Embedding Mahr in the European Legal System (BOK)
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Globalization and migration have served to make European societies multicultural to an unprecedented extent since 1945, but they have also increasingly brought multicultural life into the courts rooms and administrative institutions. However, there remains a lack of in-depth research investigating particular issues of Muslim family laws and how these interact with society on an unofficial level as well as in relation to the official legal processes. It is especially this latter aspect, i.e. how alternative norms play out in the formal courts, which is the focus of this book, with mahr as the main reference point. Mahr, usually translated as dower (to distinguish it from dowry as the contribution which a bride brings to a marriage), is an amount of money or property which in a Muslim marriage is an obligation of the husband to the wife and has generally been more sympathetically treated by European courts than any other aspect of Islamic family law. Mahr engages various branches of the law such as gender equality, status of religion, contract, family including heritance, and private international law. It is a topic which functions as a prism through which much broader issues of cultural, religious and legal pluralism can be brought together for an analysis with implications beyond the apparently narrow focus of the immediate subject.