As more and more nations (most recently Canada) flirt with giving Islamic Sharia law legal standing, allowing Muslims to ignore the established legal systems and settle their grievances through Muslim courts (which, among other notable practices, require any rape charge to be witnessed by two Muslim men, or the woman is often charged with adultery or fornication -- which has a death penalty), I spotted an encouraging bit of news in this morning's paper.
It seems that a couple from Lebanon -- Samer and Sonia Ramadan -- came to New Hampshire, and while here they decided they didn't want to be married any more. Under Sharia law, all a husband has to do is say to the wife "Woman, I divorce you" three times. (Apparently the "turn around twice and do the hokey-pokey" requirement has gone by the wayside.) He then jetted back to Lebanon to sign some papers -- apparently the wife has nothing to say in this matter.
Sonia disagreed with this approach. Apparently she thought that she ought to have some say in how HER marriage -- and, as well, HER children and HER marital assets were to be disposed of. So she filed for divorce in a New Hampshire civil court. Samer refused to recognize the hearing, so it proceeded without him. He appealed, and it went all the way to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
The court looked carefully at it, and decided that since the Ramadans were in New Hampshire, they had to follow New Hampshire law. Sonia's divorce was granted and acknowledged superior to Samer's, and she was awarded the children, child support, alimony, and property.
Even more deliciously ironic, the Court's ruling was handed down last Tuesday, a little Valentine's Day present for the lady from the Granite State.
In most cases, New Hampshire recognizes weddings, divorces, and other civil arrangements conducted by other nations. But that tends to presume a certain commonality, a set of shared values and beliefs.
In this case, though, our jurists looked at how Islamic law treats women, and said New Hampshire would have no truck with that sort of thing. No more than we would accept someone bringing slaves into the state, and demanding we acknowledge their rights to own another human being.
Sorry you didn't care for living in a civilized nation, Samer. Feel free to stay away.