Muslim girls aged NINE take part in Sydney hijab ceremony to symbolise maturity – with Islamic sheikh slamming it as step toward Sharia law
- Muslim girls aged nine were dressed in white as part of a Sydney hijab ceremony
- Australia’s most senior Shia cleric Sheikh Kamal Mousselmani presided over it
- He said the hijab is compulsory for girls when they turn nine under Islamic law
- Adelaide Shia Imam Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi said it amounted to Sharia law
Muslim girls in Sydney are dressed in white from head to toe as part of a hijab ceremony to signify the age when they must cover up their bodies, with an Islamic imam slamming it as a step toward Sharia law.
Australia’s most senior Shia cleric Sheikh Kamal Mousselmani presided over the ceremony where 24 girls walked on stage to show their maturity.
‘The hijab is compulsory for the girls when they become nine according to our religion,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
Australia’s most senior Shia cleric speaks at the hijab ceremony for nine-year-old girls
The girls were dressed in white, the same shade as a wedding dress, however Sheikh Mousselmani denied the ceremony was about preparing girls for marriage, despite Islamic law saying girls reach maturity at the age of eight.
‘You want me to tell you that it was a marriage ceremony. Definitely not,’ he said.
‘It’s a white colour, it’s a happy colour.’
However Adelaide Shia leader Imam Shaikh Mohammad Tawhidi said Islam classified eight as the adult age for girls and was worried by the ceremony’s symbolism.
‘I confirm that according to Islamic jurisprudence, a Muslim girl reaches the stage of maturity at eight to nine years of age,’ he said.
The 24 girls on stage at Banksia in Sydney’s south-east in white hijabs to show their maturity
Adelaide Shia Imam Mohammad Tawhidi says hijab ceremony for girls is ‘imposing Sharia law’
‘Hence the celebration took place, which means that they’re no longer girls but adult females who would lead an adult life, including marriage.
‘This goes against the Australian values and social ethics and is basically promoting and imposing Sharia law in Australia.’
The 34-year-old Iranian-born religious leader, who moved to Australia from Iraq in 1995, said the girls would have no idea how the ceremony symbolised them entering adulthood.
Sheikh Tawhidi said the hijab was only ever worn to symbolise maturity, which meant the hijab ceremony was different to a modern Jewish bar mitzvah, as Judaism had reformed to extend childhood.
The nine-year-old girls wear hijabs which are compulsory under Islamic religious teaching
Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi (right) has challenged Australia’s most senior Shia cleric
Australia’s most senior Shia cleric said the hijab ceremony was to symbolise a nine-year-old girl’s maturity before very quickly retracting his statement
‘The lives of those girls change from that point onwards and they’re treated as adults,’ he said.
The 24 girls took part in the ceremony at Banksia, in Sydney’s south-east, on March 31.
Sheikh Mousselmani confirmed nine was the age when girls were considered mature in Islam before quickly retracting his statement.
‘When the girl becomes nine or nine-and-a-half, we say they become eligible for hijab and we organised a party,’ he said.