What the . . .?

(CNSNews.com) – As part of its effort to combat “gender-based violence,” the U.S. State Department has trained 450 Muslim leaders (imams), using a curriculum focusing on the “compatibility of women’s rights and Islam,” according to a report released on Friday.

The report, “United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally,” was released by the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Aug. 10, after President Barack Obama issued an executive order instructing government agencies to come up with a “multi-year strategy that will more effectively prevent and respond to gender-based violence globally.”

The report cites “anecdotal evidence,” gleaned form interviews and focus groups, to show how the imam training has helped, as follows (verbatim):

— One religious leader from Herat (Afghanistan) explained that since participating in project trainings, when he presides over marriages, whether he officiates the wedding ceremony or not, he asks the age of the bride and for proof of her consent, and he uses the opportunity to publicly discuss the importance of the bride’s consent to marriage. He even reported stopping a marriage when he found out that the bride had not given her consent.