Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Drawing the Line

On the hierarchy of actionable marital offenses, according to England’s Sharia courts:

“We always try to keep the marriages together, especially when there are children,” said Hasan’s wife, Shakila Qurashi, who works as an unofficial counselor for women.

If the husband beats her, she should go to the police and have a divorce, Qurashi said. “But if he’s slapped her only once or something like that,” she said, “and he admits he has made a mistake and promised not to do it again, then we say, ‘You have to forgive.’ ”

One recent afternoon, the waiting room was full of women and their family members.

A Pakistan-born 33-year-old mother of five explained that her husband would beat her and her children. “He threatens to kill us,” she said, as her daughter translated from Urdu. “He calls me a Jew and an infidel.” Hasan told her to immediately get police protection and request an Islamic divorce.



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