Monday, October 05, 2009


Both the Herald and Age websites currently feature Keysar Trad's pro-polygamy piece – it's been online for a few days and must be generating some traffic so it's been moved up the page. Anyway, since it's now featuring more prominently than before let's take another look at what Trad has to say.

He claims he was misquoted:
In June last year, Triple J's current affairs program Hack ran an item on plural relationships. The ABC's youth broadcaster interviewed me about polygyny, a form of polygamous marriage in which a man has more than one wife at the same time. A bisexual couple were also interviewed.

To my surprise, I was reported on the ABC's respected current affairs program AM the next morning. Without speaking to me again and after seeking comments from the Attorney-General's office, AM ran the line: “Undeterred Keysar Trad says he's hoping to find another wife to join his family. To do so, he says, would be to honour his first wife.”

No such comment had aired on Hack. The media then spent more than a week mocking the practice of a husband having two or more wives simultaneously.
Here's the exchange on AM:
ALISON CALDWELL: Keysar Trad is the president of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia.

He's also known as the man who used to represent the controversial former Mufti of Australia Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilaly.

Keysar Trad supports polygamous marriages.

He says it's time Australia recognised them, in order to protect the rights of women.

KEYSAR TRAD: We, as a society, should say okay well if this woman has wilfully chosen to enter into this relationship, make a lifelong commitment to this person, to be married. It shouldn't matter.

If it was a business and the business had four partners, we'd recognise that. But why don't we recognise it when it comes to consensual relationships amongst adults.

ALISON CALDWELL: Speaking to Triple J's Hack program, Keysar Trad revealed that he once proposed to another woman with the consent of his wife, Hanefa.

KEYSAR TRAD: I certainly would not have entertained the thought of having a relationship without a religious marriage. Rather than entertain any thoughts of an affair, I thought the only decent thing to do was consider a proper commitment to that person.
So he admits to having proposed to an additional wife.

In the Hack interview Trad doesn't use the word "honour" saying instead that an additional wife is a "compliment to the original partner in that if he didn't find marriage to be so good why would he go into it again. So in a sense he's saying that his first wife has made life like heaven for him so he is willing to provide the same service, love and support to a second woman." Thus AM's use of "honour" is essentially correct.

It's interesting that Trad doesn't mention AM's assertion that he proposed marriage to a second woman and would presumably have two wives had the prospective bride not rejected him. Trad also doesn't object to the Hack interviewer's claim that he has twice sought to marry an additional wife.

Really, it's hard to figure why not one but two Australian women rejected the opportunity to marry an essentially unemployed man with a wife and nine kids.


Anonymous Legal Eagle said...

Yeah, it was a pathetic piece. I've written a post on the legal aspects - I'm not sure what exactly Trad was trying to argue. Decriminalising polygamy is one thing - it's a law that is not actually prosecuted...but I don't think legally sanctioning polygamy is a good idea at all.

7:05 PM  

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