Polygamy is illegal in the United Kingdom under Section 57 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
But the UK recognizes polygamy if the marriages were in countries where they are legal, i.e., Islamic countries. That means the UK recognizes the polygamous marriages of Muslim immigrants.
And so in 2008, the Blair government gave the go-ahead for husbands with multiple wives to claim extra welfare benefits, so long as the weddings had taken place in countries where polygamy is legal.
As if that isn’t bad enough, a new UK welfare reform will further reward polygamous Muslims with even more welfare benefits.
The reform is called Universal Credit, a well-intended effort to reform the UK’s broken welfare system where:
- More than one in four working-age adults in the UK does not work.
- Some 2.6 million people spent at least 5 years on some form of out-of-work benefit.
- A fifth of families with children are in poverty at any one time.
Under the new welfare system, additional spouses of polygamous relationships will no longer be recognized. Alas, that new policy has an unintended consequence of actually giving polygamous Muslims even more welfare benefits because those additional wives now can claim welfare as single persons.
Simon Kent reports for Breitbart, Jan. 24, 2016, that at present, a polygamous husband and his first wife receive up to £114.85 in “income support,” while each additional wife receives a reduced allowance of about £40 each. But under the new Universal Credit welfare system, by not recognizing polygamous marriages, a man’s additional wives will each receive welfare as a single person — which is higher than what they now get in reduced allowance.
Meanwhile, as Breitbart London reported, last year Britain’s first female sharia law judge stated that the “government cannot ask Muslims not to have more than one wife”.
At the same time, as reported by the Times newspaper, Britain is experiencing a “surge” in Sharia marriages, as young British Muslims adopt a more hard line religious stance than their parents:
“As many as 100,000 couples are living in such [sharia] marriages, which are not valid under UK law, experts said…. A leading Islamic family lawyer warned that the increase in Sharia ceremonies among the 2.7 million-strong Muslim population in Britain was also behind a growth in ‘secret polygamy’.”
Attorney Aina Khan, an expert in Islamic family law, said that “Probably a quarter of all couples I see involve polygamy issues. There has been a huge rise in recent years because people can have a secret nikah [Islamic marriage] and no one will know about it.”
It has been claimed that Muslim men in Britain are having up to 20 children each because of polygamy and the rise of “religiously-sanctioned gender discrimination” under Sharia Law. Under Universal Credit, there will be more welfare benefits for those children, in addition to existing welfare called Child Benefit:
The Government is committed to providing the financial support less-well-off families need to cover children’s living costs. We will therefore include fixed amounts within Universal Credit to provide for these costs. The amounts will be based on those currently provided through Child Tax Credit. They will be additional to Child Benefit.
What all of this points to are the following truths:
- Immigrants to a country that provides generous welfare benefits will take advantage of the generosity.
- Countries with welfare attract immigrants from poor countries.
- Immigration (legal or illegal) therefore is incompatible with welfare. A country that offers both is courting financial ruin.
That is also why the United States is invaded by illegal migrants from Mexico and, the latest, from Cuba. At least 7,000 Cuban “refugees” are expected at Texas’ Hildago International Bridge in the next few days.
Dr. Eowyn’s post originally appeared at Fellowship of the Minds.