Ruben Castaneda, Washington Post, May 8, 2008
After his wife of more than two decades filed for divorce in Montgomery County Circuit Court, Irfan Aleem responded in writing in 2003, and not just in court.
Aleem went to the Pakistani Embassy in the District, where he executed a written document that asserted he was divorcing Farah Aleem. He performed "Talaq," exercising a provision of Islamic religious and Pakistani secular law that allows husbands to divorce their wives by declaring "I divorce thee" three times. In Muslim countries, men have used Talaq to leave their wives for centuries.
But they can't use it in Maryland, the state's highest court decided this week.
The state Court of Appeals issued a unanimous 21-page opinion Tuesday declaring that Talaq is contrary to Maryland's constitutional provisions providing equal rights to men and women.
"Talaq lacks any significant 'due process' for the wife, its use, moreover, directly deprives the wife of the 'due process' she is entitled to when she initiates divorce litigation in this state. The lack and deprivation of due process is itself contrary to this state's public policy," the court wrote.
Under Islamic traditions, Talaq can be invoked only by a husband, unless he grants his wife the same right.
His attorney, Priya R. Aryar, said, "We're very disappointed with the decision. We think this could have adverse ramifications for a whole bunch of people who reside in the D.C. area under diplomatic visas and assume that their family law rights and obligations are governed by the laws of their country of citizenship."
(Posted on May 8, 2008)
"assume… rights and obligations are governed by the laws of their country of citizenship…"
Posted by Tim Mc Hugh at 7:03 PM on May 8
If neither the husband or wife is a US Citizen, how can the wife file for divorce in this country? If they are both US citizens, then the wife should have every right to file for divorce.
Posted by /ym/Compose?Tofirstname.lastname@example.org 7:12 PM on May 8
We are very disappointed with the fact that you Pakistanis detest our customs and civilization, but yet insist upon living in our countries.
Posted by at 7:56 PM on May 8
Hummm gesssh I thought there was separations from church and state….but then ….they have mosques and their religion is a big sham….it's really a cult….kind of like that church they just busted up where the leader was messing with little kids….like muslims do everyday….so many lunatics running free…but then look who is in charge of the asylum!!
Posted by lydia at 8:15 PM on May 8
His attorney, Priya R. Aryar, said, "We're very disappointed with the decision. We think this could have adverse ramifications for a whole bunch of people who reside in the D.C. area under diplomatic visas and assume that their family law rights and obligations are governed by the laws of their country of citizenship"…
Well TOO BAD! If you don't like our laws, then LEAVE; and take your "family law rights and obligations" with you!
Posted by Jackers at 9:49 PM on May 8
Islam was invented by a successful Arab businessman who noticed that the two predominant religions of the time did not write a book in the language that he preferred that described how most people at the time felt about an omniscient being.
Posted by Udi at 10:08 PM on May 8
Hmmm, I guess if you base the law you obey on your native 'country', then all those people from England are entitled to drive on the opposite side of the road?
I propose we phase that in gradually.
Posted by DJT at 10:11 PM on May 8
The Maryland Supreme Court accepted this no-brainer case??!! Non-capital cases are heard by the highest court on a discretionary basis. This means the Maryland court wanted to send a message.
Posted by at 11:42 PM on May 8
people who reside in the D.C. area under diplomatic visas and assume that their family law rights and obligations are governed by the laws of their country of citizenship."
I wonder, how is this regulated? For e.g., some countries, where divorce wasn't allowed, nevertheless acknowledged a divorce of their citizens performed abroad, under "foreign" law (or even marriages of the divorcees closed abroad). People can get married (and I presume also divorced) abroad under the laws of their homeland at the appropriate embassy, isn't it so?
Posted by EW at 10:17 AM on May 9
The marriage contract was made in Pakistan. The provisions of the contract are governed wholly by Pakistani law, while in Pakistan.
If some one executes a marriage contract in USA and then goes to a primitive country where husbands are allowed to chop off the heads of wives who fail to deliver services, and he chooses to exercises his right, he will not be restricted by the USA marriage contract provisions.
His divorce is final. When he returns to USA, his in-laws will wonder what happened. He says he was divorced in Boowana Land or whatever and she remained behind.
That leaves men one question: Where to go on that second honeymoon?
Posted by P Noctura at 2:13 PM on May 9
"…people who reside in the DC area under diplomatic visas an assume that their family law rights and obligations are governed by their country of citizenship."
A diplomaic visa generally awards immunity to criminal prosecution - to prevent trumped-up charges being filed for poliical reasons, but not to civil litigation, like tort claims or divorce. Anyone who claims they are "assuming" otherwise is either an imbecile or a liar.
Posted by Michael C. Scott at 5:53 PM on May 9
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