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Polygamy: Europe's Hidden Statistic

Polygamy: Europe's Hidden Statistic

Date Published: 
Sunday, 5 June, 2016
Summary: 
  • The sheer volume of polygamous marriages shows that such marriages are also entered into in Europe, in secret, through Islamic marriage ceremonies conducted by imams. In most European countries, imams are not required to report these marriages to the authorities.

  • Daham Al Hasan fled from Syria to Denmark, leaving behind his three wives and 20 children. Under the Danish rules of family unification, one of his wives and eight of his children have joined him in Denmark. But Al Hasan wants all his children with him, as well as all his wives. Lawyers estimate that the remaining wives will be able to join their children in Denmark. The case has caused a shock not only because of what it will cost the Danish state just in child allowance, but because Al Hassan claims that he is too ill to work or even learn Danish. "I don't only have mental problems, but also physical problems..." He has admitted that his "mental illness" consists of missing the children he voluntarily left behind.

  • Even if theoretically women can go to the police or press charges, they run the risk of being beaten or possibly divorced. Women's shelters are "full of Muslim women."

  • The spokeswoman of Germany's Federal Employment Agency said that the establishment of a central registry of Islamic marriages would be helpful for investigating claims of fraud.