Tag Archive for law

Divorce: Iranian style

Just found this important documentary on Youtube while researching a post that I may finish later today. It’s definitely worth viewing if you haven’t seen it before.

Marriage and slavery

I’ve been reading about shari’a for a few years now. It’s a complicated subject and to be honest I don’t have enough patience to get to the bottom of it. I think Kecia Ali’s Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam is an excellent book however, and deserves to be far better known. Sexual Ethics and Islam is also really good.

Here, Ali discusses how for Islamic jurists of the 9th century, legal decisions relating to marriage were often derived analogically from the position of slavery.

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A very British debate

Debates on the criminalisation of forced marriage in the UK are neglecting to consider the European dimension.

Britain is again contemplating the criminalisation of forced marriage, a vexed question which has been repeatedly raised in recent years. On one side, some campaigners urge for the criminalisation, arguing that a making forcing marriage a specific crime will have a massive symbolic value, alerting families wherein marriages are forced that their actions are not acceptable, and obliging public officials who have hitherto dismissed the forcing of marriage as a cultural issue to take more solid action. On the other, it is argued that the constituent elements of the act of forced marriage are already a crime, which can be prosecuted as kidnapping, violence and threats, and that creating a crime will discourage women and girls from presenting their cases to authorities because they may be scared that their parents will be imprisoned.

Clearly, with high and increasing reports of forced marriage across the UK, galvanising a robust response is an important move: on the other, fears of reducing victim’s inclinations to seek help should give everyone pause. What is clear though, is that the current situation, combining civil law protection measures with very few prosecutions for the constituent crimes related to forcing marriage, is inadequate to address the rising tide of young people forced into marriage. Read more