Panel to look into ‘unequal tribal background’ divorces
Habib Shaikh

JEDDAH — The Ministry of Justice has formed a committee to investigate the trend of divorces based on unequal tribal background.

The committee, comprising an unconfirmed number of experts on Islamic law, would report its findings soon, according to a ministry.

At least 23 cases have come to light in the past year of male relatives, often distant or unknown, filing to divorce an otherwise happily married couple because bride and groom hail from different tribes.

Occasionally, these distant relatives have blackmailed newlywed brides — including death threats in one recent case.

“The concept of forced divorce based on unequal tribal backgrounds is not a religious one, but a historical and cultural concept,” the official said, and added that he expected the committee to rule against the earlier forced-divorce rulings, and only allow such cases to proceed if one of the spouses themselves requests a divorce.

All of the husbands and wives who currently face a forced divorce due to unequal tribal background do not wish to be separated, and have made their desire to remain married clear to the judge.

Khaleej Times reports on steps being taken to investigate the surge in forced divorces in the KSA. Take a look, too, at the comment below by Aisha Schwartz, who is active in driving a public petition to get laws rectified.


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