In the European Union, the laws about consent to sex are as under (source):
- All Member States establish a minimum age for sexual consent. Most Member States set this between 14 and 16 years.
- The lowest minimum age is 14 years, set in seven Member States: Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Portugal. The highest is set at 18 years – in Malta.
- About half of the Member States apply different age limits to sexual acts between young persons. For example, in Cyprus and Italy, the law provides an exception for consensual sexual activities between persons if neither of them is under 13 years old and the age gap does not exceed three years. Some Member States provide higher age thresholds for sexual activity between a child and a recognised person of trust, authority or influence over the child.
Therefore, Islamic preachers raise this question, why do Europeans allow kids to have sex with 14, but against marriage in Muslim countries at the age of 14?
Reply: Difference: Sex comes with sexual enjoyment, while Marriage comes with RESPONSIBILITIES
Sex at 14 to 30 in the West comes with sexual enjoyment.
Both partners try to find out if their sexual partners are also their soulmates. And if not, they can easily separate from each other.
But marriage at 14 in Islamic countries is different:
Marriage always comes with RESPONSIBILITIES.
The girl has to leave the house of her parents and move to the house of her husband. This is a huge psychological burden for girls. Especially in a joint family system, the girl has to face her in-laws the whole day long in the same house.
The main problem is, a marriage in Islamic society is always a GAMBLE for both parties. If a Muslim girl loses her virginity and later finds out that her husband in an arranged marriage is not mentally suitable to her, then she has no chance to escape with such an arrangement. Her life becomes a nightmare for her, and she has to endure it her entire life. The same is true for men, they suffer this GAMBLE too, but still less than Muslim girls.
In a segregated religious society and family, a girl is not even allowed to indulge in love with any boy. Love is NATURAL, but Islamic restrictions upon love are Unnatural. Islam punishes young people who commit the crime of indulging in love. For Islam, the love of Laila Manjnu was immodesty. How dare the two non-Mahrams met each other and how they dared to talk with each other and fell in love with each other? Love is forbidden in Islam but sex slavery is totally okay.
Islam and an Islamic society choose a girl's virginity over her rights to choose her spouse, her right to love, and her whole life itself.
Moreover, in an Islamic society, the 14-year-old girl is most likely marrying an older man, who can pay for her expenses (which is not expected from a 14-year-old boy of her age group). That allows the old man to take advantage of the young girl’s naivety and control her, and it’s legal and probably expected for him to do that. It is nothing else than a Legalised child grooming.
Moreover, a 14-year-old girl in the West is given full sex education, and she can (hopefully) avoid pregnancy and not get stuck at a very young age having to raise a family. But without any sex education, and the prophet's desire to boast about having large numbers of his followers, a marriage in an Islamic society virtually guarantees that a 14-year-old girl's future is to raise children and not gain her skills or independence.
The Islamic concept of Haq Mahr (i.e. dower) paid by the husband brings a lot of evils. The older husband pays for her virginity and youth, thus she is considered his slave and property. She loses her self-esteem, self-respect and self-worth. She can only have it if she gets an education and learns a trade.
Muslims will not stop at the age of 14. They will eventually bring it to the age of 12 and then to 9 years for girls, in order to follow the Sunnah of their prophet.