Thursday, June 01, 2017

June 1, 2017--Talaq, Talaq, Talaq

Say Talaq three times and you're divorced. That is, among certain Muslim sects in India.

As reported in the New York Times--
When Neeha Khan's husband entered her parent's house in eastern Mumbai last February, he carried a letter that contained a word, repeated three times, that can instantly change the course of a Muslim woman's life in India. 
Talaq, talaq, talaq
He flung the letter to the floor and just like that, Ms. Kahn's seven-year marriage was over. 
Talaq is the Arabic word for divorce. It is used by Indian Muslims even if they do not know its meaning. But they do know it works!

These "quicky" divorces not surprisingly are only available to men. Their wives are ousted from their homes, almost always without alimony or other forms of financial support, which leaves them with few resources or prospects.

My father frequently said, "Most of the world's problems are the result of religious orthodoxy. And that includes our Jewish religion." In his own way he was a macho feminist, if that oxymoron works. If he had read about Talaq in his cherished New York Times, he would have said, "This is as outrageous as it gets."

There are worse examples of course--like being stoned to death for certain "offenses"--but in India, which prides itself on being a democracy that protects all its people from discrimination, this practice defines what it means to treat women as less than fully human.

Neeha Khan

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