Below are ten cases of American Muslim Families who have encountered conflicts between the equal protection under the Constitution they should have received, and legal discrimination imposed on them by Shariah law – in American Courts   (excerpted from “Shariah Law and American State Courts“).

In cases 1-3, the Appellate Courts upheld Shariah law; in cases 4-7, the  Trial Courts upheld Shariah, but the Appellate Courts reversed (protecting the litigant’s constitutional rights); in cases 8-10, both Trial and Appellate Courts rejected the attempts to enforce Shariah law.
Ten American Families and Shariah in American State Courts
  1. Joohi Q. Hosain (FKA Malik) V. Anwar Malik, ( ), Shariah law of Pakistan, Maryland, 1996: Trial and Appellate Courts upheld foreign Shariah law and denied mother custody.  She lost custody because going to custody hearing in Pakistan would have risked prison, torture or execution.
  2. Laila Adeeb Sawaya Malak v. Abdul Latif Malak ( ), Shariah law of Lebanon/UAE, California, 1986: Appellate Court upheld foreign Shariah law and denied mother custody, reversing Trial Court.
  3. Parveen Chaudry v. M. Hanif Chaudry, M.D., ( ), Shariah law of Pakistan, New Jersey, 1978: Appellate Court upheld foreign Shariah law, overturned Trial Court.  Wife denied support and child support and division of property; prenuptial agreement signed by parents giving her only $1,500 from marriage upheld by Appellate Court.
  4. In re the Custody Of R., minor child. Dato Paduka Noordin v. Datin Laila Abdulla, ( , Shariah law of Philippines, Washington, 1997: Trial Court upheld foreign Shariah law of Philippines (which has parallel Shariah court system) granting father custody; Appellate Court reverses, allowing mother to contest Philippines Shariah court custody decision.
  5. S.D., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. M.J.R., ( ), Shariah law of Morocco, New Jersey, 2010: Pregnant mother is beaten and raped by her husband, Trial Court refuses restraining order citing foreign Shariah law, Appellate court reverses and  grants restraining order.
  6. Pamela Tazziz VS. Ismail Tazziz ( ), Shariah law of Israel, Massachusetts, 1988: Trial Court upheld foreign Shariah law of Israel (which has parallel Shariah court system ) requiring mother of four  children to bring family to Shariah hearing; Appellate Court reversed.
  7. Saida Banu Tarikonda, , v. Bade Saheb Pinjari ( ), Shariah law of India, Michigan, 2009: The Trial Court accepted a Talaq divorce (the husband says “I divorce you” three times, no prior notice to wife required). The Appellate Court reversed.
  8. Irfan Aleem v. Farah Aleem  ( ), Shariah law of Pakistan, Maryland, 2007: Trial Court rejected argument permitting a foreign Shariah law Talaq divorce to prevent community division of property; Appellate Court upheld.
  9. Magda Sobhy Ahmed Amin v. Abdelrahman Sayed Bakhaty ( ), Shariah law of Egypt and Lebanon, Louisiana, 2001: Mother convicted under foreign Shariah law of Egypt for leaving Egypt with child for U.S. without husband’s permission;  Under Egyptian Shariah law, father files for divorce and custody; Trial Court and Appellate court do not grant comity.
  10. Bita Donboli, Respondent, and Nader Donboli ( ),Shariah law of Iran, Washington, 2005: Mother is dual citizen of U.S. and Iran, alleges beatings, not allowed to leave Iran with son without husband permission, and refuses to comply with foreign Iranian Shariah law custody decree.  Trial and Appellate Courts uphold her position.