Woman is Mus­lim: Bangladesh court ends bat­tle over in­ter­faith mar­riage

Kuwait Times - - International -

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s high­est court has ruled that a woman who took her life four years ago is a Mus­lim and can be buried along­side her hus­band, end­ing a high-pro­file le­gal bat­tle over in­ter­faith mar­riage. The court ruled last week that Hosne Ara Lazu did con­vert to Is­lam af­ter mar­ry­ing Hu­mayun Farid Lazu in 2013, de­spite her fam­ily’s in­sis­tence that she re­turned to Hin­duism be­fore her death. The fam­i­lies op­posed the union be­tween a Mus­lim and a Hindu and pres­sured them to call off the match. The girl’s fa­ther went so far as to file al­le­ga­tions with po­lice of kid­nap­ping against the young man.

Lazu, 21, killed him­self in 2014 amid the tur­moil. But when his 18year-old wife swal­lowed poi­son less than two months later, the case made na­tional head­lines as the fam­i­lies went to court over how she would be buried. In­ter­faith mar­riages are rare and con­tro­ver­sial in Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity Bangladesh and the case was closely watched. The wife’s fam­ily de­manded a Hindu cre­ma­tion while the hus­band’s rel­a­tives asked that she be buried in accordance with Is­lamic tra­di­tion, close to her hus­band’s grave.

The bit­ter feud reached the coun­try’s top court where judges ruled Thurs­day that the woman did con­vert to Is­lam and must be buried ac­cord­ingly. “She can now be buried as a Mus­lim be­side her hus­band’s grave,” said Samir Ma­jum­dar, the lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the woman’s fam­ily. The woman’s par­ents had said she con­verted back to Hin­duism af­ter her hus­band’s death. But the court ruled dif­fer­ently, in­struct­ing that her body be re­leased from the mor­tu­ary-where it has been since her death-within two days of pub­li­ca­tion of its judg­ment. The court also or­dered lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to en­sure po­lice pro­tec­tion is pro­vided dur­ing the girl’s burial to avoid any dis­tur­bances. An es­ti­mated 90 per­cent of Bangladesh’s 160 mil­lion peo­ple are Mus­lims. Hin­dus ac­count for less than 10 per­cent. —AFP

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