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Tuesday, 23 April, 2002, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
Forced marriage annulled
Asian women
The couple were forced into marriage by their parents
A young woman has won a court battle to have her forced marriage annulled.

The judge said Aneeka Sohrab had been "deceived and then frightened into a marriage", at the age of 16.

Miss Sohrab, 19, from the Pollokshields area of Glasgow, was married in a mosque in the city in 1998.

She told the court that she was informed of the wedding the week before it was to take place and refused to go through with it.


Situations will continue to arise where ancient Eastern established cultural and religious ethics clash with the spirit of 21st century children of a new generation and Western ideas

Lord McEwan

She was told she would bring disgrace to her family and would have to be sent to Pakistan. Her mother also threatened to commit suicide.

The groom, Raja Khan, had arrived in Britain three months before the wedding.

The court heard that Miss Sohrab's parents met those of Mr Khan, from Bury in Lancashire, weeks before the marriage and agreed a wedding should take place.

The marriage broke down and Miss Sohrab left her husband within months.

Multi-cultural society

At the Court of Session in Edinburgh, the judge Lord McEwan said both parties had been dominated by their parents - who were of a different generation and thought they were doing the best for their children.

Lord McEwan said he was very sorry for both the bride and groom and feared their lives had been blighted. He hoped their youth would allow them to recover.

He said: "It may be that in the multi-cultural society in which we now live such situations will continue to arise where ancient Eastern established cultural and religious ethics clash with the spirit of 21st century children of a new generation and Western ideas, language and what these days passes for culture.

"There is inevitable tension, and clashes will happen," said the judge.

Third party

Bashir Maan, the Scottish representative on the Muslim Council of Great Britain, said: "If it hasn't been working and one of the parties isn't happy, there's no harm in annulling the marriage.

"The Shariah (Islamic law) does not force the parties to live together.

"It tells them that the best thing is to try to get on and make up or get the help of a third party, the parents of both sides."

Mr Maan, who also represents the Firhill area on Glasgow City Council, agreed with Lord McEwan's view that clashes caused by cultural differences between east and west were inevitable.

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