A commenter responded to my Why American Courts Should Sometimes Consider Islamic Court Rulings post with this:
This shows a complete lack of understanding of how badly women are treated under Islamic law.
We give effect to English or French or even Taiwanese domestic decrees because we can have some confidence that whatever the substantive differences, at least there is some iota of fairness involved. The woman has a chance at least of justice in a French court, but no chance at all in a Saudi court.
Are American courts just supposed to ignore all marriages, divorces, and other matters entered into by Jordanian, Israeli, Lebanese, etc. Muslims in their countries of origin, under the legal principles that those countries require? That doesn’t make much sense
It makes all the sense in the world. Otherwise, we are just abetting in-justice.
So let’s see where the commenter’s desire for justice for women from Muslim countries will take us. Hamid and Wafa marry in Lebanon; since they are Muslim, the marriage is done through the Sharia court system in Lebanon. They come legally to America, and live here many years, thinking they are legally married. Then Hamid dies without a will, thinking Wafa would get his property as his wife.
But because “of how badly women are treated under Islamic law,” the argument goes, “American courts [are] supposed to ignore” the Lebanese marriage, since “Otherwise, we are just abetting injustice.” The result: Under the suggested rule, Wafa is out of luck, and can’t get any of the benefits of marriage (intestate succession, coownership of community property, etc.). What a wonderful way to treat women.
Or say that Hamid had married his first wife Aida in France, many years ago. They moved to Lebanon, and then some years later got divorced. Maybe Aida [...]