Polygamy is being practised on an “enormous” scale within the British Muslim community without any official attempt to stop it, it has been claimed.
A new study of the lives of Muslim women concludes that large numbers are being denied basic legal rights by being trapped in religiously sanctioned “marriages” which are not recognised in British law.
In some cases the women, often born abroad and brought to the UK for arranged marriages, are unaware about their true status for years on end.
The findings come from a study being presented to the House of Lords by the peer Baroness Cox, who has spearheaded attempt to impose new regulations on informal sharia courts.
Aurat, a Muslim women’s rights group based in the West Midlands, interviewed a sample of 50 women about their personal situations. Nine in 10 of the women described themselves as married but only one in 10 were in marriages recognised under English law having been formalised through a civil wedding or a ceremony in a Mosque registered for the purpose.
Many of the others had undergone a “Nikah” or marriage ceremony in their own home, often unaware that it lacked legal recognition…