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A of online services are charging "divorced" Muslim women thousands of pounds to take part in "halala" Islamic marriages, a BBC investigation has found.


And in Sweden and other European countries refugee women increasingly have access to resources and are made aware of their human rights.


The Assad regime is positioning itself as an enlightened government, one the west does not need to save women from. Once they escaped the oppressive eyes of their relatives and neighbours, and could initiate a no-fault divorce, they did not hesitate to request such a divorce.

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Jazzmany via Shutterstock. The personal status laws in most Arab countries also often deprive women of basic rights such as alimony or custody of their children after divorce. In her book Sex and Social Justicethe American philosopher and legal scholar Martha Nussbaum sees choice as the centrepiece of her theoretical understanding of justice, and links it to dignity. A couple of years ago, I saw a discussion on Facebook of the impact of migration on Arab families. But many of the refugee women in question have taken advantage of their new lives in western, secular societies to ask for divorce — often from abusive husbands they had to marry as young girls.

The women who sleep with a stranger to save their marriage

Plymouth Contemporary — Plymouth, Devon. Syria Muslim women. In the meantime, in Europe where large s of Syrians have taken refuge — and away from the opprobrium of patriarchal society — women are taking advantage of laws that grant them equal rights and social norms that do not put the blame on them in the case of divorce, or consider them fallen women if they leave their husbands. The Syrian government itself has seemingly recently realised its laws are problematic and amended the Syrian Personal Status laws in February The amendments included more than 60 legal articles.

The principles of social justice are equity, access to resources, human rights and participation.

Choice and dignity

Rola El-Husseini does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Through recourse to a more sympathetic regime for women, Syrian refugees are demonstrating an agency that is often denied to them by western politicians and many Arab intellectual elites. This is not an indictment of refugee women as much as it is an indictment of Syrian society and laws that force women to accept mistreatment.

These laws are not inimical to Islam — feminist interpretations of Islam holds that the religious doctrine grants women rights — but that these rights are all to often denied by patriarchal interpretations of religion and by Syrian societal norms.

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As expected, Syrians were split in their reactions to these amendments, with some welcoming these changes while others seeing them as not going far enough. This is probably due to the fact that many of the families escaping Syria came from rural areas and from provincial towns.

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They had not been forced to marry the men for religious reasons but often because they came from rural backgrounds where patriarchy and patriarchal interpretations of Islam were predominant. They knew their rights would now be protected and their children left in their care. While this phenomenon has been disparaged among Syrians, it has been celebrated by some western commentators. This phenomenon is not unique to Syrian refugees in Germany.


The mainly male writers were arguing that leaving the protection of the homeland has destroyed the fabric of Syrian families and society in the diaspora. Syrian refugees in Passau, Germany: many of those seeking refuge are from more conservative rural regions where divorce is stigmatised.

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Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. Choice and dignity are principles of justice lacking for both women and men in the Arab world, but especially for women.

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They also started demanding separation from abusive husbands they had to marry as young girls. They do so in order to keep a roof over their he and custody of their children. Women who have such a clause in their marriage contract are often seen as morally and sexually suspect. It can also be observed in Swedenwhere Syrian women have been increasingly empowered by the feminist policies of the Swedish government.

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Rola El-HusseiniLund University. This is a clearly reductionist and Orientalist western-centric of the situation.

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She maintains it has justified all kinds of western interference in the Arab and Muslim world — including invasion — in the name of rescuing women from Islam.

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Its tales of Aladdin , Ali Baba , and Sindbad the Sailor have almost become part of Western folklore , though these were added to the collection only in the 18th century in European adaptations.