The beginning of the sharpness: Loyalty, citizenship and Muslim divorce practice

Máiréad Enright*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract Muslim divorce practice is a feminist issue, insofar as it often departs from core principles of Anglo-American divorce law. When legal feminists have examined the reception of Muslim divorce practice in common-law courts, they have tended to measure those departures in terms of financial outcome. There is a danger that, in consequence, our theory of Muslim women's legal agency is reduced to pragmatic matters of choice, money and advantage-taking. That theory seems hugely impoverished when read against the political background in Britain, where Muslims' legal agency upon divorce is bound up with deeper questions of belonging and allegiance. Feminist work ought to be able to advance a theory of citizens' commitment to civil law in litigation which can give a complex account even of the unsettling litigation of Muslim divorce disputes in civil courts. This article draws on existing work in feminist multiculturalism to sketch the beginnings of that theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-317
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Law in Context
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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