Ayyash said that he is against a law criminalizing the marriage of minors or those under 18, adding that girls between 16 and 17 years old can be married.
These statements came during the visit of the widely-watched artist on social media platforms as a guest on the “Jafar Talk” talk show broadcast on Deutsche Welle.
The presenter of the program asked Ayyash if he was with a mother against a law that criminalizes and prohibits the marriage of minors to those under the age of 18. Ayyash replied that he was “against” this law.
The broadcaster was surprised by the singer’s answer, which prompted him to repeat his question to him, and the artist replied that he is against a law criminalizing the marriage of minors, but not against a law that specifies an age, justifying his answer that minors were married since ancient times.
Many of those who watched the clip containing Ayyash’s statements did not appreciate it. A lot of critical reactions to Rami Ayyash’s opinion spread after users of the artist’s comments widely circulated on various social platforms.
Tweeters on Twitter considered that this thinking “must be extinct” and that what the artist said encouraged early childbearing for girls, and he founded an association that cares about children named “Ayyash Al-Childah.”
Defense and sympathy of the artist
The majority of the reactions were not critical of Rami Ayyash’s statements, but rather the critical reactions created counter reactions from the fans of the singer who wanted to highlight the goodwill of Ayyash, whose statements were wrongly understood.
Many Twitter users tweeted, trying to clarify what Ayyash wanted to say, and some of them expressed solidarity and support for him despite everything.
Ramy Ayyash explains
The huge amount of controversy that arose over the issue prompted the artist to clarify, so he wrote a series of tweets on his account, which is followed by more than a million and 600 thousand followers, in which he stated that he had reviewed the matter with his friends and activists in his association for children called “Ayyash Al-Childah”.
The artist said, “I did not say or encourage marriage under the age of 18 and I salute the struggle of those who work and work to be the legal age.”
“But I am not in favor of criminalization because in many cases and societies this is unfortunately a reality,” he added, noting that considering the marriage of minors as a crime “would be a tool that could harm girls indirectly.”
Several human rights organizations and activists are working to spread awareness and combat the phenomenon of child marriage, which is still widespread in Arab societies, including Lebanon, especially in poor communities in villages and rural areas.
Many saw the statements of Rami Ayyash, who is watched by millions on various social platforms, especially among youth and adolescents, undermining the efforts made by these organizations.
In his series of tweets, the artist referred to activists in the field, saying, “There are those who have been wounded and considered that what you said hurts a long struggle for you, but I have all the love and sought my excuse, I learn from you.”