A cautionary tale about Sharia arbitration courts in Canada. From the Globe and Mail, with thanks to Scaramouche:
For months, a Muslim woman living in Toronto tried to wring a divorce out of her local imam.
Under sharia law, her husband had to consent to the divorce– even though he had abandoned the family four years earlier and married another woman in a South Asian country where polygamy is legal.
The imam told her that her spouse wanted $100,000 and all her gold jewellery, she said, asking that her identity not be disclosed because she fears retribution from her ex-husband, the imam and her community.
She managed to bargain him down to $5,000, money she had to borrow. She also agreed to give up all child-support payments and alimony, and not to take legal action against him in the future.
Without his consent, she could not remarry within her religion.
“The imam told me, ‘there are some sharia conditions you must follow, we must come to a settlement within sharia.’ I agreed because I was desperate,” said the woman, 29, who uses the pseudonym Shinaz.
“If the mullah, our religious leader, didn’t grant the divorce, then under sharia I would have lost custody of my son when he turned eight. Also, I could not remarry.”
Read it all.