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Islamic Divorce in North AmericaA Shari’a Path in a Secular Society$
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Julie Macfarlane

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199753918

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199753918.001.0001

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Staying Married

Staying Married

(p.70) 4 Staying Married
Islamic Divorce in North America

Julie Macfarlane

Oxford University Press

There is a strong impulse within Islamic family culture to maintain a marriage whenever possible. Attitudes towards ending a marriage are affected by interpretations of religious law—which permits divorce on a range of grounds—cultural and family attitudes, and individual aspirations and values. Respondent stories illustrate the interaction of these factors in decision making over staying married. Reconciliation is an important value and is actively sought in most circumstances. This approach is promoted by the imams, some—but not all—of whom continue to work towards reconciliation when there is evidence of domestic violence, and resistance from one or both parties. There is limited recourse to professional marriage counselling because of a widespread scepticism about paying for this type of assistance.

Keywords:   reconciliation, Imams, marital conflict, marriage counselling, domestic violence, family and community attitudes

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