Satellite Dish Makes Husband Unfit for Custody of Children

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    Satellite Dish Makes Husband Unfit for Custody of Children
    Raid Qusti, Arab News


    RIYADH, 19 July 2005 — Adnan Al-Hababi has not seen his children in five years. His wife left his house without his permission in mid 2000 along with his three children — all under 10 — before settling a divorce case.

    A judge in the Riyadh Shariah court ruled that his wife should have custody of their children — even though she is still legally married — on the basis that he was not fit to bring them up because he has a satellite dish in his house.

    The story began in 2000 when a series of arguments occurred between him and his spouse.

    There was no response from his wife or her family when intermediaries tried to reconcile the couple. Adnan went to court two months later.

    For two years, his wife was not cooperative and ignored all appeals to appear in court until obliged by an order from the Governorate of Riyadh. She then asked for a divorce.

    The judge said that to do so she would have to return the dowry she took from him in marriage — SR50,000.

    “She agreed to return the money and asked the sheikh to grant her some time to collect it,” he said.

    The wife failed to return the money and sought more time to pay. Several extensions have been given by the court but up to now, the matter has not been resolved.

    Adnan described his relationship with his children in the past four years as being “miserable”.

    “In the past four years I have only seen them only three times. Every time I send someone to her family’s house to tell her that I would like the children to come over for the weekend, she tells the messenger; ‘tell him that he can see them on the doorstep’.”

    Months later, when Adnan went to court to seek custody of his children the case was transferred to a subordinate judge.

    “I gave the judge nine reasons why I should have custody of the children. He started to take notes from her and me. And he wrote down that she was a “nashiz” wife (disobedient who left her husband’s house without his approval). He closed the session and asked us to return after a week,” he said.

    The following week, the wife appeared and told that Adnan had a satellite dish in his house.

    “I acknowledged it was true and said that I had a normal dish that only screened Arabic channels and nothing sexual or pornographic,” Adnan said.

    “I was shocked when the judge closed the case without even solving the marriage part and wrote that the custody of the children should go to the wife because the husband has a satellite dish.”

    The court ruling said: “The accuser has two boys who are under seven and a girl who is older than and that. He has acknowledged that he has a satellite dish that screens Arabic channels. And since he knows the dangers of what these channels screen — the soap operas and films that affect the morals of Muslims — and this could drive children astray, and also, since a girl usually spends most of her time at home, we have ruled that the custody of the children goes to what is best for them and hence goes to the wife because the husband is unfit for their upbringing.”

    Adnan says that the judge has hurt his honor and dignity by this ruling.

    “This ruling questions my ethics of me being a good Muslim. A satellite dish is like any other device that can be used for good or bad. If we go by the basis of this ruling, three quarters of people living in our country are corrupt,” he said.

    After appealing to the ruling at the tamyeez court, he was told that the lower court’s ruling was firm and cannot be changed.

    He sent letters to the Royal Court, the Governorate of Riyadh, and the Ministry of Justice.

    And once again, his case was transferred back again to the same judge who has been handling it since 2000


    http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=67197&d=19&m=7&y=2005
     

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