shia ”deviance” like the muta marriage have announced misyar legal. Qaradawi for example says that it is legal though he does not recommend it.

    The victims are all muslim but poor and female.

  24. Eristae says


    As far as I can tell, Donnie/10 was taking you to task for ignoring the context of the article, which you admit you did. The context is not “gulf Arabs” preying on someone (other gulf Arabs?); instead, the context of this article was a Sudanese Muslim abusing an Indian girl. You admit that this surprises you, but you also dismiss it as irrelevant.

    To give anyone (including yourself) the impression that this is a “gulf Arab” issue is harmful. It erases women like Nausheen whose victimization had nothing to do with “gulf Arabs.” Women like Nausheen need people to understand that this kind of sex trafficking and abuse doesn’t just happen to women in the gulf Arab states.

    I say it in regards to individual crimes, but I’ll say it about broader crimes as well: If we go after, blame, and convict the wrong person of a crime, then the true perpetrator goes free. It doesn’t matter if the wrongly convicted person was just as bad or did identical or nearly identical things; the simple fact will be that the person who did the crime will not be brought to justice. If our response to Nausheen victimization is to go after “gulf Arabs,” then she will not be helped and her assailant will go free. This cannot be allowed.

  25. theoreticalgrrrl says

    Lovely, Donnie. Mental-illness shaming is always a great way to get your point across.

    Eristae, I agree with you about the term Gulf Arab. Bad choice of words. But I don’t think saying Islamists or Islamic fundamentalists would be treated any differently. You’d still get the label of racist or Islamophobic by some atheists around here.

  26. miraxpath says

    The “‘context” is a much wider one than just this one article or one victim or one perpertrator. That has been my point from my first sentence in this thread and I wonder why you find this so difficult to accept. Gulf Arab men – not Syrians or Turks or Indonesian muslims- are in the main the worst perpetrators (though one sudanese man has apparently muscled in on the action). They are not wrongly identifed and none of the victims lose their right to justice with that salient fact being pointed out. Egyptian and Indian papers routinely point out this detail. What the fuck is that that you cant allow?

    Here’s a nice british leftwing paper, they have no issues with mentioning the origin of the vast MAJORITY of the sex predators.

  27. Eristae says

    @ theoreticalgrrrl

    Eristae, I agree with you about the term Gulf Arab. Bad choice of words. But I don’t think saying Islamists or Islamic fundamentalists would be treated any differently. You’d still get the label of racist or Islamophobic by some atheists around here.

    Can’t really comment on this, as I haven’t seen it. But I do think it’s an issue with a lot of potential to turn into a race issue while being disguised as a religion issue. This gulf Arab example is just one of the examples that one can see flashing in red neon lights: a Sudanese Muslim abused an Indian girl, and yet (unintentionally, I’m sure) the leap was made from “Muslim” to “gulf Arab.” This isn’t incidental or unimportant; this is why condemnations of Islam can get muddled with condemnations of people of specific race/ethnicity/country/etc. People don’t make this leap in regards to more mainstream religions like Christianity; if we’d heard of a Christian who harmed a girl, there wouldn’t have been the same kind of assumptions about the Christian’s race(etc). Responsibility and accountability wouldn’t have been assigned the same way. When we’re in a society that assumes that white=good and brown=bad, the fact that Muslims are assumed to be brown and Christians are not shouldn’t be forgotten. People who are racist (even subconsciously) will come down harder on acts committed by brown people even if those actions are the same as white people. This influences the debate and the context that the debate is held in.

  28. Eristae says

    @ miraxpath

    Everything that I said to you still stands. I could repeat it, but that would be pointless. Thus, I shall simply refer back to my previous posts.

    Now, I need to go do some work.

  29. says

    “When we’re in a society that assumes that white=good and brown=bad, the fact that Muslims are assumed to be brown and Christians are not shouldn’t be forgotten.”

    You’re talking as if mirax lives in that society and as if she shares that assumption.

  30. freemage says

    Mirax: Here in the U.S., we have an industry built around the concept of ‘mail-order brides’. The primary differences between this and what’s being talked about in the thread are that the women DO get brought back to the husband’s home nation, and the marriages are expected to last (at least, longer than one month). By and large, though, these are still cases of women being trafficked–they are forced to move to a country where they don’t know the language, and therefore have difficulty reaching out for help. They are often subjected to psychological and physical abuse, and of course, marital rape. They are completely under the control of their American husband, who can divorce her ‘safely’ (from an economic standpoint), since she’ll get deported as soon as she loses her ability to be here on a marriage visa, so no alimony payments.* The woman will just end up back with the ‘agency’ that sent her, and back on the rolls (unless she’s no longer young or pretty enough to be marketable, in which case she’ll just be put out on the street).

    The primary customer base for this form of functional slavery is white, middle- and upper-middle-class men. The victims come from all over the world–though generally only nations that have large numbers of women who do not speak English. So the notion that it’s only “Gulf Arabs” who perform this sort of work-around to violate the laws barring prostitution does, in fact, come across as racist (as others noted, your phrasing wouldn’t generally get regarded as Islamophobic–if anything,your wording paints it as a problem unique to an ethnic/cultural group rather than all Muslims). Rather, this is the local manifestation of a common global problem; it has some elements that are unique to Islam, and is (I take you at your word, here) primarily practiced by men in a particular region because the local culture has a greater degree of acceptance of this particular form, but it’s still part of the much broader picture of women being coerced into prostitution without any rights. It’s all patriarchy, it’s all bullshit.

    *: Note: I don’t know if the immigration law in the U.S. would actually force the deportation of a non-citizen spouse who got divorced after several years in the country. I do know that the women are TOLD that if they get divorced, it’s back to their home nation, and that they live in fear of that.

  31. miraxpath says

    #Yep you have mail order brides in the US and somehow I need to have this explained to me patiently, like I know nothing about mail order brides or sex trafficking (not saying that the former is synonymus with the latter). I live in South East Asia dude.

    In India and Egypt, children get sold into sexual slavery. That’s a primary difference you overlooked.

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