Turushnbai Bakir-Uulu, a member of the Kyrgyz Parliament, has called for the country’s grand mufti to ban “SMS divorce,” Radio Free Europe reports. In the Sunni Muslim tradition, a man can say “talaq” to his wife one to three times and divorce her. The debate is now centered on whether or not sending “talaq” via SMS is valid.
Last year, Tajikistan’s Council of Ulema issued a fatwa that forbid “SMS divorces,” and the government responded in sync. “Our country’s laws prohibit men from divorcing their wives over the phone,” said Abduahim Kholigov, head of the State Committee on Religious Affairs. “It is against Tajik laws and it is un-Islamic.”
The reported divorce rate in Tajikistan has risen from 8 to 25 percent since the 1990s. Some blame “SMS divorces” for this rise as they are common among men who are seasonally employed abroad.
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