May 12, 2005

The married man pays up-front for sex; she grants him a specified amount of time; if she gets pregnant, it's agreed that she will get an abortion. It's religiously sanctioned and there is paperwork involved. Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? She is in.........Iraq?

Apparently, there are similar legal-but-hidden semi-marriage options elsewhere in the middle east. An urfi marriage in Egypt seems similar to the Shiite muta'a, and in Saudi Arabia a misyar marriage translates roughly to 'passerby marriage', though it is hard to pin down what the rules really are in any of these situations. I'll now step aside and let y'all argue whether it is sacred Shiite tradition or legalized prostitution, or whether it makes any difference. (and yes...a USA Today article was the best I could find)

  • she's talkin' funny talk.
  • TGS is all wonderin' if she got this from MyDD or Kos.
  • I hate their freedoms
  • Shoot! I never get anything first. I searched here and MeFi, but didn't think to look elsewhere.
  • I saw this recently on a documentary filmed in Iran called Prostitution behind the veil. It's called a sighe. They actually video taped the ceremony where the woman married this guy for 3 months or something (but she quickly absconded with the money). From the CBC page: Many of the women’s customers find a way to buy sex and still comply with Muslim law: they marry with the women in what is called ‘sighe’-a temporary marriage legal in Shia Islam. ‘Sighe’ can last from two hours up to 99 years. In the documentary, both Minna and Fariba undergo ‘sighe’ with customers. Habib offers his perspective on temporary marriages: to him, ‘sighe’ is a way of helping miserable women-an act of mercy done in the name of Allah.
  • Re-reading my post - "a way to buy sex and still comply with Muslim law". That sounds soooo hypocritical on the part of the Shia's. It's like me belonging to a religion that didn't let you eat pork, but if you pay $$$ you can get the pig declared a vegetable for the afternoon. Or if you're in a religion that's against cannibalism, but it's fine to bless a flat piece of bread and call it human flesh and then eat it... um... hang on.... to summarise the summary: religion is weird.
  • religion-sanctioned prostitution! interesting stuff. paging moneyjane! moneyjane to this thread, please!
  • Re-reading my post - "a way to buy sex and still comply with Muslim law". That sounds soooo hypocritical on the part of the Shia's. This isn't really new. Muslims have long skirted Islamic law related to money and investing with clever work arounds. For example, the murabaha model can emulate a loan, even though it is forbidden to pay or receive interest.
    Other models include "mudaraba (Contract for proportionate profit-sharing between labour and capital), musharaka, (partnership), Istisnaa' (Contract for manufacture and supply of a product on deferred payment), leasing, and salam (Sale deed of a commodity absent at the time of the finalization of the deal)." (cite)
  • religion-sanctioned prostitution! This is not prostitution, for Pete's sake. Not unless you consider all marriage prostitution, which is a position that has been defended. Say, I've got an idea -- let's mock other people's cultural/religious traditions!
  • I don't know if it's really skirting Islamic law. The practice dates back to the time of Mohammed, and pops up in early religious texts. I think it is just a behaviour that goes against the current cultural norms. I get the impression that if people could ammend the Koran like you can the U.S. Constitution, this would have been banned by now. Ok, I am crap at this stepping aside thing.
  • Grrr...ok, one more step in. I'm not mocking with this post. I'm pro-choice and pro-legalized prostitution. I was just surprised that people in Iraq were, too. I think there are a lot of aspects about this that suck - that this is one of the only financial options open to widows, that only men can nullify the contracts, and that wives are lied to about this - but conceptually, I think it's great. Actual great, not sarcastic great.
  • In fact, it's worse then simply skirting the tradition. If I pay of my home loan early, I can avoid lots of future interest. I have no incentive to pay off a murabaha contract early. The intent (if I should be so bold as to enter my understanding of Mohammed's opinion) is to not loan or borrow money. This method clearly sidesteps this belief, no matter how old the practice. IMO
  • I think that was actually pointed more at SideDish's comment, but I still fail to see the mocking. It may not be prostitution, but it's not really all that difficult to see how some might view it as such.
  • I mean, of course, loan or borrow money for profit.
  • It's prostitution. Someone is paid for sexual favours. Do they have the freedom to deny sex (which married people do)? Yes, it can turn into a permanent marriage, but most marriages in the west or anywhere else are not contracted for the purposes of sex. They are contracted to joint two people as a legal family, to provide for children, to make unions between families, to let two people pairbond. Not all marriages have all these things, but they do have something other than just getting together for sex, which these marriages don't. Also, last time I checked, women weren't paid to marry people - in Europe, they used to pay the man to marry them. But yes, if anyone (male or female) marries someone else solely to be supported in exchange for sexual favours, that is a form of prostitution. If they care for the other person, and wish to form a life with them, that isn't - certainly in the second case you would be marrying the person, money or not. Thing is, we say one form of prostitution is legal, and the other isn't and will be shamed - and the shameful one is the honest one. So it's a double-standard. If you respect one form of prostitution, why not respect them all?
  • Please insert ironic quotes around "shameful" in the last paragraph.
  • pros·ti·tu·tion ( P ) Pronunciation Key (prst-tshn, -ty-) n. The act or practice of engaging in sex acts for hire. let's see. says islam permits this as a way for widows to make money. walks like a duck... sounds like a duck... and, no, i'm not poking fun at different cultures, i'm pointing out the (to me, at least) obvious hypocrisy. i mean, isn't religion supposed to cherish all life as priceless, not encourage women to sell their bodies for cash?
  • Seems like as good a place as any to post this.
  • but most marriages in the west or anywhere else are not contracted for the purposes of sex. WHAAAAAAAAT??? Son of a bitch...
  • Sounds like if you can afford it the laws of god don't apply to you. ( This is also known as the republican agenda. )