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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Great Moments in Sharia

From Australia's The Age:
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.

The legal obstacle came to light when Setareh and her betrothed, Jamshid, tried to tie the knot at a registrar's office, only to be told she needed written agreement or proof of death of her father.

It was a cruel blow to the couple, who had been childhood sweethearts but were forced to scrap plans to wed after Setareh's mother protested that it would lead to her being left alone. Setareh resigned herself to living with her mother.

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.

But the state-linked Iranian Women's News Agency said women need their father's permission to protect them from "emotional" marriage decisions.

We can't have 80-year old women deciding to marry men on their own! It's a slippery slope - soon you will have 60-year old women demanding a similar right!

Much better to find the father who abandoned, or maybe abused, any of these women. He is much more capable of making a decision on behalf of his immature, emotional daughter.

h/t Dhimmi Watch