Sharia & Human Rights, “Yasmeen’s” Horrendous Experience

Sharia & Human Rights, “Yasmeen’s” Horrendous Experience


Hello everyone, I’m Yasmeen. I am a Muslim woman with Pakistani parents, born and raised in Europe. At the age of 18 I was forced into a marriage with my paternal cousin in Pakistan. Forced marriage sounds soft, but in my experience it was rape. I was 18 and never married before and never had a relationship. In sharia law virgin women are not allowed to decide themselves when it comes to marriage. The male guardian, in my case my father, decided that I should marry my cousin. My mother and I had no voice in saying anything. After my forced marriage I came to Europe and registered my marriage here. I had to drop my school and had to work in according to get my husband to Europe. I was forced for 10 years to make my marriage work for the sake of my parents their “honour”, but I could not. I went to the court and filed a civil divorce. The civil divorce was very easy. But then I was told that I also had to divorce according to sharia law. So I went to a mullah who gives sharia divorce certificates. He assured me that I was a free woman. Then I remarried and my nightmare began in which I still live today. Back in Pakistan my first husband filed a case against me and my second husband because of adultery. I didn’t know that my sharia divorce verdict from a European mullah without the consent of my first husband didn’t mean anything and that I had to apply for a second divorce case in Pakistani court. If I knew I would have walked the right procedure. Back home I was hunted by my uncles and cousins for honour revenge because I dishonoured the entire family with my adultery. I was protected by the European police and had to restart my life far away from my uncles. My first husband didn’t want to divorce me and said that I had to live in marital captivity. Later when I was safe, I contacted a NGO who helped me to get rid of my first marriage. We went to the Pakistani embassy to make the right documents ready and signed. And then again I was stuck because of the Islamic rules: my signature and statements were meaningless because being a woman. I needed two male witnesses to confirm my documents. Can you imagine this: being born and raised here, in Europe, having the same amount of brains like men but without rights and dependent of two men to confirm my documents? I proposed four women as my witness, but that was dismissed because of the 2 men rule of sharia. My non-Muslim male friends were also not allowed, because the requirement is that they should be pious Muslim men. I did go to the embassy of my European country in Pakistan and contacted the minister of foreign affairs back in Europe and begged them for help. They said that they could not help in personal matters. Back in Pakistan I still couldn’t divorce easily from the first husband. Beside the personal misery, another misery is the corrupt bureaucracy of the lawyers and Judges. So I had to bribe them. Now, 3 years later I am finally divorced and try to catch up with my life. I was asked to tell you my story, so I did. I hope it will contribute to take action from your side to help and protect women like me. I am not the first woman and not the last woman in such a situation. My story is the story of many women and girls. Thank you very much.

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