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Monday, January 2, 2012

Archive #52

Taming of the Shrew... is it possible? - Part 2 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Salahaddin   
Sunday, 01 January 2012 08:26

By Salahaddin.

I don’t know if it is just my opinion but I believe marriage is sacred hence any matter relating to it should be kept private. Couples should not air out their dirty laundry in public and the public should respect the wish of the couple that their marital woes, be kept confidential.

That brings me to my next grouse.

Before the setting up of the Syariah courts or system, any disputes between married couples were done in the private quarters of the ‘Qadi’. Frankly, I wish situation have not changed. I do understand the rationale of creating the courts, that is, to expedite matters and to clear the black logs of cases. But honestly, whilst the intention is good, the method and execution is all wrong.

In the current scenario, all Syariah matters are heard in open court. What that basically means, is that, you have a live audience listening to every gory detail of your marital secret. To me, it is humiliating, uncomfortable and unfair!

Why should parties be forced to expose their weakness and shame to a bunch of strangers? If a husband wants to pronounce divorce in court, he need not state his exact reasons for the divorce but merely state irreconcilable differences. He still has to pronounce the ‘talaq’ in a court room full of strangers though.

Unfortunately, for the wives, their ordeal is much worse. They must tell the judge, speaking through a microphone, in front of others in the court room, every dirty and gory detail. Imagine the shame of a wife having to broadcast that she has been infected with venereal disease. Of course, the husband will also be shamed when the wife reveals all his infidelities in open court but the wives normally bears the worst brunt of people’s perception.

I strongly feel that cases relating to marriage should be conducted in closed chambers or in closed proceedings. People who are not related to the proceedings should be allowed to sit in or enter the court room whilst the hearing is being conducted.

The Court should preserve the dignity of the couples rather than forcing them to reveal their dirty secrets to strangers. It is hard enough to go through marital problems but it is even harder when you are being shamed in the process.

Some judges, have in the past, allowed my request for my matter to be heard in chambers but some have blatantly refused. They told me that only VIPs are accorded such privileges! Excuse me?!!! I didn’t know there was such hierarchy exists in Islam. Are the non VIPs considered lesser Muslims? Something is seriously wrong with this scenario and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out!

I feel that only matters such as estate or other non marital cases, should be heard in open court. If the excuse is lack of man-power, then appoint more judges. If the issue is lack of space then build more courts. Money is not an issue. Stop making excuses and start making changes. If we don’t stop being in denial, then, the public will completely lose hope in the Syariah system. Act now or face the consequences later….

(illustration of a court room)
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