CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - An Egyptian court has refused to uphold a divorce
notice sent by a Muslim man to his wife by e-mail, saying Islamic laws
cannot be interpreted to accept electronic documents as evidence, court
officials said Thursday.
It is Egypt's first reported case involving divorce by Internet, which is
still a limited medium in this country of only about 50,000 Internet
subscribers among a population of 65 million.
The ruling Monday by the Civil Status Court in the northern city of
Alexandria is a blow to the woman, Jaclyn Farouk, who had accepted the
divorce notice and had remarried.
Farouk went to court when her first husband, Hisham Mahmoud, changed his
mind about the divorce and threatened to sue her if she did not leave the
man she had married.
Farouk, a university student, told the court that she remarried only after
Mahmoud sent her an e-mail informing her he was divorcing her. He sent the
e-mail from a foreign country where he is studying on a scholarship.
According to Islamic law, a man can obtain a divorce by uttering the words
"I divorce you" three times.
Farouk presented a copy of the divorce e-mail in court, but the judge
refused to accept it as evidence, said the officials, speaking on customary
condition of anonymity.
It was not clear if the court ruled on the validity of Farouk's second
marriage or whether she will appeal the verdict on the divorce.