Denmark: Woman trapped in marriage

Hussein Koudour, an imam from Slagelse, has for several months tried to get a 20 year old woman to pay 200,000 kronor (~$43,000) in order for her to leave her unhappy marriage, according to Ekstra Bladet. The woman regretted the relationship after getting married last summer, because she had 'found out some things about her husband which weren't so good'. She left her husband September 17, but though a marriage contract can be annulled by Sharia law if a woman hasn't been with her husband for six months, she still feels imprisoned.

She told Ekstra Bladet that she contacted imam Hussien Khoudour, who had prepared the marriage certificate, and asked him to give her a divorce. Her husband first agreed, but after speaking with the imam changed his mind. The imam then tried to pressure her to pay the 200,000 kroner. The imam later said that he will deliver the divorce papers if she paid only 180,000 kroner (~$38,000)

She says she was not willing to pay so much money for the divorce and told the imam that she will agree to pay back her dowry of 30,000 kroner.

Prompted by the woman's lawyer, Family Services announced that Hussien Koudour is not authorized to marry couples in Denmark, since his association, Nour Hak, is not accepted as a religious community. The lawyer, Frank Rasmussen, says that his client had never entered a valid Danish marriage. The 6-month deadline expires on March 17th, but both the imam and the Muslim husband refuse to give a divorce.

The case of the 20 year old woman is not the only one, thinks lawyer Muhaiman Al-Naeemi, who works together with Rasmussen. He estimates that at least two hundred Muslim women are in the same situation. They want to leave their husband, but are either threatened or pressured economically.

Source: Kristeligt Dagblad (Danish)

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