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Uproar over Iraqi lawmaker’s plan to legitimize polygamists

polygamy

Defenders of traditional marriage in the United States have warned that the establishment of same-sex “marriage” in American life would lead to the legalization of polygamy.

In fact, polygamists already have argued for “equal” treatment under the law, the tactic used successfully by same-sex duos.

Now a formal proposal has been made to establish polygamy, not from the far left and anti-family activists in the U.S., but from a lawmaker in Iraq’s parliament.

A female lawmaker.

And it’s caused an uproar there.

According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, Jamila al-Obaidi, a Sunni member of the Iraqi parliament, held a press conference calling for the lifting of restrictions on polygamy.

Read the history of the attacks on marriage and the family, from the days of Karl Marx and Margaret Sanger to same-sex “marriage,” in “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left has Sabotaged Family and Marriage.”

“According to al-Obaidi, women should be honest with themselves and encourage men to take more than one wife, and denounce the culture of monogamy, which she said comes ‘at the expense of her sisters’ and violates a woman’s honor,” MEMRI reported.

“She even proposed that laws be passed setting ‘financial incentives to encourage the men and help them to marry more than one woman, and to double these incentive for those who marry a widow or a divorcee.’”

A “public uproar” followed, MEMRI reported.

In parliament, the organization documented, one female MP lashed out and even threw a shoe at al-Obaidi.

“Other female MPs vigorously opposed legal recognition of polygamy and claimed that instead of strengthening the status of women, al-Obaidi is working to weaken and demean women and even to traffic in them. Women’s rights activists threatened to file a lawsuit against her and warned that her proposal would lead to the disintegration of the family unit and that polygamy is bad for both women and men,” MEMRI reported.

MP Ibtisam al-Hilali pointed out that paying a man for marrying “is a kind of trafficking,” and MP Maysoon al-Damluji demanded the government work to empower women and not move toward a violation of “the principles of the modern civil state.”

She also was mocked by media.

“It should be noted that in recent years there has been a significant increase in polygamy in Iraq, probably due to the ongoing war there and the resulting increase in the number of single women and widows. For example, on March 25, 2015, the London newspaper Al-Arbi Al-Jadid reported that a great increase [in] polygamy had been noted in Iraq’s personal status courts, most of it illegal and without the authorization of a [judge,]” MEMRI reported.

“According to the paper, Iraqi personal status judge Majabal Hussein stressed in this context that Islam allows polygamy not so that the man can brag about it and not for reasons such as love, but that ‘polygamy is permitted for an exalted purpose which is to worship Allah by providing for widows, divorcees, and older single women by marrying them, providing for them financially, and protecting them,’” MEMRI said.

“Social activists” in Iraq threatened to sue al-Obaidi for “bitter degradation of the Iraqi woman, and specifically widows and divorcees.”

Civil rights activist Reya al-Khafaji said she planned to sue, declaring, “These women are not up for purchase or sale.”

Rabi’ah Al-Obaidi, an Iraqi civil activist who lives in the U.S., published an attack on Jamila al-Obaidi in the Iraqi daily Al-Zaman.

“This MP aspires to collect signatures from the Iraqi MPs to support legal recognition of polygamy … the same polygamy from which men are restricted by law despite the increase in the phenomenon of widows, older single women, and divorcees, whose numbers have exceeded four million.”

Iraqi journalist Ali Hussein said: “I have no personal opinion with respect to MP Madam [Jamila Al-Obaidi] and I admit that this is possibly the first time I have ever heard her name… However, I believe that she embodies the most terrible contradiction in relation to the issue of woman, in that she congratulates the women of Iraq on the occasion of International Women’s Day, but [at the same time] she demands the passage of a law that will allow men to marry more than one woman… it seems that swept up in her call for polygamy [Al-Obaidi] has forgotten that she was elected by the District of Mosul, that her job is to care for the displaced, to help the residents of her district, and not to transform herself in the blink of an eye into a matchmaker searching for a second wife for [a married man] father of children.”

MEMRI pointed out some were enthused about polygamy.

“In an article on the website of the Iraqi news agency Burathanews, Shi’ite cleric Sheikh Abd Al-Hafez Al-Baghdadi stressed that people often speak for or against polygamy in the Quran, although this is ‘an unassailable topic in the Quran’ that one cannot appeal, or even express an opinion about, for that would be ‘heresy against Allah,’” the report said.

He wondered why there was an uproar.

Sheikh Abd Al-Hafez Al-Baghdadi claimed Christians, while not allowing polygamy, do in fact, “openly permit prostitution anywhere that a couple desires it,” MEMRI reported.

Read the history of the attacks on marriage and the family, from the days of Karl Marx and Margaret Sanger to same-sex “marriage,” in “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left has Sabotaged Family and Marriage.”

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