Court of Appeal rejects sharia telephone marriage involving autistic man

Three senior appeal judges have refused to recognise a Muslim marriage that took place “over the telephone”, even though the union is valid according to sharia law.They said the union, between a 26-year-old autistic British man, identified only as IC, and a woman in Bangladesh was “potentially highly injurious”.

The pair have never met and are unlikely ever to meet.

IC’s parents, originating from Bangladesh but resident in England for many years, arranged for him to be married by telephone link to a bride chosen by them in Bangladesh with a view to his new wife, referred to as NK, obtaining a visa and joining him in this country.

The marriage was valid under sharia law and the law of Bangladesh and lawyers for the parents argued that it should therefore be recognised in English law.

But giving judgment in the case, which was brought by Westminster Social and Community Services Department, the Court of Appeal said IC was unable to give valid consent to marriage under English law.

The court heard he does not function above the level of a three-year-old and is said to be highly suggestible and vulnerable. He therefore lacked the capacity to marry and consent to sexual intercourse.

Source.

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2 Responses to “Court of Appeal rejects sharia telephone marriage involving autistic man”


  1. 1 fozia March 23, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Dear me, what nonsense! Since when does sharia recognise the marriage of a person with a mental age of three?!

    Dumb old Telegraph again…

    Thanks for flagging up, anyhow.

  2. 2 thabet March 24, 2008 at 6:20 am

    Not sure we can blame the Telegraph on this one.

    The parents of the man were arguing that the marriage was valid in Bangladesh and under sharia.


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