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Kyrgyz Deputy Urges Mufti To Ban 'SMS Divorce'

"Hi kids, is Mom there?"
"Hi kids, is Mom there?"
BISHKEK -- A member of the Kyrgyz Parliament has urged the country's grand mufti to ban so-called SMS divorces.

Turusnbai Bakir-Uulu of the Dignity (Ar-Namys) party told RFE/RL that he had officially asked the grand mufti to pronounce such divorces illegal.

The move comes amid growing complaints that some of the hundreds of thousands of Kyrgyz labor migrants in Russia and Kazakhstan divorce their wives by sending text messages via mobile phones or the Internet.

Sunni Islamic tradition allows men to divorce their wives by merely saying "talaq" -- an Islamic term for a declaration of divorce -- one to three times.

Last year, the Council of Islamic Clerics in neighboring Tajikistan issued a fatwa banning Tajik labor migrants from divorcing their wives by sending "talaq" message via mobile phones.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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