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-American Muslims and Polygamy

by Dr. D ~ August 8th, 2011


In the midst of writing the previous post about the FLDS, I was reminded that they are not the only religious group in America that allows polygamy or marriages for women at a very young age.

Muslim men are allowed by their religion to have more than one wife. Also in many Muslim countries, arranged marriages are made for young girls many times right at puberty. While the vast majority of American Muslims are law abiding citizens, a small minority does choose to brake the law when it come to polygamy which is condoned by their religion.

This brings up an issue for Muslim immigrants to America. Some come to this country with more than one wife. Usually their first wife is designated as their ‘legal’ spouse while others are declared as part of their family. So even if polygamy is illegal here, polygamist households are still sometimes maintained by Muslim immigrants.  Also, American Muslim men have even been known to return to their old country and village to get a second wife ( or more) and bring her back to the USA somehow.

Here’s a link to an NPR interview of one such family: American Muslim Family Chooses Polygamy

Since so many consenting adult couples live together in America anymore without marriage, authorities are no longer quick to enforce bigamy or polygamy laws. So polygamy is largely ignored and allowed by default. It becomes an issue only when one of the wives wants out of the marriage or ends up in the hospital after being beaten up by her husband.

Even more chilling is the prospect of slavery within the Muslim community. many Muslim countries still allow a form of it and Muslim immigrants have come to this country with extended households including ‘servants’. I remember at least one case of an immigrant family in Southern California recently where a young woman was released from ‘servitude’ (slavery) by authorities.

As the number of Muslims in America increases, some of these issues will begin to come to the surface. Particularly issues related to how women and children are to be treated. The laws in this country are far different than what is normally allowed in Muslim cultures especially when it comes to marriage and the treatment of wives.

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1 Response to -American Muslims and Polygamy

  1. -Brazil: 3 Way Civil Union | ANSWERS For The Faith

    […] licenses in Montana. Now this legal civil union in Brazil. Also it is a fact that there are already a considerable number of immigrant Muslims in America living in polygamous marriages that were legal in the countries they came out […]

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