The Salon II

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The issue of Islam and polygamy

It is very rare that 'The Salon II' agree on an issue that other more conservative blogs have shown concern with. In this case it is from Wizbang:
Wizbang: Muslim polygamy in America

"The fact is there are Muslim men with multiple wives living everywhere in America. But unlike the Mormons--most of whom don't practice polygamy anymore--Muslims with multiple wives aren't subject to ridicule, like HBO shows or Jay Leno jokes. And they aren't prosecuted, like Mormon Tom Green was."
Although I do not see the matter of polygamy in such clear-cut terms as my fellow bloggers at Wizbang, I agree that polygamy laws should apply uniformly to all the inhabitants of the land. And I do not believe any marriage should be recognized for anyone under 18 years old anyway, and then only if it is of their own free will that they married. I am sure I will lose my conservative fellow bloggers when I say that this uniform strength of the law should also apply to same-sex marriages, because it goes to prove that the notion of marriage, as a state-supported social institution, should have nothing to do with any religious sanctity.

Where the Wizbang and Debbie Schlussel lost me, is when they started bringing up the Mormons, and the current HBO show, Big Love. I respect the fact that the Mormons may feel offended by a portrayal that they deem unfavorable. But when we talk about freedom of expression and opinion, it means freedom of expression for everybody. If the neo-cons and the right-wing Christians can ridicule me and others for having liberal views, and tell us daily that we are going to hell, and have the king of them all claim to be in the "no spin zone", when he is the most biased silencer in the business... then HBO, SHOWTIME, Comedy Central and others should have the right to tell it like they see it, and let the audience judge.

Now, back to Muslim polygamy. I am Christian, and I spent much of my life (5 and 1/2 years) in Mali, a secular and very moderate muslim country. And there, the law applies differenty depending on what faith you claim, and what type of marriage regimen you choose. It works fairly well there, actually. And although I am unequivocally against polygamy, I was surprised at how well they all worked it out. But that is there. And unless the law is changed, it is not the law here in the US. I personally think it should not be changed, and I certainly would be one of the first on the protest march against legalizing marriages with a 14 year old girl (or boy for that matter).

The real problem here, however, is a state-nurtured fear of Muslims, and mistrust of Islam. Like every religion - including Christianity - there are aspects of Islam that I find preposterous, and very ungodly like. But like not all Christians are crusaders, not all Muslims are Jihadis. Many Christians support women staying in the kitchen, and being submissive to their husbands, and no one on the right wing seems to have a problem with that. We must all understand that there are plenty of flaws to go around with all our religions and traditions, no matter where we are on earth. And the tendency to lump all people - like I did here when talking about the right-wing as a homogenous group - only deepen the already existing divisions, thus rendering any possibility of cohabitation impossible.

Still wondering...

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