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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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Marital Conflicts and Abuse

Marital Conflicts and Abuse

(p.102) 5 Marital Conflicts and Abuse
Islamic Divorce in North America

Julie Macfarlane

Oxford University Press

This chapter draws on respondent interviews to describe and analyse the most frequently presented causes of marital conflict. The most consistent focus of conflict between spouses relates to different images of appropriate gender roles within the family. This conflict is played out in disputes over responsibility for household and childcare chores, work outside the home, and access to continuing education, as well as more general freedoms for married women. Many young couples, particularly women, describe the adjustments that their generation is making in the face of very different social conditions and expectations from their parents’ generation (and the absence of female role models). Other common conflicts reflect Islamic traditions, including arranged marriages, the taking of second wives or mistresses and relations with in-laws. The last part of the chapter is devoted to a discussion of cases in which domestic violence and emotional abuse were factors and examines the response of family, imams and the broader community to such allegations.

Keywords:   marital conflict, divorce, gender, freedoms, domestic abuse, generational change, Islamic family traditions

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