Inside a sharia divorce court – video | Law | guardian.co.uk shows us Sheikh Haithem Al-Haddad’s and Dr Suhaib Hasan’s of Britain’s Sharia Council (a Muslim Arbitration Tribunal) access to their deliberations on Islamic divorces.
The Guardian inside a Sharia Court
It is not as unique as one may think. Channel 4 had a documentary a few years ago on Sharia council to see what this Muslim legal institution offers couples in conflict. At the time there was a debate going on about the question whether religious laws should be recognized by the secular British legal system.
Divorce Sharia Style[googlevideo:http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=7551240419498830429]
One of the best documentaries is, in my view, Divorce Iranian style:
WOMEN MAKE MOVIES | Divorce Iranian Style
this fly-on-the-wall look at several weeks in an Iranian divorce court provides a unique window into the intimate circumstances of Iranian women’s lives. Following Jamileh, whose husband beats her; Ziba, a 16-year-old trying to divorce her 38-year-old husband; and Maryam, who is desperately fighting to gain custody of her daughters, this deadpan chronicle showcases the strength, ingenuity, and guile with which they confront biased laws, a Kafaka-esque administrative system, and their husbands’ and families’ rage to gain divorces.
With the barest of commentary, acclaimed director Kim Longinotto turns her cameras on the court and lets it tell its own story. Dispelling images of Iran as a country of war, hostages, and “fatwas”, and Iranian women as passive victims of a terrible system, this film is a subtle, fascinating look at women’s lives in a country which is little known to most Americans. Directed by Kim Longinotto and Ziba Mir-Hosseini, author of Marriage on Trial: A Study of Islamic Family Law
Divorce Iranian Style
Of course, the situation in Iran is different from Europe and the UK in particular. Watching these docs therefore gives you a glimpse in cross-cultural similarities and differences pertaining to the practices of sharia law.