Cairo court rejects 3rd-party divorce petition
Monday, July 30, 2001
Cairo court throws out Saadawi forced-divorce case
CAIRO - A Cairo court on Monday threw out a petition by an Islamist lawyer
who sought to forcibly divorce outspoken feminist Nawal Saadawi from her
Muslim husband on the grounds that she had abandoned her Islamic faith.
The court ruled as expected that no individual could petition a court to
forcibly divorce another person. It said only a state prosecutor must handle
Lawyer Nabih al-Wahsh had claimed the 70-year-old Saadawi had shown she was
no longer a Muslim in a newspaper interview earlier this year.
In the newspaper interview, Saadawi said the rituals in the Muslim haj
pilgrimage had pre-Islamic origins. She also called for sexual equality in
Muslim inheritance laws.
Saadawi's lawyers had told the court earlier this month that the newspaper
quoted her out of context.
The court verdict, which cannot be appealed, rejected Wahsh's request for
the constitutional court to review the procedures, known as hisba, for
raising such cases.
The Islamic concept of hisba allows any Muslim to sue another for beliefs,
which are thought to harm society.
Neither Saadawi nor Wahsh attended the court session.
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