SMS to Splitsville -- digital divorce makes breaking up easy to do

Sarah Lourie, Assistant Site Editor

Look out Mexico, Malaysia is giving you stiff competition in the quickie divorce department. The religious advisor to the Malaysian government has announced that Muslim men are allowed to divorce their wives via text message.

The announcement was made following a ruling in favor of a man who divorced his wife after text messaging her the warning, "If you do not leave your parents' house, you'll be divorced."

Datuk Abdul Hamid Othman said that divorce via SMS, or short message service, was in accordance with Islamic law, as long as the message is clear and unambiguous. "SMS is just another form of writing," the former religious affairs minister told the Singapore-based New Straits Times.

Traditionally, men could divorce their wives by stating "I divorce thee" three times. Some would prefer that old-fashioned method to this newfangled way.

"It is dishonorable to pronounce the divorce in such a way to a wife who has given so much in the marriage," said Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Malaysia's women and family development minister. "We are raised by our parents to respect others, and pronouncing it through SMS is unacceptable."

Ms. Manners' verdict hasn't come in yet.

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