Tribal “nahwa” is criminalized by law, but it still spoils the joys of Iraqi women

The Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq considered that tribal rapture is the rule of a terrorist act if it is accompanied by the threat of arms and the use of force

Baghdad- It would not have occurred to the 21-year-old young man, Muhammad Ali, that the so-called tribal affair would spoil the joy of his marriage to one of the neighbors’ daughters, after he obtained the consent of her parents, and that he would have to break off the engagement only two days after completing it at gunpoint and murder.

Ali said in a sad tone, “I was the happiest person after her family agreed to my marriage to their daughter, but her cousin cut the way in front of me by declaring his desire to marry her, and despite the intervention of some influential parties to persuade him to change his mind, but to no avail,” stressing that all of this happened amid great silence from the father and mother of the bride. .

He continued, in his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, “I did not expect that there are people who still cling to outdated customs, traditions and customs, ending the dreams and desires of a girl and a young man in a jiffy, despite the tremendous development in various areas of life.”

This is something that the young woman, Rana Ahmed, who is an orphan of both parents, agrees with when she says that her cousin’s indulgence prevented her from marrying her cousin, who she preferred and wanted and who proposed to her more than 8 times. She confirmed that she insisted on her cousin’s refusal, even if she remained unmarried throughout her life.

Anaid affirmed that the Nahwa has been a common clan custom in Iraqi society for several decades (Al-Jazeera)

gradual decline

Al-Nahwa is an old Iraqi clan custom that forbids a girl from marrying a man who is foreign to the clan. According to this custom, a girl’s uncle or cousin prevents her from marrying someone other than him, even if she remains unmarried for life.

Sheikh Zaidan Enid, one of the tribal leaders, explains that naughtiness has been a common clan custom in society for several decades, but it has begun to recede, but it has not ended once and for all because some people continue to adhere to it, despite the progress made in all areas of life.

And Enid believes that there are several reasons for the rapture, including “the cousin’s unwillingness to marry his cousin to a strange man, even if she does not love him, but she is forced to marry him, and if he does not agree to her marriage, she will remain unmarried for life, even if he marries another woman.” .

There is also another reason – he continues, stubborn – which is the existence of settling accounts between the woman’s family and one of her relatives, who disrupts her marriage through pleasure, as well as a desire of another kind represented by the desire of some to obtain money in exchange for allowing their relative to marry someone who is not from her family, and this type of The rapture is easily resolved through the mediation of powerful personalities or by offering a sum of money.

And he points out that “there is another rapture in which there is some kind of acceptance. Some of those who want to stand with the unwanted daughter of their clan from among her cousins ​​or members of her clan offer her, so they perform the rapture until it becomes clear to the other clan wishing to betroth the girl that she is not redundant, and this The kind of rapture will soon be abandoned by its owners, and the marriage will take place.” He concludes by saying, “Nahwa is religiously and socially rejected, but some of the habits and repetitions of the past bring it back to the fore from time to time.”

Doaa Ghazi considered that the tribal authority is the ruler in the areas of southern Iraq (Al-Jazeera)

Researcher and activist Duaa Ghazi believes that thousands of girls are still victims of Nahwa, especially in the southern regions ruled by clans. There the tribal authority is the ruler and the supreme authority (executive, legislative and judicial). When the girl is born, the head of the clan says that so-and-so is her cousin, and she has no right in the future to choose the husband of her own free will, and if she refuses, she will be killed.

She added in a statement to Al Jazeera Net, “Many girls commit suicide because they are forced to marry their cousins, and some of them flee despite the risks to their lives that result from that, and other things that happen there, such as what is known as the quarterly marriage to solve a problem between two clans, so a girl is given to a clan. Others to obtain the consent of the corresponding clan, the marriage of minors and other matters”, indicating that “the Iraqi woman is a victim of tribal customs and authority.”

Al-Tamimi: We suggested monitoring the weapons that are used in Nahwa and that the state buy them in exchange for cash (Al-Jazeera)

Legal and legal opinion

From the religious point of view, Nahwa is considered one of the Sunnahs, customs and traditions that are contrary to Islamic law. God Almighty did not make a girl a guardianship except from her father or her paternal grandfather. As for the uncle or the cousin, they have no guardianship over her at all, and they have no right to delay the marriage of the girl from the person who satisfied with it. But if the girl accepts her cousin and his morals are in line with the orthodox religion here, her guardian should facilitate their marriage, and avoid side quarrels that may harm the two parties, according to the jurists.

Iraqi law considers committing any form of “tribal rapture” as a crime punishable by imprisonment for up to 3 years.

In this context, the legal expert, Ali Al-Tamimi, points out that “the Supreme Judicial Council in Iraq considered that tribal pride is the rule of terrorist act in accordance with Anti-Terrorism Resolution 13 of 2005, especially if it is accompanied by the threat of arms and the use of force.”

Al-Tamimi considered in his speech to Al-Jazeera Net that there is an urgent need to monitor and withdraw the weapons that are used for this purpose, “and we suggested that the state buy them in exchange for cash,” noting that withdrawing weapons from people is very necessary despite the difficult task.

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