2004 June 24 Thursday
Ireland Requires Muslims To Swear Off Polygamy

Ireland's government has decided to require all Muslims seeking legal residency in Ireland to sign an affidavit testifying that they have at most one wife and will not enter into multiple marriages at once. This reasonable requirement on the part of the Irish government has an Irish civil rights group upset.

The government introduced the written oath this month after rejecting an application from a Lebanese man for both of his wives and all 13 children to be granted residency.

A married Muslim man seeking residency must now declare he has "one spouse only" and "has no intention of entering into a simultaneous marriage".

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has written a press release defending the ICCL's position on this controversy.

The ICCL has never at any stage suggested that polygamous marriages should be permitted in Ireland, or that individuals living in Ireland, whose religious backgrounds would permit the taking of more than one spouse should be allowed to have more than one marriage recognised in law. The ICCL does not and has never advocated recognition of polygamy, but this has nothing to do with the discriminatory - and potentially unlawful - policy adopted by the Department of Justice requiring males of the Muslim faith, lawfully married to an Irish spouse, to swear a religious specific affidavit. Any journalist who has to date suggested that ICCL supports the recognition of polygamous marriages has never been in contact with the ICCL office or any representative thereof before making this untrue allegation.

It is precisely because polygamy is not permitted in Ireland, and because Muslims living in Ireland respect the law of the land in this regard, that the policy adopted by the Department does not have an objective or legal rationale to support it, and is based purely on a prejudicial assumption about Islam and all persons of the Muslim faith, irrespective of their nationality, or the laws of the country from which they originate.

What is so burdensome about this requirement? Muslims do believe they have a religious right to enter into polygamous marriages. This distinguishes Islam from the Catholicism which has played such a large role in forming the customs and laws in Ireland.

Here's more from the ICCL argument. My bold emphasis added.

Irish law does not recognise polygamous marriages. Therefore, if a Muslim man who already had one wife was to marry an Irish citizen, that marriage would not be considered to subsist in Irish law - therefore the question of applying for citizenship would not arise. If the Muslim man is lawfully married to an Irish citizen and wanted to enter into another marriage in Irish law, he would not be permitted to unless he was lawfully divorced from his previous wife - therefore he is being asked to swear to a situation that cannot arise in Irish law. Therefore the affidavit has no legal value or validity. It assumes that as Islam as a religion will permit - but does not require or promote polygamy - that Muslims, irrespective of whether they come from secular societies or states that do not recognise polygamy, do not understand or would not respect the normal law of the land because they are "different". It shows a deep lack of respect for the Muslim community in Ireland - both Irish nationals and non-Irish nationals - who live here in complete accordance with our laws. It belies an ignorance about the many millions of Muslims around the world who live in monogamous marriages, and live in countries, predominantly Muslim or not, where polygamous marriages are also not permitted in law. Muslims in Ireland are required to - and do - live in accordance with the Irish law, irrespective of their religious faith and the swearing of an affidavit regarding their religion, because it has no objective basis or rationale is discriminatory.

But Islam as as a religion does permit polygamy. It is different from Catholicism. Differences in political and cultural belief systems do matter and any attempt to ignore those differences in the name of human rights is an attempt to deny reality. Are Muslims more likely than Catholics to enter into polygamous marriages? Yes, of course. Do some of them even see this as a religious right? Yes, again of course. Does a government sometimes need to make special efforts to make sure a group with beliefs that conflict with the beliefs of the majority will live according to the rules of the majority? Well, one only has to look across the Irish Sea to find Muslims in Britain preaching and planning terrorism and theocracy. This is happening in a country where the cultural majority strongly oppose and are threatened by what members of this cultural and religious minority consider to be acceptable and preferred norms of society. An affidavit of this nature sends a strong message to would be Muslim residents that there are forms of behavior that are beyond the pale of acceptability in Ireland. I see an analogy here with the French ban on veils in schools. See my post Muslim Veils, Marking Territory, Broken Windows.

In my view the Irish are not going far enough. What they ought to do is ban immigration of Muslims to Ireland. Why allow the immigration of people whose culture and moral code clash with one's own? Why subject oneself to the harmful results? What has turned Westerners into masochists about their own culture and beliefs that they willingly subject themselves to immigration of peoples whose beliefs and norms of behavior clash so fundamentally with their own?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2004 June 24 02:23 PM  Immigration Culture Clash


Comments
Luke Lea said at June 25, 2004 4:50 PM:

This furnishes an excellent example of the insufficiency of libertarianism as a social philosophy. If we admit that every person should have the right to do anything that does not interfere with the same right of everyone else, then I can see no possible argument against polygymy.

Niall Dwan said at September 11, 2004 2:22 AM:

No the Irish are not going far enough!!! They should ban immigration of Muslims to Ireland today and immediately and in fact cut down on immigration altogether!! The UK is ruined from it.

Different groups demand to have their 'differences' institutionalised in the public sphere here in the UK and now in Ireland too which is what I have a problem with. How dare they! If they don`t like it then don`t come here! To enforce such a vision we have to call in the Thought Police or introduce libertarianism as a social philosophy - why?
Libertarianism as a social philosophy is so much pushed and woven into the fabric of our lives that we rarely stand back to question some of its assumptions.

Why should we be expected to show respect for certain cultures and religions whose views and arguments I often find reactionary and often despicable? Why should public arrangements be adapted to fit in with the backward, misogynistic, intolerant, homophobic claims that a number of these people make? What is wrong with me wishing such cultures and / or ways of being, some so far removed from `English culture` or `Irish culture` not to be in England or Ireland to the extent they are and having their 'differences' institutionalised in the public sphere here in these Islands? More and more are coming here. And how, given that I do view these views and some cultures with contempt, am I supposed to provide them with respect, without disrespecting my own views and spiritual beliefs? Yes, 'with a great deal of encouragement from the Politically Correct Thought Police' and adopting libertarianism as a social philosophy.

No thanks!!

sachem said at November 6, 2004 7:50 PM:

niall hear, hear
i see three cures
phone god
email the pope
beg for help from your new rulers in brussels

Seamus Mohammad O'Toole said at January 11, 2005 11:19 PM:

Where I can find the verse in the Koran that states that muslims have to use their left hand to wipe their arses after taking a dump? After converting to Islam I think it'd make a nice wall hanging for the shithouse.


Seamus Mohammad O'Toole said at January 11, 2005 11:29 PM:

Islam continues to be successful in the developed world, and elsewhere, because its call is in accordance with the natural inclinations of mankind, and it advocates the best of human values, such as tolerance, love, mercy, truthfulness and sincerity. People embrace Islam because they find security, comfort and peace in it, they see a cure for their problems in it, and through it they are able to get rid of their feelings of confusion, anxiety and loss.

"natural inclinations of mankind...security, comfort..", getting everything for free from stupid westerners.
"confusion, anxiety and loss", the state of mind if still dwelling in backward arab countries, not having claimed asylum in an everything-for-free western country.

"tolerance, love, mercy, truthfulness and sincerity", only joking! islam manages to piss-off hindus, buddhists, christians, in fact anyone who isn't also a muslim.

Rasheed Jalal said at June 24, 2005 7:06 PM:

Wow, are we witnessing bias and racism in this forum or what? First off, if we want to be biased and ignorant then let me first start off describing Perfect England to the man who said the "UK is now ruined." After WWII was it not your dumb asses who refused to take part in peacefully helping India and Pakistan seperate and then allow for a genocide of almost 1 million SW Asians. Isn't England the country that once had the dumbass phrase "the sun never falls down over the English empire" because England ruthlessly dominated and destroyed indigineous nation upon nation. The country of England has a very very long history of brutality against Muslims, and Muslims were amongst some of the only and few who volunteered to risk their lives for the British during WWII. I think at the least it is right for Muslims to go anywhere they please in the Western European realm since almost all Western European countries annihilated Muslim societies throughout the world before WWII be it in the Dutch East Indies(Indonesia) or the colored in South Africa. For this reason I believe Muslims have endured enough from the white man who previously chained my black ancestors along the treacherous Middle Passage.

Randall Parker said at June 25, 2005 9:55 AM:

Rasheed Jalal,

Muslims were far bigger practitioners of slavery than European Christians.

The British made India a far better place than it was when they found it. It wasn't like it had an enlightened government when they showed up. A bunch of local princes lived off their people and competed for power. The British created a larger entity that had greater rule of law. India would be far worse today without the legacy of the Raj.

The killings during the partition of India are the moral responsibility of those who did the killings and those who insisted upon the partition. The British military did try to stop killings. But they were far outnumbered by huge populaces intent upon killing.

Muslims have a very very long history of brutality against other Muslims and against non-Muslims. Your complaints against the British or Europeans fall flat.

More generally, the whole of human history is the history of wars and oppression. The British Empire does not stand out as particularly brutal in comparison to the vast bulk of all the great historical empires. In fact, the Brits brought many parts of the world better government than they had previously or have had since.

You have a very parochial and narrow view of history. Instead of proclaiming your victimhood and looking at history to validate your bogus claims you should study it to understand the larger patterns and trends at work.

Sylvia O'Gorman said at July 10, 2005 8:51 PM:

I was born and raised in Ireland, but have been living in NY for 18 years. The Irish seem to forget when they immirgrated to England, US and Australia. Now they don't want any other nationalities or religions living in Ireland. Seems to me they have very short memories, and are very very narrow minded people.

monty thompson said at July 23, 2005 5:37 AM:

sorry about all lower case, i have a baby in my arms. i love ireland and we eventually want to emigrate there from the u.s.. i live in southeast mi
near the largest arab population in the u.s.. a warning to my beautiful friends in ireland. these people do not want to assimilate, they want to remain seperate but in a country where they can get freebies and have freedom to prmote their religion of intolerance, ie; everyone but muslims is an infidel, and should be eliminated. don't let them in your beautiful land or you'll risk losing your awesome character. me, i'm proud to be an infidel.

lala said at August 28, 2005 10:44 PM:

I just visited this website accidentally and was shocked to know your view that the immigration of muslim to Ireland should be banned. Being a Muslim foreign student in Ireland myself, such a view seems to me to come from a narrow-minded opinion. Here are the reasons:
1. The Irish university itself is the one who invited us to pursue our study here;
2. We don't live here for free, each of us is paying a lot for the fees!;
3. As far as i'm concerned, we are not causing harm here. (at least we dont contribute to the road traffic accident of which the main cause is drink-driving).
Is this what we get in return? Thank you.

David Tarpey said at September 23, 2005 9:22 AM:

Lala
you sound like a polite, reasonable person but you let slip your contempt for one aspect of western living..having the freedom to drink alcohol...and while i don't for a second condone drink-driving, i resent muslims coming in to our European societies and provoking us by attacking our traditions of tolerance and settled customs by criticising our way of life. This is one of the factors leading to such tension between the muslim populations across Europe and the host majority European peoples. The Dutch are becoming incensed by the actions of muslims there who are arrogantly trying to alter Dutch society and we in England and especially here in London know that a signifant number of young Muslims on our soil hate us and will murder us and our families when they can get through the security nets. I now have to think twice before i get on a Tube with my two young sons in case some Asian/East African/Jamaican/Arab muslim with a backpack wants to blow us to smithereens.
Just imagine if Christian populations in Pakistan, Indonesia or Syria started shouting the odds and bombing the civilian population because it disagreed with Muslim foreign policy. They'd be massacred...witness East Timor where the muslim terrorists,,i mean Indonesian military...murdered and terrorised the Catholic population for wanting independence.
Rasheed Jalal needs to understand that we in the West know exactly what Islam has been doing since it emerged from the camel herds on the Saudi peninsula in the 7th century. Its track record features massacres, slavery and intimidation of foreign peoples wherever and whenever it has held sway. Unable to gain any political upper hand in the last 100 years, its practitioners have turned to murdering middle aged women, children and suburban men as they ride the Tube, the bus, the aeroplane or while they work in their offices, drink in a bar, go to the theatre and of course attend a school assembley.

We in the West know that our history is blood-stained as is common in all societies yet Muslims seem to think that they are only victims that count and that the rest of the world doesn't realise the evil that has been committed in the name of Islam. It lacks humility, objectivity and seems incompatible with the rest of humanity. By its actions and attitudes, it has become a pariah religion. It is pushing the world towards a global conflict. It is the Nazism of our time and we must fight it because like Nazism, it peddles hatred and has murder in its heart. It is intolerant, has deep contempt for those not of its belief system and like the Nazis, uses language (eg infidel) to dehumanise other peoples. Like Nazism, it also has a very big problem with the Jewish people.
There were lots of nice Germans in 1930's Deutschland as there are many pleasant muslims in the world now but the Germans did what they were told by those peddling a bewitching philosophy which flattered its listeners and egged them on to kill their neighbours by persuading them that their neighbours were out to exploit them. What these wayward immams are doing in British, Dutch, French, Italian, German mosques is no different. They are stirring up hatred and war on our soil. We must all be vigilant and ready to take action against these vile creatures to protect our families, our societies and the inheritance which has been passed to us from our ancestors.

Ken Kelleher said at September 28, 2005 11:30 AM:

It seems odd that anyone should be made promise to refrain from breaking one law, but not any of the others. Surely murder, rape and robbery are are greater threats to society. Perhaps the law prohibiting polygamy is so difficult to enforce that seeking out offenders would put undue strain on Garda resources. So, in a Guaranteed Irish solution to an imported problem, the Government introduces this ostrich-inspired affidavit requirement - thereby making the issue "go away." A promise given under duress and contrary to one's conscience and religious beliefs is easily disregarded by its maker. And it is likely to have no effect on a man who is content with just one legally documented marriage - and other purely religious ones. The victims will be the women in such polygamous arrangements, who will be left by the State without the protections given by the law to other, more conventional, spouses.

J. J. said at October 23, 2005 12:32 PM:

I suggest you read this wonderful article written last year to the UK and Irish people.

john peck said at March 1, 2006 5:54 AM:

The Muslims stupid religion has kept them where they are. They want the freedoms the civilized nations have and then try to change their new country to their primitive ways. Their women dress like clowns(that stupid relgion again)and have no rights.Their own Koran tells them to kill infidells(that is the rest of us). Who wants these people.
Give me a country with NO MUSLIMS..

John Peck USA

Muhammad Ali said at April 8, 2006 3:03 PM:

Dear fellows,
Let me introduce my self. My name is Muhammad Ali and I have been living here in different European countries for 12 to 13 years now. Was in relation with couple of western girl-friends. Currently working as Engineer in a Multinational.

I was 18 when left home for higher education to Europe. I think I understand both cultures/civilisations good enough to discuss sensibly.

First thing that I would like to say is that putting all Muslims roughly one fifth of the population of the world into one bucket is not wise. Putting negative labels on all muslims wouldn't help. It would only promote misunderstanding negative emotions and hatred among very large masses of people. Same negative activities are going on in Muslim world regarding Westerners. Earth can't afford conflicts of such scale.

World including Muslims has benefitted a lot from Western Civilsation in the last century. Europe too had its pretty difficult times. Especially Ireland is a good example to quote how thing may change. Being Irish meant pretty different a little past in time than it means today. I guess you know exactly what i'm talking about.

Islam is a world religion just like Christianity and Judaism. Both these religions have had their difficult times. Islam is not a threat neither to Western civilisation nor to other civilisations. Yes there are differences with western world but I believe there are more commonalities than differences. In broader view I believe rising powers/civilisations of China and India are much more different from Western World than Muslims. World and surely Europe would see it in less than a decade. Unlike these two civilsations, Muslims have been living in all around world including Europe among other cultures and civilisations.

What I would ask you is not to become victims of media. There are different hidden agendas. Muslims are not enemies. I'm a Muslim and I come from heart of Muslim society. If you ask my objective opinion regarding this matter: I don't think so that very very large majority of Muslims see Westerners as enemies. However there are always 7-10% of people who might think different. Among them there are only to my safe guess 2-3% people with extreme views. All these years I have been living among different Western countries and roughly the same number you can find among your peole too.

What is matter of deep regret however is that these minorities have been over high-lighted and over-exposed in media in Europe and America. Muslims and Islamic governments around the world have condemned 9/11 and have been cooperating in this issue with US. For actions of minor number of extremist peole (take percentage of more than 1 billion muslims) blaming whole Muslim community is not wise. It is a pitty however that Press ignored all these constructive cooperative efforts and promotes mistrust among two civilisations. How American Bush administration lied to world in open killed tens of thousands of peole including innocent children and women is not praiseworthy either. In particular case of illegal war on Iraq western liberal press (and western freedem of expression) choose to make little sound about the issue.

Taking path of conflict and mistrust looks easy. West can easily under-estimate disastrous effects of such negative thoughs/actions being in materially better position. What is noteworthy is to look at different conflicts - Northern Ireland, Kashmir between Pakistan and India, Palestine and Israel, Catalunia, Taiwan list is long. Point is once conflict/mistrust starts it takes centuries to rebuild trust if ever. In the case of West-Muslim issue, if worst is to happen then we all need to be prepared that coming century wouldn't be the century of building bridges and safe future for our children but the very opposite of it. It is a LOOSE-LOOSE battle for all of us.

Things like Muslims think that kill all infidals or kick Muslims out of Europe or America are not healthy thoughts. World is interconnected in infinte many ways. Westerners are as much dependant on other parts of the World as remaining World on them. Just take worst case scenaio of Oil stoppage. Not talking about all remaining multi-billion trillion of trade and lots of healthy activities going on. Remember Communism and West. Not very positive times I guess.

What we as responsible citizens of the world should do is to promote trust and understanding among people. It is also not easy as the other option (of distruction) but it worths it I believe, if we are to see good future of our children.

I would hope that rational thought and good will win rather than evil agendas of few. We need to be fair in our words and deeds and not biased towards one side only. I believe major point of conflict between Muslim world and West is issue of Palestine. Rather than thinking about options of conflicts we should focus on the solution of problem. Suppressing by force wouldn't solve issues it would rather exacerbate to an extent unsolvable.

In the end I would like to thank all of you for taking time to read this essay.

WE NEED TO BUILD BRIDGES NOT DESTROY THEM!!!

Kira Shea said at April 28, 2006 4:32 PM:

I would like to add, in addition to Muhammad Ali's essay, that we need to look at the culprits of violence, not at overarching ideologies that seem easy to blame. Islam does not have hands to hit people or pull triggers, or a mouth to say mean and hurtful things; neither does Christianity or Judaism. People do. Some people use their hands and mouths to hurt people, and they identify themselves according to different ideologies, this does not mean that we have to attribute the horrible things that they do to the ideology that they personally identify with.

Mohammed Hassan said at May 18, 2006 12:07 AM:

It is mad for words how ireland is starting to change into a piece of rubbish, everywhere i can see muslim stores and what can you see in it ? Muslims only because what says in the Quaran that a muslim is not allowed to become friends with a christian man or woman that is why you will not see them being friends with us.
That is how those sicko.s are, they are just sata.n worshippers nothing more than that.
But they dont see that their religion is nothing at all than a rubbish indoctrination from parents to sons.
They are using their woman like a piece of rubbish.
She cannot show her hair but remember if god did not want a woman to show her hair he would not have given her hair at all.

Dont forget to read the holy book of sata.n named holy Quaran and you will see how cruel they are made.

Kira Shea said at May 20, 2006 12:40 PM:

I would like to see you actually read the Qur'an Mohammed Hassan, I recommend the Abdullah Yusuf Ali first edition translation.

Since you won't, the Qur'an does not say anywhere that a Muslim cannot be friends with a Christian since Christians are people of the Book (especially since a case can be made for a very wide broadening of the term, people of the Book), and it calls for women AND men to be modest, it happens that the majority of Muslims are middle eastern so that entails wearing a hijab for women...

Kira Shea said at May 20, 2006 12:55 PM:

I just did a little more research I'd like to share because the idea that Muslims cannot 'be friends' with Christians strikes me as so skewed... So what I did was look up "unbelievers" in the Qur'an. My opinion as a scholar in this area is that this word is a case of bad translation, which is very common in trying to translate Arabic to English, becuase the Arabic words often have much more complicated connotations that their English "equivalents."

Anyways, if you happen to look through the Qur'an as translated by the man I mentioned in my previous post, you might notice that "unbelievers" are generally those who will go to any length to decieve those around them, very often to the very real detriment of the decieved. So the Qur'an tells us, in effect, not to trust the untrustworthy.

colin said at July 30, 2007 11:43 AM:

The man is right... I HAVE read in the quoran that muslims must not "take the kaffir as friends"... I shall look it up and supply the reference. It also says that we have a place in hell because we are not protected by allah, and we will be forced to drink boiling water in hell and the fire will burn our skin, and the skin will be replaced throughout eternity so we can feel the pain forever.
Ill get back with the references tomorrow night!

citizen said at July 19, 2008 7:29 AM:

MUSLIM SCUM, WAKE UP PEOPLE!
SPREAD THE WORD

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3369102968312745410

http://www.apostatesofislam.com/media/stoning.htm

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=29201_Wafa_Sultan_on_Al_Jazeera&only

http://mosquewatch.blogspot.com/2008/04/die-non-muslim-scum.html

http://www.islammonitor.org/uploads/docs/aimbrochure.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMLJJEDDDGc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVDWhBAC_0U

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-yJp4EcZJA

Sam said at October 10, 2008 2:09 AM:

visit www.islamexplained.com


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