But he abandoned her when she was two, and no one knows for certain whether he is alive or dead. Sharia Alert from the Islamic Republic: “Bride, 80, blocked until dad says yes,” by Robert Tait in the Guardian via The Age, December 21:
AFTER a life of spinsterhood, Setareh, an 80-year-old Iranian, assumed she was fated to see out her remaining days alone and was preparing to move into an old people’s home for company.
When the boy-next-door from her youth suddenly reappeared and proposed, she thought her long-forgotten dreams of marriage were about to be fulfilled.
But Iran’s laws require a father to give permission before a daughter can marry.
Now the lovestruck octogenarian has asked a Tehran court to establish whether her father, who abandoned her when she was two, is dead or alive so her wedding can go ahead….
“Seeing Jamshid made my heart start beating faster and suddenly the passion of youth returned,” she said.
“When I heard him proposing to me once again, I thanked God for the second chance because I had found another spur for the remaining days of my life.”
Judge Mahmoud Baghal Shirvan asked officials to examine the father’s status and pronounce whether he is dead or alive. If he is found to have died, the court is expected to permit Setareh to marry.
Her plight is an example of what campaigners say is systematic discrimination against women under Iranian law.
No kidding, really?
But the state-linked Iranian Women’s News Agency said women need their father’s permission to protect them from “emotional” marriage decisions.
Yes, we can’t have a lonely and bereft octogenarian woman being “emotional.” It would be…un-Islamic!