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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Top religious leader calls for restrictions on marriages to foreigners

Mn-dubai17_ph1_0499914787The leading Islamic scholar of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai's Grand Mufti Ahmad Bin Abdul Aziz Haddad, appears to be deeply concerned over the growing numbers of Emirati men that are marrying foreign women.

His solution: Curb mixed marriages and impose restrictions on Emirati men that are marrying foreign women. In Haddad's opinion, Emirati men should only think of marrying a foreign woman as a last resort.

"There should be very specific circumstances for when such marriages are allowed,” Gulf Arab media reports quoted Haddad as saying at a recent discussion forum in Dubai on the issue.

“Such as when a man is too old and cannot find an Emirati to marry him, or when he wants to take a third of fourth wife for certain reasons and no Emirati woman agrees to do so.”

A proposed law regulating the marriages of Emirati men to foreign women is already in the pipeline and up for review by UAE lawmakers. Among other restrictions, the proposed legislation stipulates that the wife must be Muslim and Arab, that the age difference between the husband and wife must not exceed 25 years, and that the couple must be free of sexually transmitted diseases.

In addition, under the proposal, a man would have to obtain permission from the Ministry of Interior if he wants to marry a foreign woman. 

Emirati women's marriages to foreigners are not under scrutiny for now since only Emirati men are permitted by law to pass on his citizenship to their spouse and children.

According to a new survey from the Dubai Statistics Center, nearly 31% of all marriages in the first half of this year were between Emirati men and foreigners. That constitutes a 16.7% increase in such marriages since 2006.

It is, however, not immediately clear what kind of foreign women the men are keen on marrying. A representative from the Dubai Statistics Center, Ali Abdel Kader, couldn't provide Babylon & Beyond with specific information on nationalities Emiratis are marrying. But he suggested that a significant number of them could be women from other Arab countries, such as Jordan, Syria and the North Africa.

Haddad has called for the issuing of a more precise definition on what kind of foreign women Emirati men should be allowed to marry. He approved of Emirati men marrying Muslim, Christian, and Jewish women, but not women of other religions.

"The concept of a ‘foreign woman' must be defined. You have foreign women who are people of the book [belonging to divine religions] such as Christianity and Judaism, these women are not forbidden to be married to. But women who do not belong to these religions are forbidden to be married to," the Dubai-based English newspaper Gulf News quoted Haddad as saying. 

Speculations vary on the reasons for why an increasing number of Emirati men are marrying outside their nationality. While Abdel Kader attributes the increase in mixed marriages partly to the large influx of foreigners in Dubai, others believe one of the main reasons is avoiding arranged marriages.

In some cases, it could simply be about saving money. Dubai's police chief, Gen, Dahi Khalfan Tamim, who also spoke at the forum suggested that Emirati men shy away from marrying Emirati women to escape high wedding costs and the showy extravaganza that is sometimes involved when marrying a local gal. Some Dubai weddings leave deep dents in wallets, costing up to several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"Many Emirati men cannot afford the extravagant expenses that the Emirati bride or her family might require," he said. "I address parents with this message and tell them that they should avoid these superficialities and look at marriages as a method to bring two people together instead of an excuse to show off."

That more and more Emirati men are marrying foreign women is alarming social researchers in Dubai for another reason: the growing number of young and single Emirati women.

Jamal Bah, who is the head of the UAE-based Arab Family Organization, estimates that more than 30,000 Emirati women of marrying age are currently single.

-- Alexandra Sandels in Beirut

Photo: Dubai's female diversity on display in one of the city's shopping malls. Credit: Kamran Jebreili / The Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (13)

"Ramadan Kareem!"
Before you Judge read this!
The role of a Muslim

The role of a Muslim wife in the Muslim society is explicitly written in the Quran. All Muslim women who marry are expected to follow these rules. They will not be considered Muslims at heart if they do not do so. The rules are not too difficult to follow, and most of them should not have a problem doing so. The Quran first expects them to be very spiritual.

That is more important than any other duty. This is because they will be guided spiritually to do the right things in life. Moreover, this is the prime reason for existence. A wife in the Muslim society may use her beauty to attract her Muslim husband. They cannot however commit adultery, and if they do so, they will be punished according to the rules in the. Quran

The clothes a Muslim wife wears must also be very modest. She cannot reveal any parts of her body to anyone but her husband. She may only remove her head dress when she is at home. She must also keep the home very clean for her husband. She and the children too must be clean and dressed in clean clothes.

To maintain a happy atmosphere at home, the wife of a Muslim husband must keep him happy by sharing jokes with him. In return the husband will keep her happy. She must also thank him for working hard to support the family. She may thank him as many times as she wants, as this will make him happier. A wife in the Muslim community must always try hard not to argue with her husband.

If she argues, it will create a very unpleasant atmosphere. Even if her Muslim husband argues, she must extinguish the fire as soon as possible. The Muslim man is the one who earns money and feeds his Muslim wife and children. Thus, all wives must respect their husbands always. She must also obey him because he contributes in a great way to the household.

Iman Mahmood Hasan Bin Hamad

دور المسلم
دور الزوجة المسلمة في المجتمع المسلم هو مكتوب صراحة في القرآن الكريم. جميع النساء المسلمات اللواتي يتزوجن من المتوقع ان تتبع هذه القواعد. ولن يتم النظر المسلمين في القلب إذا لم يفعلوا ذلك. القواعد ليست الصعب جدا متابعة ، ومعظمهم لا ينبغي أن يكون هناك مشكلة في القيام بذلك. القرآن الكريم أولا تتوقع منها أن تكون غاية الروحية.

هذا هو أكثر أهمية من أي واجب آخر. هذا لأنهم سوف تسترشد روحيا أن تفعل الأشياء الصحيحة في الحياة. وعلاوة على ذلك ، وهذا هو السبب الرئيسي وراء وجودها. والزوجة في المجتمع المسلم قد تستخدم جمالها لجذب زوجها المسلم. بيد أنهم لا يستطيعون ارتكاب الزنا ، وأنهم إذا فعلوا ذلك ، فإنهم سيعاقبون وفقا للقواعد في. القرآن الكريم

الملابس ترتدي الزوجة المسلمة كما يجب أن تكون متواضعة جدا. انها لا تستطيع الكشف عن أي أجزاء من جسدها لأحد إلا لزوجها. إلا أنها قد خلع الحجاب عندما تكون في المنزل. كما انها يجب ان تبقى في المنزل نظيفة جدا لزوجها. هي والأطفال أيضا يجب أن تكون نظيفة ويرتدون ملابس نظيفة.

للحفاظ على الجو السعيد في المنزل ، يجب على الزوجة للزوج المسلم ابقائه سعيدة عن طريق تبادل النكات معه. في المقابل الزوج سوف تبقي سعيدة. إنها يجب أن نشكره أيضا على العمل الجاد لدعم الأسرة. انها قد نشكره عدة مرات كما شاءت ، وهذا سيجعله أكثر سعادة. والزوجة في المجتمع المسلم يجب أن نحاول دائما ليس من الصعب أن يجادل مع زوجها.

اذا كانت تقول ، لانها سوف تخلق مناخا غير سارة للغاية. حتى لو كان زوجها المسلم يقول ، لا بد انها اطفاء النار في أقرب وقت ممكن. والرجل المسلم هو الذي يكسب المال ويغذي أخيه المسلم زوجته وأطفاله. وبالتالي ، يجب احترام جميع الزوجات أزواجهن دائما. كما أنها يجب أن تطيعه لأنه يساهم بطريقة كبيرة على الأسرة.
ايمان محمود حسن بن حمد

"Ramadan Kareem!"
Before you Judge read this!
The role of a Muslim

The role of a Muslim wife in the Muslim society is explicitly written in the Quran. All Muslim women who marry are expected to follow these rules. They will not be considered Muslims at heart if they do not do so. The rules are not too difficult to follow, and most of them should not have a problem doing so. The Quran first expects them to be very spiritual.

That is more important than any other duty. This is because they will be guided spiritually to do the right things in life. Moreover, this is the prime reason for existence. A wife in the Muslim society may use her beauty to attract her Muslim husband. They cannot however commit adultery, and if they do so, they will be punished according to the rules in the. Quran

The clothes a Muslim wife wears must also be very modest. She cannot reveal any parts of her body to anyone but her husband. She may only remove her head dress when she is at home. She must also keep the home very clean for her husband. She and the children too must be clean and dressed in clean clothes.

To maintain a happy atmosphere at home, the wife of a Muslim husband must keep him happy by sharing jokes with him. In return the husband will keep her happy. She must also thank him for working hard to support the family. She may thank him as many times as she wants, as this will make him happier. A wife in the Muslim community must always try hard not to argue with her husband.

If she argues, it will create a very unpleasant atmosphere. Even if her Muslim husband argues, she must extinguish the fire as soon as possible. The Muslim man is the one who earns money and feeds his Muslim wife and children. Thus, all wives must respect their husbands always. She must also obey him because he contributes in a great way to the household.

Iman Mahmood Hasan Bin Hamad

دور المسلم
دور الزوجة المسلمة في المجتمع المسلم هو مكتوب صراحة في القرآن الكريم. جميع النساء المسلمات اللواتي يتزوجن من المتوقع ان تتبع هذه القواعد. ولن يتم النظر المسلمين في القلب إذا لم يفعلوا ذلك. القواعد ليست الصعب جدا متابعة ، ومعظمهم لا ينبغي أن يكون هناك مشكلة في القيام بذلك. القرآن الكريم أولا تتوقع منها أن تكون غاية الروحية.

هذا هو أكثر أهمية من أي واجب آخر. هذا لأنهم سوف تسترشد روحيا أن تفعل الأشياء الصحيحة في الحياة. وعلاوة على ذلك ، وهذا هو السبب الرئيسي وراء وجودها. والزوجة في المجتمع المسلم قد تستخدم جمالها لجذب زوجها المسلم. بيد أنهم لا يستطيعون ارتكاب الزنا ، وأنهم إذا فعلوا ذلك ، فإنهم سيعاقبون وفقا للقواعد في. القرآن الكريم

الملابس ترتدي الزوجة المسلمة كما يجب أن تكون متواضعة جدا. انها لا تستطيع الكشف عن أي أجزاء من جسدها لأحد إلا لزوجها. إلا أنها قد خلع الحجاب عندما تكون في المنزل. كما انها يجب ان تبقى في المنزل نظيفة جدا لزوجها. هي والأطفال أيضا يجب أن تكون نظيفة ويرتدون ملابس نظيفة.

للحفاظ على الجو السعيد في المنزل ، يجب على الزوجة للزوج المسلم ابقائه سعيدة عن طريق تبادل النكات معه. في المقابل الزوج سوف تبقي سعيدة. إنها يجب أن نشكره أيضا على العمل الجاد لدعم الأسرة. انها قد نشكره عدة مرات كما شاءت ، وهذا سيجعله أكثر سعادة. والزوجة في المجتمع المسلم يجب أن نحاول دائما ليس من الصعب أن يجادل مع زوجها.

اذا كانت تقول ، لانها سوف تخلق مناخا غير سارة للغاية. حتى لو كان زوجها المسلم يقول ، لا بد انها اطفاء النار في أقرب وقت ممكن. والرجل المسلم هو الذي يكسب المال ويغذي أخيه المسلم زوجته وأطفاله. وبالتالي ، يجب احترام جميع الزوجات أزواجهن دائما. كما أنها يجب أن تطيعه لأنه يساهم بطريقة كبيرة على الأسرة.
ايمان محمود حسن بن حمد

This is against Islam and this so called religious scholar must have his license or certificate revoked and confiscated. Such an absurd law!

so what this article is rearly saying is foreign women are cheap,and if a emirati man cant even find a emirati woman to marry then he can fall back on the cheap foreign women,may-be the emirati females no longer want to take care of the type of man,that the above article mentions. thank you.

The only place women arent allowed to drive is Saudi Arabia. I thought the LA Times' readers were smarter than that

Maybe if they could see thier ladies faces it would help. Damn I love freedom.

Speaking of lunatic ravings, Bryan, you might want to check the laws of the State of Israel in terms of marriage vis-a-vis the Orthodox Judaism laws of marriage.

You got it wrong, Pal. Which comes back around to make one wonder if indeed you have an agenda-- a dark, disgusting, lie and hate-filled agenda-- against Jews and Israel.

Chances are, you do.

Well, you couldn´t get a better PR job for the craziness of Muslims than this type of crap. So we must be right to be at war with ´em.

How is it all the Muslim nations ruled by unelected, wealthy elites, no how small they are, get lots of newspaper coverage like this, whereas huge non-oil producing predominately Muslim nations with massive populations pursuing liberal and secular policies hardly get a mention by comparison?

Though the LA Times is the exception - to an extent - very few stories cover the lunatic ravings of the ultra-Orthodox in Israel receive this much attention. Yet on the defintion of Jewishness, restrictions on marriage, education and a host of other unequal laws, both state and religious, Israeli policy has become almost identical .

Don't they have a Justice of the Peace ?

Thanks Carlos for shedding light on the subject of how fundamentalist Islam oppresses women...they have very few rights & when they marry a fellow Muslim, what few remaining rights they DO have tend to disappear.

Islam is drastically in need of a MAJOR reformation, so their women can leave the Dark Ages & join the rest of us in the 21st century...

a passport is always a good reason to get wed for quite a lot of people.

GOVERNMENT CONCERNED ABOUT WHO YOU MARRY???

These Arab countries need to wake up and figure out the year is 2010.

Women cannot drive.
Women must have arranged marriages.
Women cannot be educated.
Women must wear a sheet in public.
Women must be subservient to their husbands.
Women cannot go out in public without a family member
Women cannot divorce their husband.

Now these Arab women say they are not interested in these Arab women??

The best part - a jihadist is rewarded with 72 virgins. A religion of sex???

ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS FOR NOT MARYING A LOCAL LADY IS, THE COST. IT COST ALOT OF MONEY TO MARRY AN EMERATI WOMAN. I FEEL IF THEY GET TO A SIMPLE WEDDING THAT DOES NOT COST ARM AND A LEG, THERE WILL BE MORE MAREGES TO LOCL LADIES.ACCORDING TO REPORTS THERE ARE ABOUT 30000 EMIRATI WOMEN OF MARRYING AGE ARE SINGLE RIGHT NOW.EXTRAGANT WEDDINGS ARE VERY POPULAR IN THAT PART OF THE WORLD, BUT EVERYONE IS NOT RICH, SO LETS GIVE A CHANCE TO A NICE MAN WHO WANTS TO MARRY A LOCAL GIRL.AT LEAST THE COUPLE WILL NOT BE IN DEBT FOEVER.I FEEL THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS, WHAT DO YOU THINK?


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