Roger’s Rules

No-Fault Divorce, Egyptian style,or: Ladies, answer the phone!

Who says Islam and technology don’t mix? When it comes to divorce, anyway, they are ostentatiously au courant. Tom Gross, writing at National Review Online, reports on the latest innovation, citing this story from al-Akhbar, a government run newspaper in Cairo:

A woman is seeking clarification from a court on whether her husband’s declaration of divorce by text message is legally valid.

After missing a call from her husband on her mobile phone, Iqbal Abul Nasr received a text message from him which read: “I divorce you because you didn’t answer your husband.”

Gross comments:

In line with Sharia law, Egyptian men do not need to go to court to file for divorce. A unilateral declaration of divorce by a man, repeated three times, formally ends a marriage. Mrs. Abul Nasr, an engineer from Cairo, received three such text messages from her husband, says the newspaper.

If a family court declares the couple divorced, it would be the first reported case of divorce by SMS text message in Egypt.

Query: is this story ironical, an exaggeration, a total fabrication? Who is brave enough to hazard a conjecture, given what we know about the career of Sharia-inspired behavior in the modern world?