The United Kingdom has a large Muslim population – 5.4 percent, according to the Office of National Statistics, or about 3 million people.
Although polygamy is permitted under sharia law, most Muslim men do not have two, three or four wives. In fact, according to “The Salafi Feminist”, a Canadian blogger, average Muslims view second wives “as little more than secret mistresses, home-wreckers, and simply selfish”.
However, the growing influence of Islam in the UK combined with a redefinition to allow homosexuals to marry makes a push for legal polygamy more likely. In a recent article in The Conversation, a Muslim lawyer argue that this is a cause that feminists should champion.
Zainab Naqvi, a visiting lecturer at the University of Birmingham, pointed out that the traditional definition of marriage in English law as “the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others” is no longer valid.