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-Canada in Denial Over Islamic Polygamy?

by Dr. D ~ June 14th, 2008

Cases of Islamic polygamy are beginning to surface all across the Western world where there are Muslim immigrants. Even though polygamy is against the law in most Western countries, authorities are either in denial or ignore it entirely since the marriages were not performed in their country, or were not ‘officially’ registered, and there is no legal paper trail.

image Here is one case that came to the surface in Toronto with the typical non-response from the authorities.

Aly Hindy, a controversial Toronto imam, performed the marriage. He is said to have "blessed" over thirty polygamous unions. Hindy offers only defiance to those who question his illegal actions:

"This is in our religion and nobody can force us to do anything against our religion, if the laws of the country conflict with Islamic law, if one goes against the other, then I am going to follow Islamic law, simple as that."

Since this polygamous marriage and others are not officially registered with the government, authorities have decided to do nothing.

Response: What other illegal Islamic practices will be tolerated in Western countries in the name of ‘cultural and political correctness’. What about killing ‘apostates’ and family honor killings, will they eventually be sanctioned in the name of good cross-religious relations? Probably not, but one does wonder where religious toleration will find its limits in Western societies.

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5 Responses to -Canada in Denial Over Islamic Polygamy?

  1. APOLOGETICA » Blog Archive » Islamic Polygamy in Western Countries

    […] Cases of Islamic polygamy are beginning to surface all across the Western world where there are Muslim immigrants. Even though polygamy is against the law in most Western countries, authorities are either in denial or ignore it entirely since the marriages were not performed in their country, or were not ‘officially’ registered, and there isn’t any actual paper trail. <<Read the complete article about a Canadian case of polygamy on my main blog>> […]

  2. Sachin

    1. Don Morgan, Attorney General in Saskatchewan Canada, recognizes legal Polygamy, which is against Federal Criminal code law. It is therefore, not an offence to have multiple spouses in one jurisdiction in Canada.
    Two members of a Mormon splinter group were charged with practicing Polygamy in Bountiful, British Columbia, Canada. On has claimed religious persecution by government.
    However, what has changed now is that Polygamy ( having more than one spouse at the same time)is legal in Saskatchewan, one Canadian province. Two different Attorney Generals of that province and at least four Family Court (Queens Bench) justices have commented and argued in public court cases that a married woman may also have same time conjugal unions of a “marital-like status” with any number of other persons.
    Don Morgan of the Saskatchewan Party, who is also Don Morgan Attorney General of Saskatchewan and its’ Justice Minister has commented that Saskatchewan legislation allows multiple conjugal unions and that persons do not need to formally end a marriage to be legally recognized as having other legal spouses in Saskatchewan at the same time. His argument is the same as his predecessor Attorney General. Section 51 of Saskatchewan Marital Family property Act states:
    “Rights of new spouse
    51 Where a person becomes the spouse of a person who has a spouse, the rights
    pursuant to this Act of the subsequent spouse are subject to the rights pursuant to
    this Act of the prior spouse.”
    As early as 1999 and again in 2009 different Saskatchewan Queens bench judges have ruled that a married woman may also legally have other conjugal partners under the laws of Saskatchewan. They contend that this does not violate the Federal Criminal code against Polygamy (that clearly does not allow plural conjugal unions to exist at same time). In both cases Saskatchewan Attorney General representatives appeared in court to argue in favor of multiple conjugal unions and in both cases the Federal Attorney Generals declined to appear to defend Canada’s Polygamy law.
    The federal Criminal Code of Canada states:
    S. 293. Everyone who
    (a) practices or enters into or in any manner agrees or consents to practice
    or enter into
    (i) any form of polygamy
    (ii) any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same
    time, whether or not it is by law recognized as a binding form of marriage,
    or
    (b) celebrates, assists or is a party to a rite, ceremony, contract or
    consent that purports to sanction a relationship [that is polygamous]
    is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term
    not exceeding five years.”
    This section is very general, capturing formal and informal arrangements.
    It captures cohabitation as well as marriage; and it encompasses
    both heterosexual and same sex relationships.
    Canada’s Immigration rules do not allow potential immigrants to be both married and also claim another spouse, either as a cohabitation spouse or married.
    The case of Ariza v. Canada (2007) denied entry to Canada to a Muslim who might have claimed to have a wife in the Philippines and a common law cohabitant wife in Canada concurrently. The summary can be found at canlii.org under Ariza V. canada.
    Summary is:
    “[8] Further, as the appellant lives in Canada and has lived in Canada on a continual basis since 1992, and the applicant lives in the Philippines, there is no factual basis upon which to entertain the possibility that this relationship could be saved under a different classification, such as the concept of common-law marriage. The other concept created in the law in 2002 having to do with conjugal partnership is also of no help, as a conjugal relationship needs to be, by definition, an exclusive relationship. It is not open to the appellant to claim that she is in an exclusive relationship with the applicant, where he is still involved in a legal marriage with his first wife.”
    Now, The persons charged with Polygamy in Bountiful (a different town/ province in Canada)are accused of practicing Polygamy in Canada. On two fronts. One, having more than one spouse at the same time. Second, providing consent and assistance to the formation of simultaneous conjugal unions for other members of the community.
    One must query why Don Morgan as Justice Minister of Saskatchewan, in a province a short distance away from British Columbia provides unilateral consent and assists with allowing multiple conjugal unions in his community (province) as valid under Saskatchewan law, yet British Columbia Attorney General does not allow Polygamy; are the Attorney Generals reading the same Federal criminal code law?
    In the case of Saskatchewan Polygamy, two separate cases involved married women who claimed to have legal conjugal relationship (common law marriage) with other men while still legally married . Both men denied this “conjugal relationship existed and said they just lived in the same house with the married women and hence had the right to not be legal spouses while the women were married to others. They argued they had the constitutional right to not be the spouse of a person that already had a spouse and they should be entitled to live as adulterers but not legally the spouse of a married person. Don Morgan of the Saskatchewan Party and his constitutional lawyers argued that the women were entitled to have another spouse under Saskatchewan law, with or without the other “spouse consent” even though they remained married to other men. Morgan states that people do not need to formally end a marriage to take other spouses. In Winik V. Saskatchewan trustee, the Queens bench judge ruled:
    “21] With respect to the first issue, the continuing marriage of Maureen Winik would not necessarily have hindered the formation of a common-law relationship with Randy Wilson. The formation of a common-law relationship does not involve the solemnization of a marriage. Rather it requires a mutual intention to enter into a permanent and exclusive matrimonial relationship”
    “To constitute a marriage valid at common law, that is, in the absence of a statute otherwise specifically providing, it is not necessary that it should be solemnized in any particular form or with any particular rite or ceremony. All that is required is that there should be an actual and mutual agreement to enter into a matrimonial relation, permanent and exclusive of all others, between parties capable in law of making such a contract, consummated by their cohabitation as man and wife or other mutual assumption openly of marital duties and obligations.”
    “As the formation of a common-law relationship does not require the solemnization of a marriage, there is no risk of violating the criminal sanction against bigamy. The formation of a common-law relationship is not hindered by the existence of a subsisting marriage. Mutual intention of the parties consummated by their conduct, perhaps with an expressive public component, is all that is required for the formation of the relationship.”
    The judge decided to make formal and legal the subsequent spousal relationship unilaterally without the consent of the men( providing consent and assisting)as follows:
    “[40] Maureen Winik, as the common-law spouse of Randy Wilson at the time of his decease, has standing to challenge the constitutional validity of the relevant provisions of the Act.”
    Interestingly, the judge may have determined the new spouses had an exclusive and monogamous relationship, despite the fact that Ms.Winik was married and the “new” spouse had also fathered a child with a different women during their cohabitation!
    You can read the case and decide for yourself.
    The question is, if it is illegal in Canada to have plural spouses in valid constitutional law, and Don Morgan and his Saskatchewan party allows same time multiple conjugal unions, why does British Columbia charge Bountiful members who have done no more? Since Osler and Blackmore (Bountiful) are charged under the Federal Criminal Code Section 293 with having multiple conjugal relations and also performing multiple conjugal relationship consent by sanctioning plural unions, why aren’t the Saskatchewan Attorney Generals and Saskatchewan Queens Bench judges also charged with creating these plural conjugal relationships under law and assisting and consenting to them?
    It seems apparent that the Bountiful residents, Muslim immigrants and others wishing to practice Polygamy in Canada will need to live in Saskatchewan Canada to have legal Polygamous unions.
    Some other provinces in Canada allow multiple conjugal unions if they occurred in a country that allows them. Immigrants must prove their place of origin does allow Polygamy. Since Saskatchewan Canada encourages simultaneous conjugal unions in its Family law, it seems unfair that Muslims and others are persecuted and not allowed into Canada when it is perfectly legal in parts of Canada. If Canada immigration oficials say a Muslim cannot have two or more spouses, just show them the Saskatchewan case law (section 51 )that allows it and they will have to let all persons have multiple spouses.

  3. CarenB

    Here is how a person in Canada can commit Criminal Polygamy as far as I can tell (according to the Criminal Code of Canada):

    1) Be married legally in Canada and then marry in a civil ceremony another person before having a legal divorce concluded
    2) Same as above but the second spouse you claim to be “common-law” cohabitating as spouses type thing. One could cohabitate and as long as not claiming to be legal spouses such as common law its ok. As soon as you claim to have a second spouse without a legal divorce from the first spouse.. you have plural conjugal unions in law. This is illegal and criminal in Canada.
    3) provide or assist with consent to plural relationship. eg. if a “minister” type person presides over a “ceremony” or “consent” to plural conjugal unions ( without divorces occuring from the first). The “minister” would be guilty of assisting with Polygamy.
    4) Be a family court judge who provides “consent” or assists with creating a “plural conjugal union status” for any person in Canada. eg. If a family court judge “creates” a second conjugal union in law..they should be also charged with Polygamy.

    It sounds like s.51 above is doing just that. The act sounds illegal!

  4. Jant Thompson

    Polygamy is only illegal in Canada if an individual provincial judge or judicial representative says so.
    Polygamy and Bigamy, as well as Polyandry in Canada goes by provincial legislation, not federal. You can be charged in BC with having multiple same time spouses but not be charged in other povinces. Some provinces actually encourage Bigamy and Polygamy using family preperty laws.
    Religeon does not play a part in the Polygamy matter because each province has its own set of criminal code laws they can choose to enforce or ignore, depending on a judges opinion or feelings on the matter.
    It can be a little hard to fuigure out where Polygamy is legal in Canada, but research helps.

  5. SandraC

    Polygamy is legal in Canada only when the Federal Criminal Code says so!
    Sachin’s statement about Don Morgan Saskatchewan Minister of Justice only shows that in Canada even legal peple can be charged with providing “consent” to Polygamy or having more than one spouse at the same time.

    Who is Don Morgan’s boss? I gather that is the premier of Saskatchewan Brad Wall?

    A letter to Brad Wall of Saskatchewan indicating his justice departments role in legalizing Polygamy would result in a new justice minister? If not, a new premier.

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