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Full Access Divorce in an Islamic American Context: Muslim Lebanese-American Women Navigating Religious and Civil Legal Systems

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Divorce in an Islamic American Context: Muslim Lebanese-American Women Navigating Religious and Civil Legal Systems

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This essay discusses divorce and Islamic law in the United States. Specifically, it examines the Shi‘i Muslim Lebanese-American community in Detroit, Michigan, and the way different actors such as women, local imams, judges, and lawyers are working to bridge the differences that exist between secular and religious laws in issues pertaining to divorce and the concomitant complexities involved. In particular, the essay highlights the contingent character of Islam, and the ways in which Muslim-Americans are working to navigate the nuances and find innovative legal solutions for marriage and divorce that take into consideration American civil law, Islamic law, the ethnic Lebanese subculture of the Lebanese Shi‘i community as well as the wider American culture.

Affiliations: 1: University of Michigan Dearborn, Email: mberry@umd.umich.edu

10.1163/156920810X504522
/content/journals/10.1163/156920810x504522
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This essay discusses divorce and Islamic law in the United States. Specifically, it examines the Shi‘i Muslim Lebanese-American community in Detroit, Michigan, and the way different actors such as women, local imams, judges, and lawyers are working to bridge the differences that exist between secular and religious laws in issues pertaining to divorce and the concomitant complexities involved. In particular, the essay highlights the contingent character of Islam, and the ways in which Muslim-Americans are working to navigate the nuances and find innovative legal solutions for marriage and divorce that take into consideration American civil law, Islamic law, the ethnic Lebanese subculture of the Lebanese Shi‘i community as well as the wider American culture.

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/content/journals/10.1163/156920810x504522
2010-07-01
2016-12-09

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