Last week defenders of Islamic law received a publicity blow when a Malaysian court evoked Sharia law to allow a man to divorce his wife by text message.
Yes, text message. As in: “Am dvrcng u”.
The decision was, quite rightly, condemned by women’s rights groups in Malaysia, who say to condone such frivolity with Islamic law highlights the way it is inherently bias towards men and leaves women with the short end of the stick.
Under Sharia law, a man can divorce a woman simply by announcing his intentions. This is followed by a three month “cooling off” period before the divorce can be finalized, to create an opportunity for resolution. However, if a woman wants a divorce, she must go before a court to seek a divorce, and she must prove her husband has an inadequacy – usually impotency or extended absence. If not, she has no right to divorce him.
Sharia law has its roots in the 7th century Koran, and in personal examples set by Prophet Mohammed. Islamists who see themselves defending the faith have ignored calls to change this legal system to reflect the improvement in women’s status in the modern world, saying that God’s word stands the test of time.
Well, theirs is the logical conclusion, which is precisely why “reform” is near impossible in Islam: it implies that man made “progress” (read: bid’a) is superior to the “truths” of Allah and his prophet.