Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I DVRC U lol

A few days ago, we were reading about the 13-year old girl who sent over 10,000 text messages in one month to the tune of about $4,800. Once again, a texting story makes the news, only this time it's because of some bass-ackwards form of Islamic Sharia law which essentially allowed a man to divorce his wife by texting her. Wait. Wut?

Correct. A man in Saudi Arabia has divorced his wife via text message. That's according to Arab News ("The Middle East's Leading English Language Daily", doncha know.) in an article (which doesn't give nearly enough information) titled "Shariah court approves SMS divorce". Nice.

Apparently, the husband was " Iraq to participate in what he described as 'jihad' " So basically, he's heading off to fight against the Iraqi forces and the US troops over there. Can't let something as pesky as a little marriage get in the way of your jihad!

The man was already in Iraq (getting ready to get all jihad-y) when he sent his wife, er, now ex-wife a text message that basically told her that they were no longer married. After sending her the text, he then used his phone to phone two of his friends "...who witnessed his marriage and told them that he had divorced his wife." So his wife gets a text saying "I divorce U" or some crap like that, but his buddies actually get a phone call from him where he just tells them that he divorced her. By text message. All rightee then.

It was after that unexpected event that "The woman had approached the court and asked for an official document proving she was divorced." You think?! I'd probably do the same thing. I'd be in front of the judge with my cell phone that had Lame-o's text on it and say, "Would you look at this sh*t?! Can he do that?! What's that? He can? Really? Oh." I'm sure it probably went something similar to that as it was.

See, now if that were in the US or any other civilized part of the globe, those on the receiving end of the "I just divorced what's her name by text, dude" phone call as the comedic ramblings of a fellow who was overly intoxicated at the time. That would be the normal response to a phone call like that. But not in Saudi Arabia! Nope. There it's all fine and good that he sent what's her name a text and was divorced. How does that work again?

Well, in Saudi Arabia (where the Islamic clerics are the equivalent of a judge in US courts and preside over the hearings) under the bass-ackward and rather strict form of Islamic Sharia law, a man can divorce his wife by saying "I divorce you" three times. It doesn't say if he has to say all three directly to the woman, or if he has to say at least one to her and the other two to other people. I'm guessing that other people have to be notified of his intention because the "...court in (the city of) Jeddah summoned two relatives who had received telephone calls from the man confirming his wish." Once they had confirmation of that "The judge approved the divorce and told the woman that she did not have to go through the iddah (the post-divorce waiting period stipulated by the Sharia) as the marriage was not consummated." Hold on a minute. They didn't make soup and so that's why the divorce was granted? Oh, wait. That's consomme. Never mind. Carry on.

The article doesn't say just how long they were married. I'm guessing not very long, if all of the consummating hadn't taken place. (Around here, for something like that to happen, or to not happen, you'd be looking at a time frame of about an hour. Max.) I would like to know more about what their deal was, however. Why did they get married in the first place? Why can't he go all jihad over in Iraq and still be married? Why would she still want to be married to him? So many questions.

I really don't think I'd have too much of a problem with this whole procedure if it worked both ways. If the woman was allowed to say "I divorce you, you jackass" (I sort of tweaked the original version. What do you think? Can you tell?) and be divorced, then I think I'd be all for it. It would certainly save a lot of time and money that's being spent in divorce court these days. But under Sharia law, woman have little to no rights to do anything. They are basically seen as property (if that) and their own well-being would be at risk if they were to step up to the keypad and text their divorce away.

But seriously, what the heck is going on over there? Who makes this crap up? The part about how they have to say it three times? How hokey is that? It's like a witch's spell or something. "Eye of newt, tongue of frog, I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you! Abracadabra! POOF!" And then they're divorced! But wait! Is there a magic lamp involved as well? Did he fly over to Iraq on his magic carpet? Was the woman Barbara Eden? Again, so soooo many questions.

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Ruth@VS said...

It's quite a story and certainly reprehensible, but the Saudis are out there on the edge! Actually women can divorce their husbands under sharia, in the UK most divorces going through the British sharia courts are initiated by women (if they're married under secular law they have to get a divorce in the secular courts too). Women are certainly more aware of their rights than they used to be - a few even insist on pre-nups islamic style which set out what they will and will not do in the marriage. For example, technically women are not obliged to do housework and if they insist, the husband has to pay for someone to do it! Good eh?

Mare said...

I do like the part about the housework! I'm amazed that any woman gets married under sharia anywhere, actually. But since they do, I can aboslutely believe that they are the ones initiating the divorces most of the time.

Fascinating little religion, way of life, governing body of some societies, isn't it?