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Jakarta Post

Cleric defiant amid controversy over marriage to 12-year-old girl

  • Suherdjoko

    The Jakarta Post

Semarang   /   Sat, October 25 2008   /  01:02 pm

The marriage of an underage girl to a wealthy Muslim cleric in Bedono village, Semarang regency, Central Java, has sparked controversy in the community. A Muslim boarding school head, 43-year-old Pujiono Cahyo, known also as Syech Puji, married 12-year-old Lutfiana Ulfa at his home on August 8. He told reporters Friday that the wedding ceremony, held at 3 p.m. local time, was witnessed by thousands of guests. "The wedding was carried out openly. If people want to comment, please do. I don't care about the legal threats because I have my own basic reasons. I know the limitations. If she hasn't menstruated, I won't have sexual intercourse with her," said Puji. Puji is the director of PT Sinar Lendoh Terang and owner of the Miftahul Jannah boarding school, an impressive building along the highway between Semarang and Yogyakarta. Apparently his first wife, 2...