Thank you very much for this blog it is so good to know that somebody will tell the truth about polygamy. My husband told me he had been married to a second wife for a couple of years. Since he travels much for work I had not suspected it. We live in the UK and I have never imagined my husband could be one of those who want polygamy. So I was absolutely devastated. I searched everything he owns and came up with photographs from their nikah, e-mails, letters, bills and so on. And I went to an attorney and I got a divorce. I got the house and most of our money, custody of both children and he has to pay maintenance. So far so good. But now I am being pressured by my husband and his family and people from our local sharia court. They demand I give up the rights to maintenance and the house and also that I give up my daughter to my husband. They say I can keep the boy but my 10 year old daughter must go to her father. So they say I have no right to the things the court gave me, I must give everything back. What do you think Fiona? I do not want to give anything back and lest of all my daughter. But I want her to be able to have a relationship with her father. I need the money to survive since I can only work half time. I also need my muslim community I don’t want them to look down on me. Please advice!
Answer: Dear BN,
Take everything you can get! Everybody in the UK must adhere to UK law. Your husband knew that he was committing a crime when he became a bigamist. let him pay the price, it’s none of your fault. And of course you mustn’t give up your daughter. The reason shariah awards daughters to the father is that they are considered ripe for marriage when they are nine, and the father has a right to marry them off. So for god’s sake, keep her with you, and don’t let him have any unsupervised meetings with her! I understand your fear of being ostracized from your muslim community. But remember that their rules are based on the principle of patriarchy and they will only protect the rights of the man – your husband. You must protect your rights and most important of all – the rights of your daughter! She has a right to be protected by UK law and democratic values. Since her father obviously doesn’t believe in obeying the law or awarding women equal rights – you must protect your daughter from her father!