I linked to a Shiite cleric's defense of them yesterday. A "one hour marriage" is to prostitution what "enhanced interrogation techniques" is to torture: an attempt to deny reality. Here's a link to a photo-essay by Veronique De Viguerie, a gifted photographer, who documented the practice in Afghanistan (that's her photo of a Muslim john and a prospective hire two years ago). Money quote:
With the comeback of democracy, the Shi'ite tradition of Sekha, or temporary marriages, has returned, in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2005. This contract of marriage allows a man to get married with the consent of the Muslim religion for a certain amount of time, from one night to a few months. Here, Mullah Razul Jan, 25, as a Mullah, can authorize himself as many temporary weddings as he wants. Since he practices Sekha, he has married more than 100 times. He plans on marrying between two to five times per month depending on his money situation, most of the time for a few nights, which he negotiates for around 35 dollars.
Religion can deny human nature or it can find ways to accommodate it. When you hear the Islamists going off about the alleged degeneracy of the West, remember that they're about as credible as Ted Haggard. And the impulse for denial and oppression of women and all non-hetero-male sexuality is the same. A reader adds:
Add the fact that the legal age for girls to marry is 9 years old, and you have a society that is not only OK with prostitution, but with child prostitution. It's hard for me to see how you get more debased and decadent than that.
I don't have a problem with prostitution - just a viciously anti-woman culture that makes it less of a choice and more of a fate. And the preaching to the West is gag-inducing.