Then I had my nikah, my Islamic wedding, I considered myself a family man. In the existence of our closest and dearest, squeezed into my partner’s front space in Grimsby, an imam led us through a series of swears and the finalizing of our marital relationship certificate before providing a prayer and stating our couple.
It was a gorgeous, intimate and distinctively British event, recorded by British Muslim TELEVISION and included on Channel 4’s documentary The Truth About Muslim Marriage. This revolutionary movie highlights the poisonous fallout of our legal system’s failure to acknowledge an Islamic marital relationship as legitimate.
3 from 5 of the British Muslim ladies surveyed did not, in addition to their nikah events, have a civil marital relationship, rendering them outside the legal securities and arrangements that marital relationship brings. I can understand why. If you currently consider yourself wed, the only really need to have a civil event is to develop defenses in case you divorce. Who believes about divorce when they’re getting wed?
It’s like when your car insurer calls you to aim to sell an additional legal security in case you have a mishap, but you decrease because you’re quite persuaded you can drive just great. In this case, nevertheless, nobody calls you up. Rather, after having your wedding, you need to go through the additional rigmarole of notifying, spending a lot of money and showing up to the registration workplace (something my spouse and I had the insight to do, knowing our marital relationship wasn’t yet legitimate in the eyes of the law). It’s not a surprise to me, however, that only a fifth of British Muslims under 25 surveyed had a civil event in addition to their nikah.
In 1753 the Marriage Act minimal events to signed up structures to secure down on all the secret marital relationships happening. Up until this act was passed, which especially made an exception for Quakers and Jewish people, ordained ministers might carry out events anywhere. This law, which looked for to secure females in the 18th century, today renders numerous countless females outside the defense of our courts.
Post 9 of the Human Rights Act (1998) preserves for each UK resident the “flexibility to exercise religious beliefs or belief in praise, mentor, practice, and observance”. The only way this act can be understood in our ever-evolving society is for the law to accommodate different spiritual groups and the personal and common needs of their followers– on the proviso, obviously, that these do not trespass upon the rights of others.
If the UK parliament could accommodate the legal needs of Quakers wedding 250 years earlier, is it excessive to ask parliament to think about the needs of more recent faith neighborhoods that become part of the material of British society today?
What Muslims are requesting is not without very specific precedent. In the documentary, Rabbi Herschel Gluck explained British Jews gaining from a marital relationship “package”, going on to say: “When you get wed in Jewish law, you’re also getting wed in civil law. It does say to a neighborhood that you belong.” For centuries British authorities working with Muslim legislators had designed a whole legal system for governing Muslim areas under British colonial guideline. Anglo-Muhammadan law was not without its problems, but the idea that Islamic law and the British legal system are equally special is just incorrect.
Our federal government should have the judiciousness to cut through all the furore created to denigrate many essential elements of Islam. This is far from being a new argument. The previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, clearly promoted incorporating the genuine legal needs of minority spiritual groups, particularly Muslims, within the British legal system.
The truth is that 21st-century Britain is a kaleidoscope of cultures, a melting pot held together by our distinct legal system. Far from the inflexible French design of secularism, the nonreligious law in our gradually plural society safeguards and welcomes Britain’s variety and therefore overturns, in theory, the marginalization of residents who hang on to several identities.
What makes Britain fantastic is that my being a resident here does not need me to desert any element of my Muslim identity; nor does my being Muslim require my deserting the rights and duties that feature citizenship. Far from being at chances with each other, the identities work together. Viewpoint surveys have found 83% of Muslims “happy to be a British resident”, 4% greater than the figure for the population.
Muslims are not just in Britain: we are of Britain. And, rather honestly, we’ve had enough of being made to seem like trespassers or imposters by a careless media– or, in this case, 18th-century laws that leave numerous females susceptible to exploitation.
The federal government has long promoted a much healthier combination of British Muslims within the larger society. Well, the real combination is more than a two-way street: it’s a spaghetti junction, and I’m not for a 2nd recommending the procedure will be simple.
What sort of inclusive message is the federal government sending out to Muslims looking for to safeguard the more susceptible amidst their neighborhoods, when they deal with a lot of needs to feel left out of society? Yes, there is a lot of subtleties to be checked out, consisting of clashing voices from within the Muslim neighborhood itself. As it stands, females in specific are losing out from the defense that the law plans for them.
The real reality about Muslim marital relationships? They’re the exact same as everybody else’s and its high time the law identified them.