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Muslim polygamy increasing in Britain... we're told

Published August 6, 2013 7:04 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

You know how we call it an "elevator" and the Brits call it a "lift"? Or how we talk about going to college while Britons attend university?

I could go on, but I'll stop at this one: Apparently, what we in Utah call a "plural wife" the fish and chip eaters call a "co-wife."

That's just one of the nuggets from an article The Daily Beast posted yesterday about Muslim polygamy in the United Kingdom. The article quotes Muslims as saying plural marriage is increasing.

However, none of the sources or the writer are able to offer any data supporting the increase. NPR did the same thing in 2008.

Where is remarkable about the Daily Beast article is that it raises issues Utah has been grappling with for years: exploitation versus liberation for women, relationship dynamics and, of course, the law. Bigamy is illegal in Britain as it is here.

Behold my favorite passage from the article:

"The unexpected trend of professional British Muslim women agreeing to become second or third wives has startled Islamic religious leaders, some of whom disapprove, and is now gaining political attention with British Conservative politicians vowing to stamp out the practice—although how theoretically they will accomplish this remains unclear."

Sound familiar, Utah?

— Nate Carlisle

Twitter: @tribunepolygamy