The ‘anti-Shari’ah Legislation’s Adverse Human Rights Implications and Other Unintended Consequences

By: Engy Abdelkader, Esq.

“In 2000, Layla and Ahmed were married in an Islamic religious ceremony in Egypt. Layla recently filed for divorce in New Jersey and her husband moved to throw out her complaint alleging that they were never legally married. The New Jersey judge must determine whether there is merit to the husband’s claim. To do so, the judge would require expert testimony about Egyptian family law, which is largely based on Shari‘ah. The recently enacted amendment to New Jersey’s state constitution bars the court from even considering Shari‘ah, however, when deciding cases. If the court fails to recognize the marriage, Layla may not be able to obtain equitable distribution of the marital assets the couple accumulated over the past eleven years (e.g. marital home, money in savings accounts, automobiles, etc.).”

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