Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Woman Arrested For Leaving Husband

In Egypt...

Abeer Talaat Fakhry, 26, was living with her Christian husband in the southern city of Assiut when she ran away from home, converted to Islam and "married" Muslim Yassin Thabet, the source said.

I’m not so familiar with Egyptian law. Is it possible for a woman, I mean actually possible in reality and not just theory, to divorce her husband? To me, the freedom to divorce or not marry at all, along with gender equality, are ingredients to full marriage equality.

Hundreds of ultra-conservative Muslims known as Salafists attacked a church in the poor Cairo district of Imbaba on Saturday, spurred on by rumours that Fakhry had converted to Islam and was being held there against her will.

Violence is hardly the answer to a situation like this, other than to rescue someone who is being held against her will.

But the source said Fakhry was actually with her new "husband" in a house next door to the church and that she had fled when the clashes began.

The largest Christian community in Egypt is that of the Copts, in whose church divorce is extremely difficult to obtain.

Ah. Well, if the church wouldn’t recognize her divorce, that shouldn’t stop the government from recognizing it.

There have been a number of cases in which unhappy women have left their husbands, converted to Islam and "married" Muslims, but those marriages are not recognised in law.

That’s too bad. I’m not a Muslim nor am I partial to Islam, but if that is what the women freely choose they should be allowed their new marriages.

Hence, the charge that Fakhry had committed polyandry, or having more than one husband.

It’s very simple. Allow her to divorce, and she won’t be committing polyandry against her first husband’s will. Consensual polyandry, however, is another story and shouldn’t be a crime. Either way, she shouldn’t be arrested in this case. Perhaps escorted for her own protection, but not arrested.
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  1. This is why religious marriages absolutely must be separate from legal unions.

  2. I haven no problem with clergy being able to perform legal marriages, but they should not be able to prevent a legal divorce, that's for sure.


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