Marriage’s first problem in the Arab world is that it is contolled by religion. There is no civil marriage in most Arab contries, including “modern/let’s party till we drop” Lebanon. All marriages are conducted by religious authorities and are the only registered by government admintrastions after having been registered by authorities of approval religions. Therefore, the hyporetical Lebanese system recognizes civil marriages contracted abroad, and Cyprus has become the number one destination for Lebanese couples who want to avoid a religious matrimony.
The main hitch of a relligious marriage- after it being religious ofcourse- is the diffuculty of getting divorced, and the biased system that regulates it (biased against women, obviously). I was reading an article about an article who was seeking divorce because she caught her husband having sex with her own sister, the Catholic priest at the religious court calmly told her: “You need to be more patient with him, my dear daughter.” I felt the need to vomit when I read the story.
In Judaism, Christianity and Islam, marriage has come to be viewed as a sacrament, a holy bond commanded by God, and which He is directly involved. The same God monitors reproduction and any related sexual activities (invisible men can be very busy, you know.) Arab children born outside of a religious marriage are, to this very day, known as “bastards”, and they suffer legal disadvantages and social stigma because of their illegitimacy. It was only recently that former Lebanese minister of the interior Ziad Baroud managed to remove that word from the bith certificates of kids born out of wedlocks in Lebanon.
Let’s not talk about the situation in other Arab countries, like Jordan and Saudi Arabia; many women don’t have access to aborption choose to commit suicide if “that” ever happens to them, because death is easier than living with the shame of bearing a child without being married (even if in many cases, pregnancy is the result of an act of rape by a family member.)
I clearly remember when I was studying religion back in Abu Dhabi, specifically “types of marriages” in Islam. I was shocked to see that there was one page long only for the types of marriages that were legal for men! I was mad.
Do I need to remind you that men in Islam entitled to up to four wives ? Try to tell these men that you’d like a Muslim woman with four husbands for a change, it would be an absolute heresy. But then they could talk to you for hours about how Islam respects a woman’s rights and dignity, and its all about “justice” and “fairness”. The times of the harem are anything but over.
What about the law that states that a rapist can walk away free if he marries his victim?
And what about zawaj al mut’ah or nikah al mut’ah (pleasure marriage) in Shia Islam ? It is just a law that is given for the man that allows to marry a woman for a period of time for the pleasure of sex. Then, when he has got enough of her, he simply divorces her. How does it happen ? The female simply needs to say: “I marry myself to you for the specified sum (she mentions the sum) and for the specified time period (she mentions the time period).” Then the man says: “I accept”. And that’s it. No legal papers, no nothing. Sick!
What about the zawaj al misyar or nikah al misyar (travel marriage) ? This is mostly practised by Sunnis. A man takes a temporary woman if he travels abroad, so that he doesn’t do the crime of zina (fornication) and other sexual relationships outside marriage.
And what about the child brides ? Islam teaches that a girl enters adulthood at the beginning of puberty ( as if the onset of puberty equals maturity), and thus ready for marriage. Prophet Mohammed married Aisha when she was only six years old and he was fifty- two years old.
I’m not here to insult anyone, but to shine on pathetic things that we are living in everyday and talk about as if a joke.