MALAPPURAM: A survey conducted by the Malappuram district committee of Muslim Educational Society (MES) among Muslim girl students in colleges under the society reveals that more than 99% of the students are opposing under-18 marriages.
After the findings of the survey, the state committee of MES has decided to oppose the move of a section of Muslim scholars to approach the Supreme Court demanding to legalize under-18 marriages.
Among 4,040 Muslim girls from different colleges and higher secondary schools in the district, 4,003 have opposed the move while only 37 supported lowering the age of marriage.
The survey was conducted among the students of MES medical college, MES dental college, MES engineering college, MES college of architecture, MES college of business and MES higher secondary schools in the district.
The survey was conducted as per the decision of the state committee of MES in the backdrop of the controversy over under-18 marriages.
Questionnaires were distributed among the college and school students and later teachers collected the feedback from them. One student even wanted the minimum age for marriage to be fixed at 23.
MES district president N Abdul Jabbar said the survey result did not come as a surprise. It was on expected lines. And this will strengthen the arguments of MES which has already taken a strong stand against child marriages among Muslims in the state.
"As the survey was conducted only among Muslim students, the opinion can be considered as a reflection of the stand of the new generation on the issue," he said.
The state committee will formally inform other state Muslim organisations about its decision on the issue in the coming days, he said.
Eight Muslim organizations had on September 20 launched a joint platform, the Muslim Vyakthi Niyama Samrakshana Samiti, to protect the personal law, including underage marriage. It also decided to approach the Supreme Court with a plea to allow under-18 marriages.