Sharia in action in Nigeria — in a case that neatly encapsulates the supremacist posture of Islamic law toward people of other religions. “‘I married her as Muslim, she must leave my house now that she’s Christian,’” from the Nigerian Tribune, February 1 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
A Kubwa Upper Area Court, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has dissolved a 16-year-old marriage between Idris Abubakar and his wife, Aishat, over the wife’s resolve to change her religion to Christianity.
According to the judge, Alhaji Lawal Munir, Islamic legal system (Sharia) provided that a mere denouncement of Islam by any of the parties automatically dissolved a marriage.
“A case when one of the Muslim spouses denounces Islam and changes religion, the marriage is dissolved,” he said.
I suspect that the word that both the reporter and Judge Munir are searching for here is “renounces,” not “denounces,” but the meaning is clear.
Munir held that the petitioner’s directive that the wife should pack out of the house was proper because they were no longer husband and wife.
The judge said the only contention was the custody of the four children as their interest and welfare must be protected.
He granted custody of the children to the husband because they have been living with him since their mother abandoned them three years ago.
Earlier, Abubakar, who hailed from Okene, Kogi State, told the court that his wife, Aishat, who he married under Islamic laws in 1998, had changed to Christianity.
He said their daughter, Kadija Abudullahi, informed him that her mother was always praying in the Christian way while she attended church services every Sunday.
Abubakar said when he confronted his wife on the issue, she did not deny it. He therefore, urged the court to dissolve their marriage.
The petitioner, who asked the court to direct Aishat to vacate his house, applied for the custody of the children.
He said his wife had left the house for three years and left the children behind.
Aishat, who accepted the divorce and agreed to pack out of the matrimonial home, however, urged the court to grant her the custody of two of the children.
“Abubakar can go with the first two children, while I’m allowed to be in custody of the two younger ones,’’ she said.