Polygamy, the Law, the Army and the US

NiqabpureBigamy is illegal in most civilized nations.

Polygamy per se can be viewed differently. If only one marriage is registered and the subsequent marriages are only religious or common law marriages, some nations do not regard polygamy as bigamy, since only one marriage is accepted as legal.

In the US, the law regards religious/common law marriages differently in different states. In some states, like say New Jersey, polygamy is not always illegal since a nikah or a common law marriage is not accepted by law. A second wife hence is not regarded as a wife, she’s just a sideshow.

If however a polygamist in states like New Jersey were a member of the Armed Forces, the situation would be completely different. Such a person, say e.g. an officer in the Armed Services, would be subject to military law. According to the law of the US Armed Forces, not only is bigamy illegal but also the attempt to commit bigamy. Hence, a polygamist who is only religiously married to a second wife, not legally, can still be convicted of attempt. I refer you to the law, you can find it here. As you can see, the law also considers whether the crime committed means that the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces. Matters to consider here could be e.g. if the crime was committed in public, e.g. described on a blog. If testimony shows that the crime was committed in a disgraceful way, e.g. causing extended pain and suffering or e.g. was directed at the rights of women while the subordinates of an officer committing the crime were dying in Afghanistan while defending the rights of women, such matters would be considered.

Furthermore, according to martial law, adultery is also a crime. The law says adultery is a crime and must be punished if it can be proven:

  • 1) That the accused wrongfully had sexual intercourse with a certain person;
  • (2) That, at the time, the accused or the other person was married to someone else; and
  • (3) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

This means that the punishment would be severe if e.g. facts show that the crime was committed in a disgraceful way, e.g. causing extended pain and suffering or e.g. was directed at the rights of women, while the subordinates of an officer committing the crime were dying in Afghanistan while defending the rights of women. Proof, such as a deleted blog, can easily be obtained by the authorities.

Since polygyny is a crime against humanity and a vile offense against human rights, we who believe in human rights and the law should certainly report all such crimes.

If anybody should know of such a crime, it should be reported to the Armed Forces, primarily, not the police.

If the suspect was in e.g. the National Guard, the correct place to make such a report would be directly to the National Guard, in the case of New Jersey e.g. here.

Since the governor is the head of the National Guard, one should also report the crime to his office, in the case of New Jersey e.g. here.

A convicted polygamist would lose all pensions and benefits.

141 thoughts on “Polygamy, the Law, the Army and the US

  1. My question to Happy is this, ‘why didnt you share the fact that your husband is part Jewish’?….. Forgot maybe…..

  2. Its simple really. If a marriage breaks down, please dont take the short cut route and blame the religion. Look at yourself, your partner and SEE what was wrong in the first place. Ive gone through situations where men have treated me badly. Yes my self esteem did take a plunge. I gained weight and I was a bitch. Nowdays, I am very clear with what I want in a relationship, what I myself give in to the relationship and how I can work on it to make it better. Blaming others is so easy. It helps one to run away from facing the raw facts of life. You are not the only one who went through hell. Many others have too, and they took it as a learning process. Life is such. They are times where you face so much of difficulties and complications. It is high time you realize that some women have had it worse. My issues is very much on the selfishness of the links provided. I dont care what is your defense. It was so low, and really disrespectful. If you felt that 411 was not giving you anything, then just walk. Why trash it? Because YOU THINK Islam is not working for you. Or to your advantage? Religion is faith. Its not a system. Its not food that is bought from a fast food joint that is supposed to be tasty, fast and nutritious. Its all about faith. Faith in Allah. Faith in yourself and abilities and faith that as much as you are tested, all will fall into place soon. I feel sad for you. Because when I read your reply, it sounds like a woman who is so much more. But is also full of anger.

    Lifeisgood, please. I am Anas voice. Nothing more. I am not here to fight with anyone. I am here to exchange my views. So stop with the guessing. Tq

  3. I respect faith. The kind of faith that is built on mutual respect, on doing good towards your fellow man, on developing your inner self. However, I can never respect creeds that claim that one group of people has rights over another group of people based on e.g. sex or the colour of your skin. I can never respect the KKK, or nazis or any other group that claims Nature or God made one group of people superior to another group. Not only do I believe such creeds have brought the greatest misery and suffering on humans all through history, I also believe such creeds to be a violation of Human rights, of Nature and of any god if there is one, or are any. I know there are many women out there who have suffered and suffer more than I do. This is why the institutionalization of mechanisms that give women inferior rights to men is such a grave sin against humanity, which is why I keep screaming for water in the desert. And I have learnt from the process. So has Mark. Why do you consider his learning less than mine? Why should not men learn from the same kind of experiences women do? Would that not further mutual understanding and happiness, and make wanting for your brother what you want for yourself easier and more likely to succeed?

  4. Thank you Unchained for letting us know you are the same as Kim. I had never figured out which contributor you were and had wondered about it! Yes, Kim was one of the more interesting contributors without a doubt.

    Yes it is true HAPPY that Ana’s blog was widely disparaged elsewhere on the internet. The last comment I remember reading went something like this: ‘that blog is the biggest bunch of whiners you’ll ever meet.’

    Per your comments HAPPY, Ana seems to think that it’s her we are talking about. At least for me, it’s not, it’s the point of view she promulgated. And that is: ‘God said men can be polygamous, so deal with it.’

    So you as women have made what God said to MEN the focus of your lives? And what exactly did God say to women? I’ve never read a single Muslim claim that God told women they had to live polygamous lives. So why don’t these women focus on exercising their freedom and build something for themselves, instead of being a reflex after men’s choices? Because these women are cowards. Their choices, which they deny are choices, have nothing to do with religion. (And before you jump at something I didn’t say, I didn’t specify what exercising one’s freedom means.)

  5. I rest my case. As Ive said, some people are lost causes. I rather spend my time on my deen than to try and justify. We all have choices. We arent weak. We are not inferior. We just want to respect the santity of the relationship at hand. For the rest of you, I encourage you to NOT marry a Muslim. You will hurt yourself and your partner.

  6. I have told my daughter the same, and after all that happened she knows it’s true. One of the reasons I keep this blog is to help other women understand it too. I’m glad you agree. And muslim men who believe they have rights women don’t should know better too, than marrying women who believe in equality and human rights.

  7. HAPPY @2:16: I agree. Word for word. I wish you the best. If we meet up in the afterlife, may we talk about recipes, crafts, or literature. Or who is the best looking hunk in Hollywood.

  8. I’m rereading Possession (Byatt) at the moment. Between sneezing, coughing and caring for other sneezing and coughing people 🙂 It’s one of the books I keep returning to. I love it.

  9. I find current Hollywood hunks stunningly uninteresting – I still fancy Cary Grant, Stewart Granger and Paul Newman. 🙂

  10. Agree, with the exception of Jared. He’s an old old soul, and the muse for the lead character in my book. I don’t fangirl over celebs very often but this guy is in a league of his own.

  11. I met Paul Newman when I was a teenager. I was cleaning tables at a little cafe in Northern Minnesota where he had a vacation home. Awesome and very nice, ordinary man with the most beautiful blue eyes. He was with his wife having dinner. My mom cooked their meal and my big sister was their waitress.

  12. HAPPY, I find what you say grossly unfair towards Muslim men. Men who after decades of monogamous marriage marry another wife, at best behind the first wife’s back or against her will, can hardly be called average Muslims. Fortunately, it is a small proportion of Muslim men in non-Muslim countries and overall in majority Muslim countries, too, that behave this way. They should be more readily likened to Christian, Jewish or atheist men who cheat on their wives with prostitutes without protection and bring disease back home, rather than with decent Muslim men (so as not completely rare, but also not very frequent bad apples). To be likened to these men as the respectful, loving partners many Muslim men are is an awful insult. This is not to say there are no problematic matrimonial implications in Islamic religious doctrine, of course there are. But individual men tend to behave quite differently from the worst of religious doctrine.

    On top of that, if what a non Musim wife and a Muslim husband agreed on was a monogamous marriage, of course the wife can reasonably expect he keep his word also decades later. So rather than increasing fear and stereotypization of all Muslim men as liars, cheaters and misogynists by saying no non-Muslim should go through the trouble of marrying a Muslim man, your advice as a Muslim should rather be adressed to Muslim men: They should not marry women who expect them to be monogamous, when they don’t want to give this commitment, period.

  13. Yep. Can’t beat Paul Newman for looks, acting, intelligence, integrity, and nice-guy-ness.

  14. “…men who cheat on their wives with prostitutes without protection and bring disease back home, rather than with decent Muslim men ”

    Chris, you said it perfectly. We are talking about a belief system that renames and provides a Godly justification for the primitive and uncivilized male desire to screw with strangers. The behavior, as a result, is stigmatized with prostitutes, and sanctioned with plural wives. But it’s actually the same thing, and applying a veneer of religious language to the latter doesn’t turn the latter into a different thing.

    Religion has nothing to do with G-d, and polygamy has nothing to do with religion.

    PS Unchained, about what really matters. Jared Leto has grown on me other the years. He used to come across to me as just another Hollywood pretty boy. But he has taken on some interesting roles, and now looks a lot more interesting himself.

  15. Honestly, until the beginning of this year he wasn’t on my radar at all. As I said, I don’t fangirl. And I’m not real sure I’m fangirling now either, even though the guy is drop dead gorgeous. I had heard one or two 30 Seconds to Mars songs, liked them, and that was it.
    Then I heard the “This is War” album and that did it for me. I learned his back story, the fight the band had with EMI Records, and knew I had my muse. Minus the beard and the superstardom, anyway. I’d already formulated the book by then, and the song “Hurricane” fits so beautifully it’s scary. I’d love to use the lyrics in the opening of chapter one of the manuscript…with all acknowledgment to Jared of course.

    Chris – I sure wish there was a “Like” button here. You said it perfectly.
    I wouldn’t marry a Muslim man now, knowing what I know. But mine didn’t behave as a Muslim. To me, he was an interesting, exotic-looking man with dark hair and eyes, beautiful skin tone, and a very charming accent. Plus I’m a sucker for a bilingual guy. His Muslim-ism was never apparent, really. Not until he decided to get another wife, at least. If he’d been a devout Muslim in the beginning, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have married him, not only because I sure the hell didn’t want to risk ending up in plural marriage but because I’m hardly the type to “obey” any man, and because by definition, I wouldn’t have been marriage material for him, either. I’m not of the Abrahamic faith; I’m a pagan and had been for many years before we met. I had zero desire to convert, not then. It wasn’t until he did assert his Muslim-ism by marrying again that I attempted to be Muslim, in an effort to understand the situation I was in and what motivated him to do it, and me to stay. As I said before, I was straight-up out of my mind.

  16. Re: Chris’s response to me

    Woah, dude, thanks for assuming a helluva lot about me and what I’m “advocating” when you know jack about me. I personally identify as polyamorous/ committed non-monogamy where my life partner happens to be a woman with whom I do not have a sexual relationship, but whom I love deeply and with all my heart and with whom I consider our relationship to be like a second marriage.

    FYI, there are *many* such polyamorous groups/ triads/ quads/ pods. All I wanted to know was if Fiona would hold such people to the exact same standards that she’s holding polygamous Muslim men. (And how very brave and courageous and principled of you to assume that every Muslim man in a poly marriage also supports child rape etc. Bravo. What makes that any different from Muslim men who assume all white non-Muslim women are sluts and whores who have no self-worth and who advocate promiscuity yadda yadda? Both are a load of crap.)

  17. SoulWife: I’ve been looking, but I can’t seem to find our first posts. Well, here goes. I respect everybody who is willing to grant others equal rights, and hold them to equal standards. I believe “do unto others what you would have them do unto you” to be a pretty awsome rule to live by. If somebody wishes to live polyamory – I wish you all the happiness in the world! As long as you are willing to grant your partners the same rights to make their choices. If you want to be polygamous, I believe you must accept your partners’ equal right to be polygamous too.

  18. @soulwife I am wondering whether you understood my post. It might have to do with English being a second language for me. I responded to your utilization of equality and equal treatment. When people who in their own social structure *oppose* equality – racial supremacists, religious supremacists, male superiority propagators – use equal treatment discourse, it is hypocrisy. Now it is undoubted that Muslim polygyny is based on an asymmetrical relationship between man and woman. The husband gets more – more love, more sexuality, more variety – the wives get less. And platonical love is no substitute for having less of a husband. You could have your female soulmate without sexually and emotionally sharing a husband. Reciprocity and symmetry in most cultures are indicators for justice in relationships. It’s not there in religious polygyny.

    For very personal reason it rubs me the wrong way if someone living thousands of years old patriarchal tradition of institutionalized unequal rights for women only – to care, to love, to sexuality in the marriage – demand acceptance by a society that has moved on from the oppression of women in structures that benefit men. That all whilst beautiful, egalitarian gay relationships, or trully polyamorous relationships are frowned upon. Actually by those same people propagating their religious polygyny. I wonder how many Muslims propagating polygyny acceptance by Western society demand equal rights for gay couples? I have yet to stumble upon one. If you were one of those, good for you, that means your values are consistent. You can afford the freedom of acceptance you want to other couples that are deprived of it. If things are this way, you are part of the tiniest minority there possibly is, though, Muslims conservative enough to engage in polygyny in its traditional form, but open-minded enough to accept gay rights.

    By the way, if you are not emotionally and physically involved with your co-wife(s), you are not polyamorous by the definition social scientists would use. You are of course free to label your relationships as you see fit. But you’ll have to stand people saying in their opinion you’re not living a polyamorous lifestyle.

  19. Her husband – from my impression – commented on whether you (Fiona) do not believe a Muslim polygynous marriage can still be one of free will and full agency and empowerment of all concerned. He romantically presented how they all were in a love triangle (or square?), and each of them got more out of the relation also from each other – so, allegedly, it was not only him who benefitted from the variety. He was talking about his “soulwives”, and then soulwife started commenting, to my memory about being the wife of so-and-so. I or someone else asked them if they were trully polyamorous, she shared that her benefit of the co-wives was not sexual, but social. I am quite sure they were talking about a Muslim constellation from the husband’s comment.

    By the way, I would love to know what I said that made anyone feel I treated all Muslim men as child rapists. I made it quite clear in my above comment that I felt some of the Muslim women in polygyny here in this comment thread did average Muslim men an awful disservice by presenting them in exactly the light the political right likes to paint of the menacing Muslim.

  20. Chris:
    “I made it quite clear in my above comment that I felt some of the Muslim women in polygyny here in this comment thread did average Muslim men an awful disservice by presenting them in exactly the light the political right likes to paint of the menacing Muslim.”

    I caught the point, when you wrote it, and found it quite astute: it is the Muslim demographic here that belittles Muslim males when it justifies polygamy in certain ways. I don’t have any sense of who Soulwife is, and what she is reacting to.

  21. Nope, my husband has never commented on this blog. And yes, I am very deeply and emotionally involved with my female partner, just not sexually because that’s not our preference.

  22. Thanks a lot for the reassurance, Dale. While I am not a “believer”, I am sensitive to issues of stereotypization and discrimination based on belonging to a group that is under severe pressure for social and political reasons. I get what it means to be part of a stereotyped minority, so I surely strive not to do upon others what I find unjust, even if I and members of that group may be in worldview confrontation.

  23. Another411, If you are going to demand an isp address, I would think you would know what a footprint is regarding the internet. Again though, Carolina’s ISP address is irrelevant as Robyn’s footprints were and will forever remain, if one knows how to look. I didn’t need ANY information from Carolina to find Robyn, nor did I need any information from Carolina to find information regarding the man that Robyn is having a haram relationship, her “wali/”N”.” Which brings me to another point. “Ana” aka Robyn, is more similar than dissimilar to Fiona than she may realize.

    Like Fiona, Robyn, took it upon herself to find a second husband. In an effort to conceal reality, Robyn merely used a Muslim term to justify her emotional adultery. So, when Robyn called Fiona reprehensible names, those very names applied to her and perhaps even more so. At least Fiona was honest with herself and others while Robyn feigns virtue, she is in fact not, but again an emotional adulteress.

    And for those that insist the 411 was the best thing since sliced bread regarding Islam: http://www.ummah.com/forum/showthread.php?391189-Warning-Stay-away-from-this-Quranist-Blog-on-Polygamy and post from another site called polygamy411 ” kaafir .”

    Fiona, I read how you were treated at 411. The judgmental wording left such a strong impression that I felt compelled to step beyond lurking and post. I hope to return to occasionally lurking.

  24. Aw thanks Mimi, love you too! Lol….no, to my knowledge Gail isn’t here. I suspect if she was she would let us know.

  25. Lurking guest, you’re absolutely right. Carolinah’s information was peripheral at best. Robin outted herself. Carolinah pointed out Robin’s location in the US and by that time it was already clear by her own words that she was near New York City. Robin had the Polygamy411 facebook page and Wali dude was listed as a friend. Google his name and one of the first hits was Robin Langston’s Google+ page, where she self identified as a former detective etc and gave a shoutout to her husband by name. So it wasn’t C who outted Robin; she did it herself.

  26. Dear Unchained,

    Exactly! I found her digital footprint by different means completely without Carolinah. Perhaps I should be the detective?.

    My only issue was the complete hypocrisy. Robin pointed a finer at Fiona’s polyandry while doing the same, but using Islamic terms to “justify” her emotional marriage. In addition, her husband is held to a specific standard regarding the law, as he is in the military. His relationships, put him as a risk to the security of the nation as he could be potentially blackmailed.

    Thank you for responding, Unchained. I appreciate the words of confirmation.

  27. Yes, to Unchained and Lurking Guest, et al, I’ve never understood why anyone claimed that Carolinah outed Ana’s identity. No she didn’t.

  28. I agree i don’t see Carolinah’s posts having anything to do with revealing Ana and Alex’s identity. I am sure Ana herself also mentioned her state and details like polygamy will cause legal problem for husband mainly because of nature of his job. She mentioned about her job and the security agency business and with her partner. I remember Unchained posted Wali dude’s page link long long time ago. Ana polygamy Facebook page leading to Naim’s and Robin’s google plus and mention of security agency lead to her identity and then to her husbands identity.

  29. I have checked, and Carolinah was the first to post the link to the wali-dude. I do believe however that they would have been found out anyway, with all the footprints Ana has left all over her blog.

  30. Oh, I didn’t know C posted it. I just saw a guy listed as a friend on her Polygamy411 fb page and followed it. I do remember someone on her gave his name before that though but don’t remember who did. Anyway, C didn’t come here and state Ana’s real name or something.

  31. I didn’t see it either at the time. I’m sorry. I’m usually the last to figure these things out, so I’ll blame it on that.

  32. I am wondering why Carolinah shared those details. I don’t remember any such post from her. Fiona can you please point us to the specific comment. I thought Carolinah started posting very recently and just posted a very few times and i didn’t see any reference to Wali dude in her comments.

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