Donate now
Barnabas Aid - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
UK: Polygamy amongst British Muslims inc...

Email:

UK: Polygamy amongst British Muslims increasing

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

UK: Polygamy amongst British Muslims increasing

Country/Region: United Kingdom, Europe

A growing number of young British Muslims are taking second or third wives, according to religious leaders quoted in news reports.

Shah-Jahan-Mosque_4X3.jpg
Only about 10% of UK mosques are registered to conduct weddings
CC BY-NC 2.0 by  Swamibu

The Islamic Sharia Council said that it was receiving an unprecedented number of inquiries about polygamous marriages.

Polygamy is illegal in Britain, although taking a second, third or even fourth wife is considered legitimate within many Muslim communities in accordance with sharia law. Muslims are married in an Islamic religious ceremony known as nikah. Only about 10% of UK mosques are registered to conduct weddings so for a marriage to be legally recognised in British law it has to be in one of these mosques or accompanied by a civil ceremony. Many weddings do not meet these criteria so the wife, whether first, second, third or fourth, is not legally recognised in the U.K. This means that Muslim men can easily ‘marry’ their second, third or fourth wives at the mosque without committing polygamy under the law. There is also a special exception on polygamy for men who have married second, third or fourth wives in other countries where polygamy is legal and who then come to the UK with their families or bring their other wives in.

Khola Hasan, lecturer and adviser to the Islamic Sharia Council, said it was clear that polygamy among the younger generation was on the increase. She said:

Out of 700 applications for divorce in 2010, 43 cited polygamy as the reason.

Ms Hasan said that her research uncovered three main reasons for the growth in polygamy. The first is the growing number of young Muslim men who want to practise a more orthodox and conservative form of the religion. She said:

Young men who have come into a more radical understanding of faith know it is illegal to marry more than once [under British law], but do it to spite the system. These marriages have the lowest record of succeeding.

The second and biggest group are men whose first marriage has failed.

Perminder Khatkar, who used the findings from the Islamic Sharia Council in an investigation for the BBC Asian Network, said there was also growing concern that wives in polygamous marriages are unaware that they have no legal rights.

Meanwhile a Daily Mail investigation last week reported concerns that some Muslim men in bigamous or polygamous marriages were exploiting the British benefits system.

Baroness Flather, who was born in Lahore said:

The wives are regarded by the welfare system as single mothers, and are therefore entitled to a full range of lone parent payments.

As a result, several ‘families’ fathered by the same man can all claim benefits, as they are provided for by the welfare state, which treats them as if they were not related.

It is certainly difficult to discuss this phenomenon of serial marriage and exploitation of the benefits system, with few people in Britain seeming to want to confront the disturbing truth.

Social workers estimate that there are around 20,000 bigamous or polygamous marriages in the UK.

Two years ago, another peer, Baroness Warsi, born in Dewsbury to Pakistani parents, and now a Coalition Cabinet Minister, also voiced her concerns. She said that cultural sensitivity was stopping politicians addressing the problem.

External links

Please note: We have no control over other websites and links do not signify that we endorse the website(s). We have no responsibility for the content of the said linked website(s).

Read Daily Mail article The truth about polygamy: A special investigation into how Muslim men can exploit the benefits system

Read BBC News article The British Muslim men who love 'both their wives'

Read The Australian article A growing number of young British Muslims are taking second or third wives in an unexpected revival of polygamy, according to religious leaders.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

UK: Polygamy amongst British Muslims increasing

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Partner with Barnabas

partner-box.jpg

Our magazine - Barnabas aid

Barnabas aid magazine

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Hardline Buddhist groups in Sri Lanka are becoming increasingly militant, and in two recent incidents Christians were hospitalised with injuries sustained in mob violence. The General Secretary of one such group, Ravana Balaya, which launched an anti-Christian campaign on 15 July, said they would “advise” Christians to halt their activities but, if the Christians failed to take heed, the group would take firmer action. Pray for Christians in Sri Lanka who face opposition from their neighbours, and ask God to protect them from further violence as they seek to maintain their witness (Acts 4:19-20). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 7 hours ago

    • Since General al-Sisi became President of Egypt in June, Christians in the country have felt the pressure upon them ease off somewhat. However, a convert from Islam, Bishoy Armia Boulous, previously known as Mohammed Hegazy, remains in prison. He was rearrested on 4 December 2013, charged with defaming Islam after he fi led a public lawsuit to change the religious affiliation listed on his national identification card from Muslim to Christian. Please pray that there will be genuine religious liberty for Christians from a Muslim background as well as those born into Christian families. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Lift up in prayer Christians living in Minya, Egypt whose homes were attacked on 5 August by local Muslims. The violence broke out after Muslims learned that believers in Yaacoub planned to build a new church. Opposition to construction of church buildings is one of the most common reasons behind anti-Christian attacks Scores of Egyptian churches were attacked following the removal of Mohammed Morsi by Muslims in Egypt. Restrictions on the building of churches, a cause of hardship for Christians for many years, were lifted in Egypt’s recent new constitution. Pray that the assailants will be brought to justice and that the plans for the local church building will continue. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks that ten Egyptian churches destroyed in anti-Christian attacks last year have now been reopened. Around 60 churches across Egypt were attacked by Islamists in the summer of 2013. The assaults were provoked by the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Although the current Egyptian government has promised to rebuild all the damaged churches, most of the Christians have not yet received aid and some are worshipping in ruined buildings. Pray that the rebuilding process will continue and that the Lord will protect His people in Egypt, especially while they are still meeting in damaged buildings. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Dear Lord Jesus, we ask Your blessing on the thousands of Eritrean Christian refugees who have fled from escalating anti-Christian persecution in their home country, and are being detained in prisons in Egypt. Because they are Your followers, they face horrific treatment. We pray especially for women and men who have been raped in prison, and for those who have been kept chained for months, suffering hunger, torture and abuse. You said that You had been sent to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and to set the oppressed free. Please free these faithful ones, who suffer for Your Name (Luke 4:18, 21). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Oct 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Aid 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Aid is a registered trade mark