You don't need a crystal ball to find out the results of a society that institutionalizes the rights of the father over the rights of the mother and children. Just look at Saudi Arabia, where it is quite evident that children in the "care" of their CUSTODIAL FATHERS are at MUCH great risk of abuse and even death.
Local Press: Kids caught between custody law and violent stepmoms
By SUHAILA ZAIN AL-ABIDEEN | AL-MADINAH
Published: Jul 23, 2011 00:44 Updated: Jul 23, 2011 00:44
THERE have been terrible crimes committed against children, including the murder of four-year-old Ahmad by his stepmother in Taif.
Previously, nine-year-old girl Ghasoon was tortured and killed by her father and stepmother in Makkah. Areej, who was in her father's care, was also tortured and killed by him with the help of his wife. These are real terrible crimes.
Areej's mother filed a complaint in court to secure custody of her daughter because she said it was obvious her father and stepmother were torturing her. The judge rejected her claim. The judge awarded the father Areej's custody and ordered the mother to take her daughter back to him, who killed her with his wife's assistance in 2007.
I am surprised by the judge’s decision despite the evidence of torture. To me this is against the real aim and objectives of custody law. The whole point is to ensure the best interests of children and to prevent them from coming to any harm. We should protect their childhood so they are raised properly.
Mothers are usually entitled to sole custody but unfortunately most of our judges do not see it this way. In the judges’ minds only fathers are suited to take custody of their children.
See what happened to Areej after this unfair ruling issued by the judge. She died at the hands of those deemed by the judge as more suitable to take care of her. Who then is responsible?
How come the judge handling Ahmad’s case did not notice that he and his sister were being mistreated and were then separated from their mother for three years?
Ahmad was only an infant at that time, so how can you separate such a young child from his mother? Even if she gets married, this should not prevent her from caring for her own children.
Where is the role of women in raising and educating kids? When it comes to women's employment issues, we see critics who claim the role of the woman is to stay at home and take care of her children. Why do they forget this when it comes to who has custody of children?
Even judges support the idea of stepmothers with no mercy in their hearts to take care of children and award custody to them without proper investigations to clearly understand the situation.
We must put an end to such incidents where fathers and stepmothers torture and kill their children. Therefore I urge all Muslim centers and councils to review the jurisprudence based on weak traditions.
Unfair rules will deprive divorced women of their children, who in turn are deprived of their real mothers.
We should create special committees in our courts consisting of social affairs consultants and psychologists to study child custody cases, speed up the formation of family courts and merge cases involving alimony and child custody.