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  From: Indonesia Matters News Feed 
  Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2008 7:59 AM
  Subject: Indonesia Matters

        Indonesia Matters   
        Pujiono Cahyo & Underage Lust 

        Posted: 23 Oct 2008 11:36 PM PDT

        The controversy over a politician-cleric’s marriage to an underage girl 
in Semarang.

        43 year old Pujiono Cahyo Widayanto/Widianto, aka Syech/Syekh Puji, the 
head of an Islamic boarding school (Ponpes Miftahul Jannah) in Bedono, Jambu, 
Semarang, Central Java, in August 2008 informally married (nikah siri) Lutfiana 
Ulfa, who had just turned 12 years old, and who had just begun studies at a 
local junior high school, but has now taken up wifely duties at home.

        Pujiono Cahyo Widianto

        Sheikh Puji is a very wealthy man, being the owner of PT Sinar Lendoh 
Terang (Silenter), and appeared in the news in August for distributing 1.3 
billion rupiah in zakat or charity to the poor. His first wife is 26 years old. 
In 2005 he was a candidate for the Partai Amanat Nasional (PAN) in a regency 
election but withdrew from the race at the last moment, and has long been 
involved in local politics. [1]

        He also apparently intends to marry two other girls, aged 9 and 7. Of 
these latter two, Syech Puji says that neither has begun menstruating, so he 
will refrain from interfering with them, while Ulfa has already entered puberty.

        Syech Puji believes his actions have a legitimate basis in Islam, 
considering that the prophet Muhammad married the 7 year old Aisha.

          I’m not just doing what I like, it’s based in religion. It’s in 
accordance with the prophet’s teaching. You can marry a 7 year old if you like 
but you can’t have relations with her until she starts menstruating.

        Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) leader Umar Shihab condemned the marriage 
to Ulfa:

          Men should marry adults, there are a lot of other prospective brides 
around. Why has he married a 12 year old? The poor girl.

        His actions have been mostly condemned in other quarters, with some 
saying that he has broken the Marriage Law, and is liable to criminal 
prosecution. [2] [3]

        One supporting voice is that of politician Hilman Rosyad Syihab from 
Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS), who says that marrying young girls is allowed 
within Islam provided the marriages are not consummated until the girl has 
begun menstruating. [4]

        This is a post from the Indonesia Matters website.

          a.. ↑1 suaramerdeka 
          b.. ↑2 lampungpost 
          c.. ↑3 detik 
          d.. ↑4 dutamasyarakat 
        Tags: Brides, Central Java, Islam, Islamic, Java, Law, Majelis Ulama 
Indonesia, Marriage, Muhammad, MUI, Muslim, PAN, Partai Amanat Nasional, Partai 
Keadilan Sejahtera, Polygamy, Prophet, Prosecution, Religion, Semarang, Umar 
Shihab, Wife

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