Australia Muslim Women’s Group Lashes Out At Polygamy Claims
An Australian Muslims women’s organization has fought back against an Islamic cleric in the country telling women to accept polygamy if their husband wants to take another wife.
Joumanah el-Matrah, the executive director of the Muslim Women’s Center for Human Rights in Australia told the Mark Colvin show that this sort of argument is dangerous and should be condemned.
“The recommendation or the advice given in this posting is explicitly encouraging the woman to be accepting of a polygamist marriage but I think more implicitly is the request to the woman to basically stay in the marriage that is unhappy and not to put her needs forward as being important,” she said.
This was in response to a Facebook posting by Melbourne’s Preston Mosque that promoted polygamy.
The note, which was in response to a Muslim woman asking for marriage advice, reads:
If a man is saying to his wife I will marry another woman this is far better than saying you are divorced, every time he is upset. So if your husband is telling you that he wants to take another wife and you are not doing the right thing by him then know that he is thinking straight and using a weapon that doesn’t have severe consequences.
For Matrah, it is unacceptable, adding that she said her organization believes that through their studies, support for polygamy in the Muslim community in Australia is almost nonexistent.
“Look it’s impossible to know the degree to which polygamy is practiced in Australia because it is associated with shame and embarrassment because the vast majority of the community don’t support the practice and you know I think it’s really important to keep in mind that monogamy not polygamy is actually the norm in Muslim majority countries,” she argued, attempting to remind viewers that polygamy in the Middle East is not “rampant” as some Australia conservatives have argued in recent years.
“It’s not as if Australian Muslims are practicing polygamy because that was the norm in their country of origin.”