I was searching the web for an article I heard of to write my next post, when I stumbled upon those two articles here and here about the expected new amendments in The Personal Affairs Law; I had to read it and postpone the post I had in mind for later, after this one!
Having walked an average amount of miles in the shoe of Divorce, I couldn’t help but think that some of those amendments would be great if properly applied. Yes! Sadly, I have forever lost my faith in our system and its ability to stand against unfair manipulations of those who can spot its cracks and take advantage of them!
But before I discuss the proposed amendments, I would like to get something out of my system… THE COMMENTS!! The comments people left after each article either for the writer of the articles or for the general public!! Eh el maskhara de?!!!! Is that how people think, I mean the majority?? Not just that, is that how those who can log on and read online pages of Al Masry Alyoum have to say; offend the writer and offend people whom they cannot even imagine what their lives are like just because they were given a keyboard and the right to free speech??!!! 3amar ya masr!!
Some commented that Egypt will never develop as long as people use development as an excuse to change Islamic practices by changing the legal system!! I tell those people that this country will NEVER develop as long as those like him/her use Islam as a façade to hide behind whenever they fail to explain how so many Muslims do not abide my Islam’s essence, fairness that is!! I also remind them that Islam applies on Muslims, while the legal system needs to apply on all Egyptians, how about some tolerance?!! Islam is also about tolerance, no??? as long as it does not conflict with Islam bardu!
There were comments accusing anyone who legitimizes or regulates personal affairs like people from the NDP of the writer (whom I have no idea of her affiliations) of being Kharabeen beyoot and assuming they were promoting the concept of broken homes just because they had broken homes themselves!! Personal Attacks?? How mature!! I am no NDP fan and I doubt I will ever be, but when someone I dislike says something that makes sense, I shouldn’t just refuse it without being open minded about the general need for it!! Wala lazem masr kolaha tenzel tetlete3 fel ma7akem 3ashan te7es bel mo3anah ya3ne!!!!
I must say, I have never been that much offended reading online comments the way I was earlier today!! Now my own comments…
On raising the age of marriage to be above 18:
Why is it such a bad idea?! Women younger than that age, and even at that age are too young to get married and be responsible for a household!! I got married at the age of 21 and it was not a great experience, how much worse could it be for those who get married at younger than 18 only to get disillusioned, especially that most of those come from poor backgrounds!!
On Limiting/Controlling Polygamy:
It basically suggest that a man must prove his ability to financially support two households; It does not regulate how a man should behave regarding either. I find this beneficial in a sense, which is the man admitting to his real financial status; therefore, in case the first wife demands a divorce (which she is most definitely entitled to in that case) he cannot deny her or the kids –if any- the proper alimony by claiming a less financial status. I understand Islam granted men the right to polygamy; however, evidence shows they have abused that right in so many ways when they ignored the MAIN condition, fairness. I personally don’t believe that we can enforce ethical behavior, but I do believe that when people simply ignore rules that way, they need to have them reinforced in a way. It’s not an attempt from women to control men’s God given right; from where I see it, it’s an attempt to preserve women’s rights that seem to be ignored in this society behind façades of bold titles speaking of feminism and women’s rights!
On legitimizing the rights of the wife and children through 3urfy marriage:
Personally, I am against 3urfy marriage and I have my own opinion that it’s 7aram because it lacks the fundamentals of a proper marriage! But let’s face it, this is a country that has failed to eliminate organized prostitution just because they failed to prohibit consensual sex outside marriage, simply because ethical practices are not to be forced on people!! Nonetheless, it’s a sad fact that a lot of young girls do become victims of 3urfy marriage just because they do not have full understanding of its implications and consequences; therefore, if we can’t teach them early on the difference, an attempt to protect them would not harm. I do however see many people abusing that law simply because it protects a flawed concept, but that’s just my humble opinion.
On Divorce, Reasons and Practices:
Divorce for harm should be based on reasons, not just witnesses’ testimonies, taking into consideration that emotional abuse counts as harm. Do I need to comment on that!! And why on earth is it a problem that divorce procedures should take less time?! What good could possibly be coming from prolonging the process?! Isn’t it draining enough? Also Divorce by Absentia is to be eliminated; however, I do not know what that is!! As for lapsing of Divorce due to the absence of the husband, the duration is to be updated to 1 year of absence at most as grounds for a divorce and in case the husband is absent (not to be found at all) for two years, he’s declared dead! I think it’s fair enough; I mean what good reason would a man have for disappearing that way other than death?! I find amnesia too farfetched for our time!
On Custody Rights:
Mother get custody automatically as long as the kids are underage; they do not lose custody rights as long as it does not conflict with the kids’ best interest, which means custody does not automatically expire due to remarriage. In other cases, the custody could be extended in case any of the kids suffers from a handicap that requires maternal care, since no one other than the mother is capable of enduring that much effort. Fair enough!! More importantly, a father automatically loses custody rights if he fails to and/or refuses to pay his kids’ alimony. Mentioning alimony, kids’ alimony should be separate from any dispute between the to-be-divorced couple. I don’t see how that should be a bad thing!
There was a part I did not understand about the repayment of dowry, which I will ask about once I get a chance. However, there was a motion to extend khol3 justifications to include cases where the wife discovers “incurable defect” in her husband that she cannot live with, as well as one she had known of but could no longer endure. I really have nothing to say on that matter since I have no definition of “incurable defect”, so I shall leave it for people who know better.
I relize that my comments are more or less affected by my own experience, but I tried to refrain from extreme bias as I was once telling my esteemed partner :)
The cynic in me can see ways in which all those new legal updates could be violated. Let’s face it, we have a corrupted judicial system; or at least ignorant and indifferent at the best!! Moreover, I do admit there are women out there who do abuse their husbands, even with this masculine society that allows more room of abuse for the husbands.
Anyway, before you take the time to comment, I urge you to give it a thought and try to see things from an objective point of view! More importantly, I urge you to remain civil; I wouldn’t have asked that if I hadn’t read the absurd comments! Thanks.