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But after paying for their weddings and meeting other debts, the money has nearly run out.
(The term termagant sums up the surprising way Westerners saw Muslim women before the seventeenth century.) Here are some examples of customs and social attitudes from the Muslim side of the divide (in reverse chronological order) that have me, for one, shaking my head.
I have made sure only to include instances in this weblog entry that represent a general outlook, and not just a single person's idiosyncrasy, anecdotes that reflect the Shari'a or societal consensus, not deviants and outcasts.
On a recent day, eight community elders sat in a [refugee] camp, some chewing khat, the narcotic leaf favored by most Yemeni men. Even Salim, the elder who worked at the charity, is preparing to marry off his two daughters, ages 13 and 14.
"I want to feel secure of their futures, if only for economic reasons," he said.
"Or else, I would never have married her off." Due to her extreme youth, Fayrouz's husband had to sign a document promising not to consummate their marriage until she reached puberty.