Crossing the Boundaries of Nation, Gender, and Law
As Muslims move across national and cultural frontiers they bring the problems of their family lives with them. Whether accompanying the primary wage earner or remaining in the home country, the family unit is often placed under considerable strain. When the result is marital discord, the problem then arises as to whose law shall apply, that of the home country or the laws of a land so foreign in its views of the family, the individual, and the nature of property as seriously to undercut both the structure of ongoing relationships and the image the migrants. These issues, broadly grouped under the jurisprudential heading of “conflict of laws,” are also a conflict of cultures. To trace the specific form these problems take in the lives of contemporary Muslims is to see the meaning of borders in the lives of the migrant—and the realities that attend on the theories applied by different jurisdictions.
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