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When will govt. understand there are limits to the money they can give away...............

Multiple wives will mean multiple benefits

Husbands with multiple wives have been given the go-ahead to claim extra welfare benefits following a year-long Government review, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

Even though bigamy is a crime in Britain, the decision by ministers means that polygamous marriages can now be recognised formally by the state, so long as the weddings took place in countries where the arrangement is legal.

The outcome will chiefly benefit Muslim men with more than one wife, as is permitted under Islamic law. Ministers estimate that up to a thousand polygamous partnerships exist in Britain, although they admit there is no exact record.

The decision has been condemned by the Tories, who accused the Government of offering preferential treatment to a particular group, and of setting a precedent that would lead to demands for further changes in British law.

New guidelines on income support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) state: "Where there is a valid polygamous marriage the claimant and one spouse will be paid the couple rate ... The amount payable for each additional spouse is presently £33.65."

Income support for all of the wives may be paid directly into the husband's bank account, if the family so choose. Under the deal agreed by ministers, a husband with multiple wives may also be eligible for additional housing benefit and council tax benefit to reflect the larger property needed for his family.

The ruling could cost taxpayers millions of pounds. Ministers launched a review of the benefit rules for polygamous marriages in November 2006, after it emerged that some families had benefited financially.

The review concluded in December last year with agreement that the extra benefits should continue to be paid, the Government admitted. The decision was not publicly announced.

Four departments - the Treasury, the DWP, HM Revenue and Customs, and the Home Office - were involved in the review, which concluded that recognising multiple marriages conducted overseas was "the best possible" option. In Britain, bigamy is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Islamic law permits men to have up to four wives at any one time - known as a harem - provided the husband spends equal amounts of time and money on each of them.

A DWP spokesman claimed that the number of people in polygamous marriages entering Britain had fallen since the 1988 Immigration Act, which "generally prevents a man from bringing a second or subsequent wife with him to this country if another woman is already living as his wife in the UK".

While a married man cannot obtain a spouse visa to bring a second wife into Britain, some multiple partners may be able to enter the country via other legal routes such as tourist visas, student visas or work permits.

In addition, officials have identified a potential loophole by which a man can divorce his wife under British law while continuing to live with her as his spouse under Islamic law, and obtain a spouse visa for a foreign woman who he can legally marry.

"Entry clearance may not be withheld from a second wife where the husband has divorced his previous wife and the divorce is thought to be one of convenience," an immigration rulebook advises. "This is so, even if the husband is still living with the previous wife and to issue the entry clearance would lead to the formation of a polygamous household."

Chris Grayling, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said that the decision was "completely unjustifiable".

"You are not allowed to have multiple marriages in the UK, so to have a situation where the benefits system is treating people in different ways is totally unacceptable and will serve to undermine confidence in the system.

"This sets a precedent that will lead to more demands for the culture of other countries to be reflected in UK law and the benefits system."

Mr Grayling also accused the Government of trying to keep the ruling quiet because the topic is so controversial.

Multiple wives will mean multiple benefits - Telegraph

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I think you have swerved into a fascinating area for discussion--the possible link between marriage traditions in the Muslim world and the growth of terrorism (islamism). Most of the Muslim terrorists are apparently unmarried. To the extent that polygamy restricts the opportunities for the poorer young men to marry, what are they to do--study the Quran, stifle their urges to have children and re-direct their anger to the Western World. I expect our jokesters will make a mockery of this theory, so I've included some articles that seriously explore this issue.


How polygamy fuels terrorism
Tuesday, July 26, 2005

AFTER ALMOST four years of dealing with al-Qaida, jihad, Iraq and Muslim terrorism, it is obvious that we are up against something we have never encountered before in our history.

We have fought and defeated a Nazi regime that was unprecedented in its cruelty and intent on wiping whole peoples from the earth. We fought and defeated an Imperial Japan and helped turn them into a modern nation. We fought the Korean and Vietnam wars and saw how the portions of Asia we rescued thrived while those that fell under communism turned into bleak totalitarian societies.

But we have never fought an enemy so utterly "in love with death," as the terrorists themselves put it, so willing to commit suicide and take the whole earth with them in pursuit of their cause. All this demands that we take a look at Muslim society to find out what makes it so different. This does not mean we should desist in our efforts to bring democracy to Iraq or end terrorism. But it would be useful to find pressure points that might make our task easier.

What differentiates Islam from the world's other great religions - Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism - is that it sanctions and practices polygamy. How did this happen? The consensus among anthropologists is that humanity spent the first 4 million to 5 million years of our evolutionary history living monogamously in small hunting-and-gathering tribes. We know this because the few hunter-gatherers that remain - the Kalahari bushmen, the pygmies of Africa, the Australian aborigines – are all monogamous.

What is so important about monogamy? Its principal advantage is that monogamy guarantees every man an equal chance of having a wife. For small, tightly knit bands of humans surviving in perilous environments, this was crucial for maintaining group loyalty. If a dominant male took more than one wife while others were left with none, dissension would arise and the solidarity of the group would be destroyed.

Polygamy eventually did arise in nearly all parts of the world, however, and anthropologists believe it had to do with growing prosperity. When the first farmers and herders began to accumulate fixed wealth, women began to be bought and sold as wives. The "brideprice" - a payment the wife's family demands of the husband's family - is universal in polygamous societies. As the accumulation of wealth grew unevenly, wealthier men took more wives while poorer men were left with none.

Polygamy is still practiced widely in West Africa, where leading men sometimes take as many as 30 to 50 wives. This leaves a huge residue of unattached men. It is probably the principal reason why so many African countries are beset by "revolutionary armies" living in the bush and raiding rural villages to steal women.

By the 5th century B.C., most of the world's major religions had been established and had rejected polygamy as part of their social contract. When the Prophet Muhammad founded Islam in the 7th century, however, he inherited the polygamy that was still being practiced by desert herding tribes.

Although Mohammed limited each man to four wives and required that he treat them equally, he did not abolish polygamy. That decision has had a tremendous impact on history.

The prohibition against more than four wives was not always honored anyway and the "Sultan's harem" became a staple of Muslim culture. The counterpoint has been the large populations of unattached warlike men that populate Islamic history.

Islam has a long history of conquest, but it has also been plagued by revolutions from within. Typically a band of unattached men will go into the desert, decide that the faith being practiced by the urban elites is not the "true Islam," and burst back upon the cities to conquer them - and take their women as well.

"Jihad" has always been the faith of these efforts.

Today polygamy is not practiced widely in Islamic countries, but there is a firm residue of about 10 percent of all marriages. The country where the distribution of wives is most unequal - Saudi Arabia - seems to be the best at producing roving jihadists who roam the world in search of conflict.

The absence of a norm of a "man for every woman, a woman for every man" also creates an entirely different male psychology. At one extreme, men consider their own lives to be worthless and expendable because they will not have the chance to reproduce. At the other extreme, they are promised "72 virgins in heaven." Sometimes the extremes converge.

Polygamy creates dysfunctional societies. "Jihad" and its perpetual social unrest are unlikely to disappear until it is eliminated.

I would suggest the United States propose a "right to reproduce" be added to the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nations would be the perfect place to initiate a global debate.

William Tucker is an associate at the American Enterprise Institute. His column appears Tuesdays.

French minister says polygamy to blame for riots
By Martin Arnold in Paris
Published: November 15 2005

France’s employment minister on Tuesday fingered polygamy as one reason for the rioting in the country.

Gérard Larcher said multiple marriages among immigrants was one reason for the racial discrimination which ethnic minorities faced in the job market. Overly large polygamous families sometimes led to anti-social behaviour among youths who lacked a father figure, making employers wary of hiring ethnic minorities, he explained.

The minister, speaking to a group of foreign journalists as the government stepped up efforts to improve its image with the foreign media, said: “Since part of society displays this anti-social behaviour, it is not surprising that some of them have difficulties finding work ... Efforts must be made by both sides. If people are not employable, they will not be employed.”

The riots, and the government’s slow reaction to the violence, has led to widespread criticism that France’s ruling class is out of touch with the rest of the country. Mr Larcher’s comments could further fuel the debate and are likely to outrage Muslim and anti-racism groups in France.

They also come as the government considers tightening visa-granting rules and a possible clampdown on polygamous families already living in France.

Although polygamy is illegal in France, visas were granted freely to family members of immigrants until 1993, when visas were banned for more than one spouse. Many wives continued to enter illegally, however and a clampdown, if enforced, could affect families that entered the country before 1993.

Politicians estimate there are 10,000-20,000 polygamous families in France, most from North and sub-Saharan African countries such as Algeria, Mali and Senegal, where the practice is legal.

Polygamy is a taboo subject for most mainstream French politicians. Far-right groups, however, have seized on it to argue that immigrants abuse the French social security system by collecting state benefits for several wives.

The government has also been criticised for refusing to closely analyse demographic patterns in France in order to better integrate minorities. But Mr Larcher said France was so traumatised by the Vichy government’s expulsion of French Jews to German concentration camps during the second world war that it still found it unpalatable to allow information to be collected on people’s ethnic origins.

He acknowledged that the unemployment rate among young people in France was twice the national average, but said other European countries faced similar problems. He also pointed the finger at the US, where he said the unemployment rate among blacks aged 16-19 was twice that of their white counterparts.

His comments came as Dominique de Villepin, prime minister, made his first visit to the poor Paris suburbs since rioting erupted almost three weeks ago.

Although the unrest has abated substantially in recent days, the French parliament on Tuesday approved a law prolonging by three months the life of a controversial 1955 curfew law.

Wives in fear that spouses will remarry (out of Africa)

In the ongoing debate over the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) (Amendment) Bill 2005, an important aspect that has not been discussed is that the new provisions have made women more vulnerable to mental abuse.

Husbands can now enter polygamous marriages readily if not easily by a mere word "or".

The provision that used to demand that a decision to take on another wife must be "just and necessary" has been deliberately amended to "just or necessary".

A man then does not have to prove that his second (or third, or fourth) marriage is just and that he will ensure that all his wives will receive equal financial and emotional support and love.

He just has to prove that it is necessary for whatever reason.

From Women's Aid Organisation's (WAO) work with domestic violence for 23 years, we found that many married Muslim women live in fear of their husbands entering polygamous marriages.

This fear can be so crippling that it stops them from being able to live normal and happy lives.

Some of the women experience fear of being abandoned and loss of love, on top of the fear of deep hurt and, in many instances, of being beaten by their husbands.

Living in fear is a form of domestic violence.

It constitutes emotional and psychological abuse. This will affect the children, and ultimately it affects the institution of the family itself.

Indonesian leader to consider legal move as polygamy outrage grows
Lindsay Murdoch, Jakarta
December 29, 2006

WHO else has more than one wife? That's the question Jakarta's political elite are asking amid a furore in the world's largest Islamic nation about polygamy.

The latest name to shock the country's feminists is the Indonesian Parliament's deputy speaker, Zaenal Ma'arif, who is in strife with his Islamic Reform Star Party (PBR) after he married a second woman last week, a 48-year-old school teacher with three children.

As Mr Ma'arif rejected calls for his removal from Parliament, his party's chairman, Bursah Syarnubi, told journalists that he personally was not against polygamy. But Mr Syarnubi said Mr Ma'arif "should have been more prudent by not publicising his second marriage because he is part of the leadership of the Parliament and the PBR". The party will decide Mr Ma'arif's future today.

Controversy about Indonesian men having more than one wife erupted in mid-December when popular and influential Muslim cleric Abdullah Gymnastiar shocked audiences on 150 local radio stations when he told them he had a younger, second wife.

Hundreds of women marched through Jakarta's streets in rallies for and against multiple marriages. The reverberations spread to the presidential palace where President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said he would consider expanding a law that prohibits some public servants from having several wives to cover everyone in the public sector, including soldiers and police. It is not known how many people this would affect as no government agency accurately tracks polygamy rates in the country of 210 million.

But government officials admit the practice is common, particularly in rural Indonesia where culture and religion attaches little or no stigma to women who marry a man who already has one or more wives. The only stipulation for a man is that he has the money to equally provide for all his wives.

But in cities such as Jakarta, where people tend to talk about the practice in whispers, the sense of humiliation women feel if their husbands marry again appears to be particularly acute.

Prominent Indonesians have been practising polygamy for decades. Former vice-president Hamzah Haz openly acknowledged a few years ago that he has three wives. Indonesia's founding president, Soekarno, practised polygamy; Megawati Soekarnoputri, who also became president, is the daughter of his second wife.

Some foreign businessmen in Jakarta — all converts to Islam — have what are known as "first" and "second" wives, including children with both. They divide their time between the two houses that they maintain.

Siti Musdah Mulia, a feminist author and academic, disagrees with interpretations of the Koran that men can have up to four wives. "Men who practise polygamy lack faith and cultural perspective and have something wrong with them — or are unable to refrain from — their sexual desire," Ms Mulia said.

"Women often consent to the practice of polygamy because of financial problems, marrying a man they believe will support them," she said.

Always Remembered RIP
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heh, heh.....HA! HA! HA! HA!.....HEH, HEH
^^^^^Busy raising the level of discourse around here, to new heights, as usual, eh, Punjabi?

Are you married, by the way, Punjabi?

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