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23 Suffolk Transnat'l L. Rev. 595 (1999-2000)
Non-Muslim Mothers v. Egyptian Muslim Fathers: The Conflict between Religion and Law in International Child Custody Disputes and Abductions

handle is hein.journals/sujtnlr23 and id is 601 raw text is: NON-MUSLIM MOTHERS V. EGYPTIAN
MUSLIM FATHERS: THE CONFLICT
BETWEEN RELIGION AND LAW IN
INTERNATIONAL CHILD CUSTODY
DISPUTES AND ABDUCTIONS
I.  INTRODUCTION
Parental child abductions across international boundaries
garner global attention and demand international solutions.'
The United Nations and individual countries have estab-
lished international solutions, but conflict arises when coun-
tries refuse to participate in and accept these solutions.2
Egypt, for example, has neither participated in nor been a
signatory to an international child abduction convention.3
In Egypt, Islamic law dictates family law, and family
culture   and   traditions  differ   significantly  from    Western
societies.' Islamic nations frequently favor men's rights
over women's rights, and Egypt will not subject itself to
Western ideas of marriage and family by signing an inter-
national child abduction agreement at the expense of its
own religious culture.'
1. See Dana A. Rivers, The Hague International Child Abduction Conven-
tion and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act: Closing Doors to the
Parent Abductor, 2 TRANSNAT'L LAW. 589, 589-90 (1989) (noting international
child abductions worldwide problem); Cara L. Finan, Comment, Conventions on
the Rights of the Child: A Potentially Effective Remedy in Cases of Internation-
al Child Abduction, 34 SANTA CLARA L. REV. 1007, 1008, 1013, 1019 (1994)
(mentioning Hague and United Nations' Conventions that dealt with international
child abduction issue); see also infra Part II.A. (discussing aspects of Hague,
United Nations, European, and Inter-American Conventions).
2. See Lara Cardin, Comment, The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects
of International Child Abduction As Applied to Non-Signatory Nations: Getting
to Square One, 20 Hous. J. INT'L L. 141, 157-58 (1997) (noting problems
parents may face when dealing with country not part of Hague Convention).
3. See Hague Conference on Private International Law: Report of the Sec-
ond Special Commission Meeting to Review the Operation of the Hague Con-
vention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, Jan. 21, 1993,
33 I.L.M. 225 (1994) [hereinafter Hague Convention: Second Special Commis-
sion] (listing signatory nations of Hague convention as of 1993).
4. See Anna Jenefsky, Comment, Permissibility of Egypt's Reservations to
the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Wom-
en, 15 MD. J. INT'L L. & TRADE 199, 200 (1991) (noting Islamic law domi-
nates Egyptian family law); Cardin, supra note 2, at 158-59 (discussing how
American parents face cultural barriers between foreign parent and child in
Islamic states); see also infra Part II.C. (distinguishing aspects of Islamic cul-
ture from Western culture).
5. See Cardin, supra note 2, at 158 (stating Islamic countries typically

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