Muslim Polygamists to Be Paid More Benefits by Britain
Muslim immigrants with more than one wife will see an increase in their social welfare benefits beginning in 2013, when reforms to the British welfare system come into effect.
Although polygamy is illegal in Britain, the state effectively recognizes the practice for Muslim men, who often have up to four wives (and in some instances five or more) in a harem.
Currently the state pays extra wives in polygamous households reduced amounts of individual income support, in addition to the normal amount received by the husband and his first spouse.
Under the new rules, however, the extra wives will be eligible to claim a full single person's allowance (despite being married), while the original married couple will still receive the standard married person's allowance.
The changes are part of wide-ranging reforms to the welfare system that are being implemented by Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition government, which admits that it wants to treat extra wives as single so that the state will not officially be recognizing polygamy as it is under the current system.
Critics who had hoped the government reforms would do away with benefits for polygamy altogether say the so-called Welfare Reform Bill is simply opening up a loophole for polygamous families to claim more money from the state.
Details of the changes were revealed in a 13-page legal brief dated July 19, and published by the library of the House of Commons. The document states: "Treating second and subsequent partners in polygamous relationships as separate claimants could mean that polygamous households receive more under Universal Credit than under the current rules for means-tested benefits and tax credits."
The issue of Muslims with multiple wives claiming extra welfare payments has been steeped in controversy for years.
In September 2011, a British newspaper exposé on the subject found that the phenomenon of bigamy and polygamy -- permitted by Islamic Sharia law -- is far more widespread in Britain than previously believed. The rapid growth in multiple marriages is being fuelled by multicultural policies that grant special rights to Muslim immigrants, who demand that Sharia law be reflected in British law and the social welfare benefits system. (...)