Oh what to do? As Denmark’s politicians celebrate the completion of its successful withdrawal of Iraqi interpreters and their family members from Iraq to Denmark, an interesting dilemma awaits the Danish legal system.
One of the Iraqi interpreters has two wives.
“The 41 year old interpreter, SH, has been staying together with his family at the Mariesminde asylum center in Ebeltoft since Monday. His two wives, 32 and 34 years old, and their three children, pose a “new situation”. In any case, the section head in the asylum office, Birgit Petersen doesn’t remember such a case.
Petersen did not want to comment on whether the family will be able to get asylum in Denmark, where polygamy is illegal, both because of the confidentiality required in such cases and because the case is not yet being handled.”
More than likely the husband will –on behalf of the children of the second wife– request an asylum status for his “significant other” through the Danish reunification laws. His second wife –due to polygamy laws– will have to be classified as something else, perhaps being recognized as his wife only in Muslim circles.
All this of course brings into question the common sense and logic behind multiple wives. I find the argument from a possible feminist point of view as illogical as the Islamist one. For the former it might be a question of supposed “fair play”, for the latter its purely for misogynistic reasons which has been in existence in Islamic culture over wide regions since the beginning of the religion itself. The Muslim man can consider polygamy (were he to chose it) his right under Islamic law.
The consequences to women –who are victimized by these Muslim attitudes– was observed by none other than Winston Churchill himself, who wrote :
“A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.” Winston Churchill, The River War, London, Longmans, 1899, p. 249.
Looking at polygamy from a logical point of view. If every Muslim male thought that they were able to sustain more than one wife, I would assume that it would create a severe shortage of available women. Such a scenario would no doubt result in an increase of sexually frustrated Muslim males, due to the shortage of available single women.
Its difficult to say just how prevalent the practice of polygamy is in the Islamic world, but given the fact that it’s a right enshrined in Islamic law, I do believe that it’s “a right” invoked all to often. More here. *L* KGS