Equal share of the inheritance a big ask in the Arab world

Equal share of the inheritance a big ask in the Arab world, by The Economist.

The Koran devotes whole verses to inheritance, and Muslim scholars have spent centuries ruling on what they mean. Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi is not happy with their conclusions. Under his country’s law, derived from Islamic jurisprudence, a daughter receives half of what a son inherits. Essebsi has asked parliament to equalise it.

He also wants to allow Muslim women marry non-Muslim men — a forbidden act in every school of Islam. …

On August 16 Lebanon abolished a law that allowed rapists dodge punishment if they married their victims. Jordan did the same this month, and closed a separate loophole that allowed lighter sentences for “honour killings”. Tunisia scrapped its “marry your rapist” law in July.

But similar laws are still on the books in half a dozen Arab countries, from Algeria to Kuwait. They often have wide support. A survey released in May by the UN and Promundo, an advocacy group, found that even in relatively liberal Morocco 60 per cent of men — and 48 per cent of women — believe a rape victim should marry her attacker. But Morocco nonetheless did away with its own law in 2014, after the suicide of a teenager who was forced into such a marriage.

hat-tip Stephen Neil