Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Muslim mouthpiece Kayser Trad makes the pitch for multiple wives:
Keysar Trad from the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia says there are polygamists in the Muslim community in Australia who would like their relationships to be legal.

He has told triple j's Hack program that the women are left in a vulnerable financial position if the man dies.

"If this woman has wilfully chosen to enter into this relationship and make a lifelong commitment to this person to be married, it shouldn't matter," he said.
The multi-tasking Trad, "a refugee advocate and translator, an essayist, a spokesman on political issues, a critic of racial labelling by police, a close adviser to the Mufti Sheik Taj el-Din Al Hilaly and a calm interpreter of Islam to the nervous broader community", essentially unemployed and the father of nine already in 2002, is no stranger to polygamous urges, or so says his wife, Hanifeh:
It has not been easy and they remember 1998 as their worst year when Trad fell in love - "became obsessed", his wife says - with another woman. In desperation, Hanifeh proposed marriage on her husband's behalf to the other woman. "We were having a terrible time. He fell in love and I wasn't thinking about myself," she says. But his obsession passed. "He became more compassionate after it," Hanifeh says. "God meant for him to go through this experience and it made him a better person and more emotionally aware. It knocked him off his perch."

Hanifeh was not heartbroken. A second wife would have meant divorce (though he was against it) or living under the same roof as her husband's mistress. As long as the arrangement was fair and had the consent of all involved, it would be acceptable. Hanifeh loves her husband and the children, but says she is not strong enough, physically or emotionally, for more babies.

Aware that Australian law prohibits polygamy, they know a second wife could never be official. But their religion allows a man four wives and though a lot of what they say to each other about polygamy amounts to teasing, there is also a serious thread. It was Hanifeh who first raised it, approvingly, before they married.
It looks like Trad might have a bit of a roving eye and is aiming to make more babies. So, let's change the law and all have as many spouses as we like and, hey, maybe even marry our sisters.

Update: Polygamous relationships are not uncommon:
Sheikh Khalil Chami of the Islamic Welfare Centre in Lakemba today said polygamous marriages, although illegal, existed in Australia and should be recognised.

"... Not an open door but in a way everyone will have control," he told Triple J's Hack program.

Sheikh Chami said he was asked almost weekly to conduct polygamous religious ceremonies.

While he declined to perform such ceremonies, he said, other sheikhs did not.
Trad's wife is aware of what's really going on here:
Asked if it was just about wanting sex with more women, she said: "Yeah it can be, but having it in the right way instead of having it in like go to prostitute or just date".
Try to keep those pants zipped, Kayser.


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