Criticized in the Calgary Herald!

I have been criticized in a letter to the editor of the Calgary Herald by a woman who by her name I assume is Muslim.  Since I probably would not be printed again if I were to reply to her, I am posting her letter and my thoughts here:

I think it is time Atifa Ahmed found out more about Sharia Law and the workings of her culture.

I speak from personal experience.  My beautiful, tall, blond daughter met and fell in love with a Muslim man in 1990 when she was attending college.  He was very good looking, very charming, very wealthy and from a middle-eastern Muslim country.  He literally showed her the time of her life.

It was not until I found out that he had given her tickets to meet him in Morocco where they would be secretly married that I aggressively interferred in my daughter’s life.  It took the forces of heaven and hell together to tear her away from that man.

Dear friends from England and professors informed me of support groups across Canada for these women who are “trophy brides.”  Of the conditions of poverty in which these women live in England and other western countries.  My beautiful daughter was 19 at the time and “of age.”   But certainly not “of mind” when it came to being vulnerable.

In the end, she finished college and married a wonderful man of her own culture.  She has a great career and lovely family.  She has not been left in squalor in some apartment giving birth to Muslim babies living under the auspices of Sharia law.

I do not know your age, Atifa, but France did not have any policies regarding Muslim polygamy immigration in the 70s & 80s.  Even after policies were put in place, the illegal immigration continued slipping through the fingers of authorities; as has happened here in Canada but not to as great extent.  There are ghettos of fatherless communities in France that breed trouble.

There are ghettos of fatherless societies in England spawned by Muslim polygamy that breed trouble.

My research into Muslim polygamy shows that the wives (concubines) of this type of polygamy are treated just as unfairly as those in other cultures.

His Lordship Chief Justice Robert Bauman has said, “. . .There is no such thing as ‘good polygamy.'”  I think we should all take a look at what that means–especially to women in Canada caught in its disgusting web.

Nancy Mereska, President
Stop Polygamy in Canada Society

Stop Polygamy in Canada is proudly aligned with Women Living Under Muslim Law (WLUML) an umbrella group of hundreds of Muslim women’s rights groups around the world including Canada.  WLUML’s head office is in London, England.

  1. I am a feminist. I am also a muslim. I am quite sure that my feminism has only grown as I’ve become a better muslim. In fact, I doubt one can read the Quran, properly understand it, and properly follow it without supporting females rights. The key word, however, is properly.
    Islam gives women many rights, but the problem is that many muslim’s these days do not follow the true teachings of Islam. The issue of polygamy is one of those areas.
    First, let’s look at how one should treat his wife in Islam:
    A woman has EVERY right to say no to a marriage, or to file for divorce
    The man MUST provide for the woman. The women is allowed, even encouraged, to get a job- the Holy Prophet’s first wife was a bussiness woman in fact- but any money she earns is her own. Unlike the man, she is not obligated to give it to her spouse/family
    The man must always treat her with kindness. Beating is NOT allowed, regardless of the many myths about this
    The man cannot bring false charges against his wife. If he cannot bring at least three witnesses testifying against his wife, he himself will be punished. Furthermore, if the women still pleads innocent, she will not be punished.
    A man cannot divorce a pregnant woman
    And many more. I would like to point out that if a women is being used as a concubine, then obviously, this is wrong, and does not follow the teachings of Islam. So already, it is not polygamy that caused atrocities like this, but a lack of adherence to Islamic conduct.
    Now, on to the issue of polygamy:
    It is not a requirement, or even something encouraged, in Islam- as Atifa pointed out.
    A man can only have up to four wives
    Polygamy is only allowed when there are far more females then males. Keep in mind- in Islam, marriage is essential. No man or woman is allowed to decide not to marry. What age to marry and to whom, however, is in their hands. (personally, I think 19’s a little young)
    This condition tends to happen in times of war, however, and as such I agree- Canada is in no need for the practice of polygamy
    Lastly, all wives should be treated equally, as Atifa said. So no concubines and “real wives”
    In other words, shariah law is not the cause. It is an EXCUSE for truly horrible behaviour. This sort of stuff happens in many cultures, all over the world. Islam is not the reason- there is no concept of a “trophy wife” in Islam. That is a sick practice, and it’s root lies in the people who practice it. I assure you, Islam- the true Islam- does not suppport this. Because despite what a muslim may believe about their culture, the truth is in the Quran and the sayings of The Holy Prophet, and they most certainly do not support such revolting practices as this.
    Finally, I would like to say that I am truly glad your daughter was saved from a horrible fate. Such cruelty is intolerable, and I am happy fot her marriage to a man who treat’s her properly.

  2. Shamailia,
    Your comment brought tears to my eyes. What you have taught us falls in line with all that I have learned from WLUML, Violence is not Our Culture, and the Campaign to Stop Stoning of Women. Also, I hope you have read the book Control and Sexuality: The Revival of Zina Laws in Muslim Contexts by Ziba Mir-Hosseini and Vanja Hamzic.

    For those of us who have studied the advent of extreme cruelty toward women when the Taliban first came to power in Afghanistan; and, the influence of Zina laws (a radical form of Sharia), we are aware that there was a great enlightenment period for Muslim women before such atrocious laws came into being. Women of all professions were sent home, hidden behind darkened windows, suffered/and are suffering terrible health issues because of Zina laws.

    Our position on polygamy, however, is that there is no need for polygamy anywhere in the world. Polygamy breeds low social status, violence and corruption. Please read and study Chief Justice Bauman’s decision–evidence and statistics were brought from around the world.

    It is associating with and correspondence with Muslim women like you that gives me hope for a better future for all Muslim women. Thank you for educating us, for your kind comments.

    Nancy Mereska, President
    Stop Polygamy in Canada Society

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