Anti-divorce lobby 'targeting women’s fears'

“Women have nothing to fear from divorce. Nothing will change in their lives that cannot already happen with separation or annulment,” says Moviment Iva chairperson and family lawyer Dr Deborah Schembri.

Speaking during a press conference on Monday, Schembri referred to the mounting concerns of women in the fact of an increasingly aggressive ‘targeting’ campaign by the anti-divorce lobby.

“The anti-divorce lobby seems to think that women are only capable of staying at home and depend on their husband’s income or maintenance. They forget that there are women who work, who support their families even after separation, and have the strength to last them through,” she said.

“They are scaring women into believing they can lose their maintenance, and that they would be worse off with the introduction of divorce,” she said. “But under today’s separation laws, those women who work already do not receive maintenance to begin with.”

She said that at the same time, the vast majority of consensual separations being granted today carry clauses that if the marriage is rendered null (such as with annulment), separation agreements such as maintenance cannot change.

“Despite this, we wanted to err on the side of caution insofar as maintenance should still be ensured for those spouses who are eligible for it,” she said, explaining why the divorce draft law features specific clauses ensuring that all agreements reached during the separation stage persist past the decree of divorce.

“People who are claiming otherwise are simply being misleading,” Schembri said.

She also slammed the anti-divorce camp’s suggestion that women would be left by their partners, or leave their partners themselves, “for no reason”.

”This is also an insult to men: do they think men are shallow enough to leave their wives if they gain weight past size 10? If it were the case, there wouldn’t be much hope for women like me,” Schembri said.

“Divorce comes into play well after one spouse actually leaves the other, after separation stage,” she said. “To insist otherwise would be to insult people’s intelligence.”

She referred to statements made by Cana Movement President Anna Vella on a recent radio programme, during which she was confronted by a woman recounting her experience of domestic abuse at the hands of a violent husband.

“Should I remain married to him? the woman asked,” Schembri said, “to which Anna Vella replied: ‘My husband had hair when I married him. Now he has lost it. Should I be able to leave him?’ “

“Banalising domestic violence in this way by comparing it to hair loss is inconceivable,” Schembri said.

Referring to the issue of pension eligibility for former wives, she said that these are entitled only by marriage, once marriage ends, pension rights also end.

However, she said the divorce bill features a clause (71.9) that empowers the judge to take into account the investment that the former wife had put into the marriage, and adjust the maintenance accordingly.

She added that none of this is provided for in annulment, and the right to any pension automatically drops when the marriage is annulled. “Divorce however, provides former spouses the right to have their ‘investment’ into the marriage taken into consideration by having their maintenance adjusted accordingly.”

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If Malta votes divorce, some fear the winner will be radical Islam By Benjamin Mann Denver, Colo., May 21, 2011 / 11:17 am (CNA/EWTN News).- European and American experts say changing Malta's divorce ban would show weakness to radical Muslims, who could capitalize on the island's drift toward secularism to push for Islamic laws. “Forced secularism is a gift to the radical Muslims,” said Stephen Schwartz, a U.S. author and researcher on the Islamic world. “They have the perspective that confusion and secularization is good among the Christians.” “Everybody has reason to be worried about radical Islam, and this is an issue of radical Islam,” said Schwartz, founder of the Washington-based Center for Islamic Pluralism. “My opinion is: Malta should not change its divorce laws.” Malta is the only European country that does not allow divorce. But this could change, depending on the outcome of a May 28 referendum in this tiny Mediterranean island nation of 408,000 people. Voters will decide the fate of proposed legislation that would permit divorce. If the referendum passes by popular vote, the legislation would then go before parliament for its approval. Divorce supporters say Malta should “modernize” its marriage laws. Opponents warn that liberalized divorce would lead to the breakdown of marriage and the family in Malta, where 98 percent of the population is Catholic. They point to the poor state of marriage and the family throughout Europe as an indication of the likely consequences. But Schwartz says de-Christianizing Malta's laws could have even more troubling effects – by giving Islamic extremists a foothold to agitate for the practice of Islamic law. “The moderate would say, 'Let Malta be Malta – don't change the divorce law,'” he stated. On the other hand, “a radical would see as much confusion as possible among the non-Muslims as good for the Muslims.” Schwartz, who belongs to the moderate Hanafi school of Islam, believes that preachers from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia may be planning to spread radical Islam in Malta — under the guise of helping Libyan and Tunisian refugees. “If you had an influx of poor refugees from Tunisia and Libya (into Malta), the Pakistanis would be in there – swooping down like hawks,using ‘aid money’ as a pretext,” he warned. Approximately 3000 refugees from Muslim North African counties have recently arrived on the island and received international protection, since political unrest began in the region earlier this year.Another 6000 Muslims were living in the country before the revolutions of the so-called “Arab Springtime.” “Radical preaching of Islam is going to be a serious problem in Malta,” Schwartz stressed. “The refugee population will be vulnerable to radical preachers.” Schwartz is not worried about the majority of Maltese Muslims, and he stressed that most European clerics are not dangerous radicals. Malta’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Association has not participated in the divorce campaign, and its members are taught to obey the law of their country. But for a well-funded and organized Muslim minority, Malta's move toward secularism would appear in a different light. “‘Oh, now that they've left Christianity, they're fair game for us’ – that's not the moderate position, but that is the radical position,”Schwartz explained. Schwartz’s concerns are echoed by a leading European expert on culture and religion. “The idea that Muslims in Malta may benefit from the divorce law is not among the main topics on the agenda,” said Massimo Introvigne, founder of the Center for Studies on New Religions in Turin, Italy. “Nonetheless, some portions of the Muslim community are quite quick in taking advantage of legal innovations which have nothing to do with Islam.” Introvigne said radical Muslims have already taken advantage of liberalizing trends in other European countries to push for a recognition of Sharia law. He pointed to a case several years ago in the European Court of Human Rights. Muslim organizations petitioned the court to recognize polygamy in the United Kingdom, arguing that laws against the practice violated their religious liberty. At the time, the U.K. had not yet introduced its same-sex “civil partnerships,” and the Muslim organizations lost their case. However, same-sex partnerships have since been legalized in the U.K., so the Muslims are once more pursuing their claim. As Introvigne summarizes it, their argument is based precisely on the breakdown of traditional definitions of marriage: “That time, we lost the case because it was said that in the U.K. there is traditionally only one form of marriage. But now that there are two, with the inclusion of same-sex marriage, why not three?” A similar situation could follow for Malta, if it chooses to permit divorce, Introvigne said. “Some Muslim organizations may eventually take advantage of this for recognizing the practice of ‘repudiating’ women, which prevails under Islamic law.” The practices involves automatic divorce, by a husband's decree. “I'm personally very much against the referendum on divorce in Malta, and I feel very strongly in favor of those who resist it,” Introvigne said. “I see the merit of those who are afraid that recognizing divorce in Malta may open the way for Islamic divorce.” Introvigne said that Europe has followed a pattern of first legalizing divorce, then abortion, then same-sex marriage. Eventually, countries have no grounds to object when radical Muslims push for the practice of Sharia law as a form of legal “diversity.” That idea has already met with approval in some places in the U.K. and Australia. Although he stressed that not all Muslim immigrants to Europe are extremists, many do desire “the possibility for Muslims to live according to Sharia.” Introvigne pointed out that one of the founders of modern radical Islam, Muslim Brotherhood founder Sayyid Qutb, had developed his vision of a global return to Islam's seventh-century roots by observing Western culture's loss of Christian morality. “Qutb became a radical leader by being sent as an exchange student to the United States in the 1950s,” Introvigne said. He saw the state of Western culture as “evidence for Muslims, that they should move as far away as possible from ‘corrupted’ European civilization, and embrace Islamic radicalism.” Divorce supporters who call for a more modern and “European” Malta should consider how contemporary European culture serves to radicalize Muslim immigrants, Introvigne said. “Qutb already saw this ‘decadence’ in the America of the 1950s,” he pointed out. “It's much easier for radical Muslims to see this in the Europe of the 2010s.” Anjem Choudary, an admirer of Osama Bin Laden who led the“Islam4UK” organization before it was banned, is among those Muslims who believes strict Islamic law is the answer to Europe's problems. But Choudary, now Chief Judge at the “Sharia Court of the UK,” told CNA that he was not interested in half-measures such as the introduction of divorce. From his perspective, any government that fails to incorporate the whole of the Qur'an as the only law of the land is illegitimate. “Even if, for example, (British Prime Minister) David Cameron decided tomorrow to cut the hands off of thieves, it would still not be Islamic law,” Choudary stated. “Because he wouldn't be doing it in response to the divine text.” “We have no obedience to man-made law in the first place,”said Choudary, expressing a position that is gaining strength on Islam's radical fringe. “It all needs to be removed, and replaced by the Sharia.”
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Submitted on Mon, 05/23/2011 - 19:06. Will women be worse off with Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando’s divorce Bill? I believe they will. The divorce law will force a woman into a divorce that she may not even want. It will allow a married man to divorce his wife, possibly in exchange for a younger, more attractive woman. He will be able to just walk out on his marriage and family to get a divorce – no questions asked. I have never heard of anyone being allowed to negate on a legal contract without incurring penalties. Not until Dr Pullicino Orlando presented his no-fault divorce law that is wholly geared against women. A divorced man may choose to remarry and have another child. Provided that he is able to demonstrate that he cannot financially support his new family and at the same time pay maintenance in respect of his first marriage, he may quite possibly apply to the courts to request that he stops any child maintenance allocated to his first wife and children. This is a travesty. The divorce movement claim that a battered woman should be given a second chance. Who in their right mind wants a woman to undergo such abuse anyway? Of course, the wife-beater was kept conveniently out of sight in their billboard that depicted the grim looking woman with a black eye. The truth is that the wife-beater will also be set free with divorce. Freed to remarry and in all likelihood continue to abuse another wife. How then did divorce solve the issue of wife beating? Simply, it did not solve anything. It just shifted the problem onto another woman. The proposed divorce law is perfectly crafted to suit men with the divorced women of Malta and their children becoming poorer and even more dependent on men. This is of course the worst possible kind of divorce as it favours one sex over the other and the siblings of the second marriage over those of the first. This divorce law will create a subgroup, a new minority class of divorced women and their fatherless children. The anti-family movement have gone to enormous lengths to disguise the implications of this law by reframing it and calling it “responsible”. I feel that the women of Malta deserve far better than a divorce law that places them at a disadvantage to men
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I would leave my wife if she passes size 10...and I decided that if she becomes size 20 I will become size 20 as well...in this case I will not leave her because we counterbalance each other...what a load of crap!! From experience I saw persons who were barely size 10 and still got separated...so the problem is not weight!!! Can I ask any reader if any pharmacy has any cure for my contagious divorce fever? As I tried several pharamacies but none had any treatment for it...maybe CANA president can prescribe some medicines for its cure...