How to rig everything in your own favor

Dispatches from the “Sharia tribunals what could possibly go wrong” file: Charlotte Rachael Proudman in the Independent:

After fleeing a forced marriage characterised by rape and physical violence, Nasrin applied for an Islamic divorce from a Sharia council; that was almost 10 years ago now. Despite countless emails, letters and telephone calls to the Sharia council as well as joint mediation and reconciliation meetings, the Sharia council refuse to provide Nasrin with an Islamic divorce. Why? Because of Nasrin’s sex. An Imam at the Sharia council told Nasrin that her gender prevents her from unilaterally divorcing her husband, instead the Imam told her to return to her husband, perform her wifely duties and maintain the abusive marriage that she was forced into.

What more do you need to know? What more does anyone need to know? After millions of years of human history wouldn’t you think we could start to get this right by now? No, don’t force girls and women to marry someone; no, don’t forbid girls and women to escape men who abuse them. No, don’t make special asymmetrical rules by which men can do whatever they want to and women might as well be donkeys.

Read the whole thing, but be very careful of your teeth while doing so, or you’ll find you’ve ground them to powder by the end of the page.

H/t Babar Riaz.


  1. Sethra says

    I don’t think I can bring myself to read the original story. How can anyone justify such horrific and abusive treatment?

    I’m cheering for the asteroid again.

  2. says

    This is awful. This is in the UK? Was she married in the Sharia system, and is that why she needs to be divorced through it? I mean, couldn’t she get a secular court to process her divorce or something? Might she have a case for discrimination?

  3. says

    Winterwind, if I’m not mistaken about religious court systems, she’s asking for an Islamic divorce in order to avoid social ostracism by her community. A secular divorce would legally get her out of the marriage, but it wouldn’t help her around the neighbors. (Someone who knows more about Islamic culture in Britain is welcome to set me straight here.)

    Anyway, the funniest defense I see about Sharia courts is that they’re “voluntary.” This is totally nonsensical. Courts aren’t supposed to be voluntary. The individual does not choose to be subject to a court’s authority, or not. (Except perhaps in the case of Muslim men with Sharia bodies, I suppose.) A court system is supposed to have authority over everyone whether they like it or not, and that’s why, in a democracy, we’re supposed to have voting power over the people who appoint judges. (I take no position on the merits of electing judges.)

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