Thursday, April 9, 2009

Muslim divorce in the US

Here's another case in which a Muslim man residing in the United States tried to obtain a traditional Muslim divorce overseas. A court in Oakland County, Michigan, accepted the validity of a divorce obtained in India, granted when the man certified that he had said "I divorce thee" three times. The wife wasn't even present. (Thanks to Jihad Watch.)

Needless to say, a woman has greater rights under U.S. divorce law than under sharia law. Fortunately, the state appeals court recognized this fact and overturned the decision, stating: "To accord comity to a system that denies equal protection would ignore the rights of citizens and persons under the protection of Michigan's laws."

This outcome is similar to a Maryland court decision last year involving a couple originally from Pakistan. That's the good news; the bad news is that the Oakland County court let itself become confused. Wider publicity of these cases would help reinforce existing law.

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