#Save_Marie_Magdy, a hashtag that spread on social media recently, after a video appeared in which a husband in Egypt brutally beats his wife with a wooden plank on the head and various parts of her body.
The man, Walid Saad Ayoub, holds a thick wooden board and hits his wife, Mary Magdy, in a way that is legally described as attempted murder, not even beating, as the tool used could have ended the woman’s life .
The video is very shocking and it is not recommended to watch it because of its cruelty. This created a wave of people’s sympathy for him on communication sites. But how did the poor woman get into this situation? Is she the only one who succumbs to this level of violence without a real solution to end her tragedy?
After the solidarity spread on the communication sites, the police moved and arrested the husband, making it clear that he was a drug addict and that it was not the first time he hit his wife and daughters so hard. The woman had tried to help him get treated for the addiction, but to no avail. The police had denounced him before, but he would return to repeat the same act, as this type of denunciation is often treated lightly, as family problems.
According to the “Speak Up” page, a specialized page for the support of women on Facebook, the wife is 37 years old and has been with her for 16 years, during which she has been constantly abused.
According to the Personal Status Law, divorce of Christians is practically forbidden, unless one of the parties proves adultery or changes the religion of one of the parties. Maria remains a prisoner of war for the abusive husband until death do her part.
Mary is not the only one experiencing this tragedy, there are thousands of Christian and Christian citizens in Egypt living a life like an eternal prison, whose owner feels alive but deprived of everything. Days and years pass before him, but he is prevented from exercising his most basic rights to choose a relationship that suits him.
The principle in the philosophy of law to which the judiciary refers in dealing with matters of Christian personal status is that marriage is an eternal relationship, based on a text from the Bible according to the verse that says, “What God has united, let him not a divided man. ” In the case of marital problems, even if it has reached the point of impossibility, the man should be patient with his partner and ask God to fix his situation, but he has no right to seek divorce.
And when you ask why he has to endure this cruel and miserable life? The traditional answer is that the young man and the girl had the right to choose before marriage and they had to bear the consequences of their choice.
But this religious philosophy, though it appears on the surface, elevates the bond of marriage and the value of love between a man and a woman, as it is an eternal love that can only end in death. In fact, it ignores many simple facts.
First: that we change as human beings and perhaps the one we have chosen to associate with in our twenties is no longer the right person for us after five or ten years, maybe much less.
Second: Marriage, by its very nature, reveals nature that the period of friendship does not reveal. The more conservative the environment and families, the less room for acquaintance in friendship, especially if we are talking about the village or Upper Egypt. Where the fiancé and fiancée are not allowed to join except within close confines. Therefore, when they get married, they are both surprised by the nature of the other. Characteristics that none of them will be able to tolerate or live with, such as nervousness, stinginess, violence … etc.
Third: Marital or emotional relationships are complex and not simple and often do not go the way we want or hope. This is one of the facts of life and ignoring it results in disaster. So divorce is sometimes the only real choice for a fresh start instead of continuing with a miserable life that slowly kills our soul, under religious labels.
Fourth: This philosophy openly ignores the human right to choose a life partner again. He gives him this right only once and if he errs, he deprives him of the right of self-determination and strives for his happiness forever.
Here the church deals with the freedom of individuals to decide and choose their lives as non-fully qualified citizens and citizens. I think this is the crux of the problem, or “horse anchor”, as we say in colloquial Egyptian. Even the changes that Pope Tawadros is trying to make, which may slightly expand the reasons for divorce, in an attempt to return, albeit in relative terms, to the 1938 regulation, which approved divorce in 9 cases, including abuse and desertion. The church only gives the right to decide whether to divorce or not.
Only the Church gives the right to grant a marriage license to one or both parties or not as well. Therefore, the Church here is the state and it is the state that best knows the interests of its citizens and they do not have the legal capacity to decide their own destiny as if they were minor children and not full-fledged citizens.
Therefore, and with full respect for the religious faith and the right of those who want to call it, the question arises: Where is the state from those who want to turn to civil law?
In the end, we must agree that marriage and divorce are fundamental human rights. Pre-existing rights to the same religions, and they are an integral part of the individual’s freedom and expression of his existence.
These rights must be regulated by states, unless we are talking about a religious state. Therefore, the lack of a civil alternative, which gives Christians the right to marry and divorce whenever they choose without the control of the clergy, is a withdrawal of the state for which every Christian citizen who wishes to divorce is paid, but is not able, and every Christian woman living with a man she can not tolerate and who wants to die pays for it. So get rid of it.
The case of Mary Magdy may have found great sympathy due to the severity of the video, but there are thousands of cases like Mary, not all of them are subjected to beatings that can lead to death, but most of them lead a life resembling death. How long will we ignore the suffering of these people in the name of respecting the religious faith and respecting the laws?