Hege Storhaug, HRS
Dette temaet ble nylig satt på dagsordenen på de britiske øyene av en kvinne født i Lahore, det vil si at Baroness Flathers pekte på de mange barnerike familiene fra særlig Pakistan og Bangladesh, der barna fødes ut fra økonomiske motiv. Hun pekte også på de mange single mødrene. For to år siden tok rights.no opp flerkoneriet i Storbritannia der det blant annet fremkommer at myndighetene da trodde at dette omhandlet rundt 1 000 menn og at praksisen var nedadgående – uten at det ble gitt en fornuftig forklaring på en eventuell tilbakegang I en ny artikkel i Daily Mail sier sosialarbeidere fra innsiden av aktuelle miljø at flerkoneri er svært utbredt. Daily Mail har blant annet truffet en mann i drosjebransjen og en i pizzabransjen. Man kan trygt si at begge to har Ganske hektiske liv.
Ghulam is a taxi driver who lives in Blackburn, a once-booming textile town in Lancashire. He has a terrace house near his local mosque (one of 53 in the area), a silver Nissan car and a very complex private life.
For he has so many children that he struggles to remember their names, and five wives from various countries, including Yemen, Egypt, Turkey and his own birthplace, Pakistan.
Ghulam’s latest bride is a shy 20-year-old called Hafeza. He brought her to Britain from Morocco, soon after his 45th birthday earlier this year. They married in an Islamic wedding ceremony called ‘the Nikah’ in her village, with Hafeza’s pleased parents among the guests.
Thirty miles across the Pennines in Yorkshire, pizza delivery driver Wasim, 27, has an equally complicated domestic life.
He lives in a part of Dewsbury called Savile Town, a network of 11 terrace streets dominated by one of the biggest mosques in Europe, where most residents are Asian with origins in Pakistan or India.
Wasim has three wives, the first of whom lives with him and their three teenage sons. His other two wives have separate houses in Savile Town, one down the road and another round the corner. He visits each two nights a week.
The women have had several of Wasim’s children and he hopes the youngest bride (aged 19) will soon present him with another baby.
Det sier seg selv at det er belastende for velferdsstaten når hver eneste “tilleggskone”utløser stønader som enslige mødre. Men såkalt ”kultursensitivitet” stopper britiske myndigheter i å gripe fatt i jukset og de kriminelle forholdene. Daily Mail fant frem til to sosialarbeidere på innsiden, en av indisk herkomst og en av pakistansk herkomst.
Although the Government says there are only 1,000 such bigamous or polygamous unions in the UK, two experienced Lancashire social workers — one of Indian-English heritage and the other with Pakistani origins — told me that, although it’s difficult to be precise, in their estimation the figure is closer to 20,000.
The social workers said the multiple marriages are encouraged by a welfare system which allows a second, third or fourth wife to be treated as a single mother who gets a house and an array of other state payments for herself and her children.
Samme metoder brukes Europa over: man skiller seg etter den nasjonale lovgivningen men beholder den islamske vielseskontrakten, eller man gifter seg med kone nummer to, tre, fire osv i moskeen, og ekteskapet registreres ikke i det offentlige systemet. Menn henter også “nannies” til barna sine og sine eldre foreldre, som ender opp i flerkoneri. Tyrkia og Marokko skal likeledes være populære land å hente nye koner i, da man kan hente dem i sin egen bil. Og jo flere barn, dess mer penger på mannen.
While it has long been a cliche for men to complain that their wives and children take up most of their income, the reality for polygamous husbands is that the more babies he sires, the more money pours in for him and his wives.
As Tariq Ali, the 45-year-old co-founder of Project BME (Black Minority Ethnics), a charity based in Darwen, Lancashire, admits: ‘There are thousands of bigamous and polygamous marriages in the UK’s Pakistani community — the same community into which I was born.
‘Every single man of my age who I bump into seems to have a third, fourth or fifth wife.
‘The issue is going unreported but in the Asian communities this is becoming a way of life. I think the number of polygamous relationships must be 20,000.
‘The men find second wives in the UK as well as any Muslim country abroad. The new favourite places to find women are Turkey and Morocco, because the men can drive there by car to meet them and bring them back.’
Ulykkelige arrangerte ekteskap for noe av skylden for flerkoneriet. Menn søker en tilleggskone for seksuell tilfredsstillelse. Og en ny ung kone forventes å være jomfru.
‘These arrangements satisfy a man’s sexual desires when he is trapped in an unhappy or sexless arranged marriage with a first wife and their families don’t countenance a divorce.
‘What’s more, they are virgins — which the men like.
Flerkoneri har en strafferamme på syv år. Om noen er dømt de siste årene for flerkoneri fremkommer ikke. Uansett: det er svært lønnsomt å bryte loven. En kone og hennes barn som bor under samme tak som ektemannen utløser rundt 10 000 pund i året (sosialpenger, bostøtte, barnetrygder), ifølge en rapport. Men idet kvinnen registreres som enslig forsørger snakker vi om helt andre beløp.
It claimed that men living in a harem arrangement, with their wives under the same roof, were each claiming state handouts of £10,000 a year for the spouses through income support, housing and child benefits.
But the report ignored the thousands of men squeezing more money from the state by having a string of wives living in separate homes, all claiming benefits intended for single mothers and their children.
Those women are eligible for full housing benefit — reaching £106,000 a year in some parts of London — and child benefit paid at £1,000 a year for a first child, and nearly £700 for each subsequent one. Little wonder there has been an increase of foreign brides.
At imamer også lever i flerkoneri er vel ingen bombe.
One female health visitor in Lancashire, whose parents were born in Pakistan and came here in 1971, explained: ‘My sister has been asked by her own imam in Manchester to marry him as his second wife.
‘She is 38 and went to school here. She played netball, socialised normally, and had British friends. But her marriage to a British Asian broke down when she became very fundamentalist about religion and wanted to wear a burka. Then she turned to the mosque for advice.
‘The imam, who recently arrived from Africa, suggested a bigamous marriage to him would be the solution. My family are horrified, but plenty of imams in the UK have more than one wife.’
En kvinne med bakgrunn fra Bangladesh opplevde nettopp at mannen etter 20 års ekteskap hentet en barnepike fra Bangladesh som han tok som kone nummer to. Hun mener flerkoneriet ødelegger barna. Fedrene svikter dem.
She was deserted by her husband of 20 years when he went on holiday to Bangladesh and returned to say he was about to marry a girl of 19, called Saba, in a Nikah ceremony, and wanted to bring her to Britain as his second wife.
‘I am only just recovering from the shock,’ says Orpita. ‘We are not divorced, because I will not allow it. When he walked out, he said the state could look after me and that was how it worked in Britain.
‘All over the place, in London’s East End, in Yorkshire towns, down the road, across the street, I see Muslim men taking second or third wives. I cannot count the number of times I have been approached to be a second wife myself by Bangladeshi men who know I am now on my own.
‘This bigamy and polygamy is destroying families. Children grow up angry and bewildered. Many rarely see their own fathers because they have so many wives to visit.’
Then, she tucks a scarf around her head and adds, sadly: ‘It is a tragedy for everyone in this country, whether they are Muslim or not.
‘And it is the crazy welfare system that encourages it all to happen.’
Spørsmålet Daily Mail ikke tar opp er hvordan sosialbudsjettene ser ut i områder som er dominert av muslimer, ei heller har avisen sett på statistikk over enslige mødre og nasjonal bakgrunn. Der ligger det en svært viktig artikkel.