Further to my post on Monday, if anyone is still in any doubt about whether adopting sharia law in this country is a good idea, consider the Saudi case of Fatima and Mansour al-Timani.

The couple were married after Mansour had obtained Fatima's father's permission to marry her, in accordance with Saudi tradition. They have since had two children. However, a few months after the wedding several of Fatima's relatives persuaded her father to give them power of attorney to apply for the marriage to be annulled on the grounds that she had married beneath her, thereby lowering the extended family's status. The marriage was subsequently annulled in absentia. The couple, aware that they could no longer live together under Saudi Arabia's strict segregation rules, fled from Riyadh to the western seaside city of Jeddah, where they hoped to live in anonymity. However, the police found them and they were imprisoned for living together illegally. An appeal by Mansour against the annulment was rejected by the court and the couple remain apart. Fatima is said now to be considering suicide.


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