Saturday 23 June 2012

Divorce in Oz, Muslim Style

There was a show here in Hong Kong on Australia TV the other night, called "Divorce, Aussie Muslim Style", by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Oz's BBC).
It followed the experience of three or four Aussie Muslim women who were trying to get a divorce under the Sharia Courts in Australia (yes, there are such things...)
The tone was very neutral, letting the story tell the story, just following the women, as they went through the local Australian Sharia Courts and hearing from the women, their husbands and the imams at the ShaCourts.
I didn't see the end -- dozed off -- so I don't know if the producers came to any conclusions about these Aussie ShaCourts.  I would've expected them to say something along the lines of these being part of the wonderful mosaic of diversity in Australia, or some such; but to be fair to the ABC, I didn't see that in the show I watched, which was most of it.
So, what did it show of Sharia Courts in Australia?  About marriage and divorce, anyway?
The following:
  • Arranged marriages.
  • Dowries.
  • Polygamy.
  • Women have no right to divorce.  They have to get the husband's consent to do so.
  • Men have the right to divorce, not matter what, just by saying "I divorce you".
  • If the woman is to be granted a divorce by the husband, she must pay back the dowry, with interest;  or she must pay any (repeat, by the imams, any) amount requested by the husband.
  • The woman has no right to any assets of the marriage -- no matter what Australian law says about the split.
These women were not at all happy about the situations they found themselves in, very frustrated.  It seems that they had all had a marriage by Australian law, and then gone ahead and had a marriage Islam style, by Sharia law and that in all cases they had chosen to -- or had succumbed to peer pressure. In all cases they had managed to get a divorce under Australian law, but were seeking Islamic divorce so that the could remarry and get on with their lives.
One of the women, frustrated after another appeal to the imam of the Sharia court said "where's the human rights in this? Where's the women's rights?"   Indeed.  But she did not pursue that thought -- the obvious answer being that there aren't any women's rights, for it's Islamic Sharia law, which is anti-women (let's leave aside for the moment all the other things it's down on too: apostasy, homosexuality, non-Muslims, and so on).

I don't know if the producers made any comments at the end of the show.  For my part it was all pretty clear: Sharia law -- for Aussie Muslim women -- is a bummer.  These women said so themselves.

It adds nothing positive to Australian life. It only adds negatives.  It goes against all that Aussie feminist Sheilas have fought for for so many years: equality of treatments, respect, a fair go.

And I can't think of any other way in which Islam has added a positive to Australian life.  Not in architecture -- mosques are undistinguished, at best -- not in literature, not in the arts, not in comedy, not in advancing human rights.

This is yet one more clear case of how Islam adds nothing to society but only takes it backwards, and how the government allows and enables it to do so.  Because of the fear of Islam, for care and concern to show "respect" to the "Religion of Peace" these depradetions are allowed and allowed only for Islam.  I wouldn't much mind if this were confined to the Muslim community.  Yet poll after poll shows that Muslims in western countries want Sharia law to be enacted for the societies which host them.  And so slowly it is happening, with the connivance of the elites and the government.

It's a disgrace really.

RELATED: "Islam in the West": a collection of Polls of Muslim attitudes, Here.