When a Muslim woman was fined late last month in Nantes, France for driving while wearing a full face veil, the issue of polygamy burst into the spotlight when it was revealed that her husband had three other “wives.”
The incident has re-opened the debate in Europe over the dilemma faced by European governments with, on the one hand, aging native populations and below-replacement birth rates, and, on the other, burgeoning Muslim immigrant populations with customs incompatible with existing laws.
Objections to his alleged polygamy were answered by the woman’s husband, Lies Hebbadj, an Algerian-born Muslim, who pointed out that, in accordance with modern French customs, he does not have four wives but one wife and four mistresses, plus 12 children between them.
“If one can be stripped of one’s French nationality for having mistresses, then many French could lose theirs,” Mr. Hebbadj, a halal butcher, said after consulting his legal counsel. “As far as I know, mistresses are not forbidden, neither in France, nor in Islam.”
Hebbadj reportedly became a naturalized French citizen after he married Anne, his French wife. But French Interior Minister, Brice Hortefeux, has said that Hebbadj could have his citizenship revoked if he his found to be practicing polygamy. Authorities are investigating whether he was legally married to the other women in civil ceremonies, and whether he was profiting from single mother welfare benefits the other women may have been receiving fraudulently.
It was a rude awakening for British and Canadian taxpayers when news emerged this week to confirm that their tax dollars were being used to support polygamous marriages.
[…]British legislation from 2003 opened the door to the current situation by allowing multiple wives to inherit assets from a deceased husband. More recently, the government investigated claims that polygamists were taking advantage of the welfare system. It should have led to fines and legal crackdowns on abusers; instead it led to the creation of a new set of rules that allow polygamists to claim welfare benefits for more than one wife.
The government obviously wasn’t that proud of its innovative actions, since it acted quietly and without public consultation in agreeing to pay polygamists subsidies for additional housing and to grant additional tax benefits. Worse still, all payments bypass the wives and are given directly to the husband.
British citizens only found out about these changes when a newspaper broke the story last week.
At the same time, Canadian Muslim leaders admitted that hundreds of Muslim men in Ontario are now claiming welfare and social benefits for their multiple wives. This is welfare fraud. The system is supposed to prevent applicants from claiming welfare for more than one spouse, but the fraud works because they don’t check for independent applications from multiple spouses in the same household.
Under Muslim (Sharia) law, men are permitted to have up to four wives. If the paperwork is handled properly, that can put taxpayers on the hook for a huge monthly payment of social benefits.
I know that governments waste a lot of money, but this seems to me to be a particularly egregious example of the perverse incentives created by the welfare state. I have friends in Canada who are married with TWO children and are paying 50% of their income in taxes. Is this what they are paying for? It’s very frustrating to contemplate that traditional Christians are subsidizing polygamy. And abortion, too!
I believe in life-long married love between one man and one woman, because that is the best for the children. What do children who are raised in a polygamous marriage believe about women? Will they see romantic love being modeled in their own homes? It just wounds my heart. What is good for a man is to be in love with a woman and more than the feeling is the act of loving her alone, to the exclusion of all others.
The state should not be paying weak, cowardly men to degrade women like this. And with taxpayer money.
My view of love
My view of love and marriage is explained in the related posts. I’m a Christian, so I believe in chastity and romantic love. Notice how different that is from the secular and Islamic traditions. Christianity invented chivalry – romantic love is a Christian ideal. When Christianity declines, romantic love declines.
Related posts on chastity, chivalry, courtship and marriage
- The Wintery Knight’s greatest fears about the future
- How to communicate requirements to a Christian woman during courtship
- How feminism made women unsuitable for marriage and parenting
- Why men should refuse a woman’s offer of casual sex
- What has Michele Bachmann got that third-wave feminists haven’t got?
- How Christian women can make Christian men marry without using sex appeal
- John Piper’s questions to ask before you get married
- Does a man’s decision to marry negatively impact his service to God?
- The rules for friendship and courtship between Christians
- What Christian men want from Christian women… in paintings!
- Why Christian men should be chaste
- Should Christians marry non-Christians?