>Saudis Mull Tougher Rules On Mixed Marriage

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By Nadim Kawach
Emirates 24/7
Monday, July 12, 2010

Saudi Arabia is considering the enactment of tougher rules to curb mixed marriage but many citizens are opposed to such regulations, with one saying such a law contradicts with Islamic teachings.

The Gulf Kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, already enforces controls governing the marriage of Saudis with foreigners but a new draft law is being debated by the parliament to introduce stiffer regulations.

According to the Arabic language daily Aleqtisadiah, the new law will include a fine of up to SR100,000 (Dh99,000) and other penalties and must be ratified by King Abdullah after it is approved by Shura (appointed parliament).

In an opinion poll conducted by the newspaper, many Saudis said they are opposed to such regulations. One said they are against Islamic teachings while another citizen said it violates human rights and personal freedom.

“The new law will include a fine of up to SR100,000 against Saudi men who marry foreign women or Saudi women who get foreign husbands…violators will also be deprived of all government grants and public fund loans,” it said.

The paper said cabinet ministers and other senior government officials as well as Shura members would be exempted from those rules.

Other Saudis need prior approval from the Minister of Interior to marry foreign spouses, who must be “free of diseases that affect marriage or are not on the blacklist in the Kingdom,” the paper said.

“New rules are needed because marriage of Saudis to foreign spouses is affecting the local society…there should be laws to regulate such marriages because those which violate such rules and conditions are leading to bad consequences and effects on the children and families,” it said.

Answers by Saudis surveyed by the paper showed they are split on mixed-marriage as some of them appeared to be strictly against the new rules.

While some of them said they believed mixed marriage leads to family trouble and end up in divorce, others said the new laws encroach on personal liberties.

“Marriage is a personal affair and a personal freedom…..why putting obstacles for halal (allowed under Islam) and promoting haram (prohibited)…,” said a Saudi national, who identified himself as only Aldoumi.

“I think blocking mixed marriage on the basis of nationality is wrong…it should be on the basis of religion and ethics,” said another one, identified as Abdullah Balhakeem. “If a foreign spouse enjoys good conduct, the marriage in this case should not be stopped…having a good foreign spouse is not a shame.”

Another Saudi sounded sarcastic. “Man reached moon and we here are still haggling about the marriage of Saudis to non-Saudis,” Khaled said.

“What has the nationality to do with what God the Almighty has sanctioned,” said another respondent, who was not identified. “I believe that good conduct, ethics, and religion should be the criteria for marriage not nationality.”

Another Saudi who was not named was more defiant. “If I want to marry a non-Saudi woman, no one on earth can stop me even if they will strip me of my nationality…this is a sheer personal affair…where are the human rights.”

A respondent who identified himself as Turki dismissed reports that mixed marriage causes family trouble. “I know seven Saudi men who are married to foreigners…they don’t have any problem although some of them have been married for nearly 20 years…I call on the Ministries of Interior and Justice to issue statistics proving those reports.”

Another respondent said he saw discrimination in the new rules by exempting ministers and other officials. “Why a minister is exempted from such rules….we all are supposed to be embracing one religion and should be equals.”

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Tara Umm Omar

American married to a Saudi.

7 thoughts on “>Saudis Mull Tougher Rules On Mixed Marriage”

  1. >speechless. As an American married to a Saudi (here in the U.S., we haven't attempted to have our marriage recognized by KSA and realize it will be a struggle)I'm incredibly offended. No government has the right to tell you that you have to marry from within some man made boundary lines. It's not like God stated in the Qur'an that the people of Saudi Arabia were exalted above EVERY OTHER NATION (which is what they're laws already suggest), in actuality the Qur'an speaks of EQUALITY, and people of different "nations and tribes" knowing one another.It sickens me that this *cough* "kingdom" *cough* that supposedly holds up the ideals of Islam feels it is their right to take away personal freedoms and rights granted to us by Allah. I can honestly not express my frustration in words right now. This is wrong on so many levels. A lot of stuff there is. I have many Saudi relatives and friends and they don't seem to have this mindset. It's all the higher ups and I don't know what they use to back their claims. It certainly is not ISLAM.

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  2. >And here we all assumed that the Saudi govt would continue to slowly but surely make progress toward joining the rest of the world, but alas, it seems they are taking a giant step backward! InshAllah this law will not pass… Same with Nikki, I and my Saudi have not applied for marriage permission yet and know that we already have too numerous obstacles facing us, despite that our relationship is completely halal and is sunnah of the Prophet (saws) as well! Dear God, what else is there from this oppressive dhalem govt!

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  3. >The Saudi government is the most hypocritical, tribal, racist country (kingdom) EVER.How DARE them to make these irrational stupid rules…. I just would love to see any logical explanation for this rule…Those rules are being made by the "religious leaders", (Wahhabis long beard and short "skirt") However, Islam is totally against these rulesThis is so ridicules and very hard to accept…The Saudi government is totally treating the public as they are slaves they own…Saudi government and the royal materialistic family, Give me a break and GET A LIFE

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  4. >My Godness, i am really sad while read this article. Why so much boundaries just for marriages? What is wrong with non-Saudi woman ? I hope they God give the justice in this case, so the new law wouldn't be exist. I feel like there is only black hole in mix marriage case for Saudi Arabia. There is only one way, be away from KSA, and live outside KSA, until one day everything become better over there. I am truly deeply sad about this news. Thanks again Tara for informing this news. God bless you.Regardsvia

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  5. >Via- Apparently we are not "good" enough for Saudi men. I have seen cases on FHWS as well as behind the scenes when couples email me, that they would rather forgo all the heartache of applying for the Saudi marriage permission and just marry in another country and live there. Saudi Arabia is alienating their citizens with this law who are of the mindset that if their non-Saudi spouse is not accepted by the Saudi government then they seek other alternatives. Sometimes the ending is happy and other times there are problems down the road. How many marriages would have happier endings if this law didn't exist?

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