Thursday, 16 June 2016

Germany: Muslim polygamy - Minister says migrants must abide by the law

Germany will not recognise polygamy or marriages involving minors, Justice Minister Heiko Maas has said

"No-one who comes here has the right to put his cultural values or religious beliefs above our law," he told Bild.

In some Islamic countries, men are allowed to take up to four wives, but in Germany polygamy is banned by law.

Concern about polygamy and underage marriage has risen recently, as Germany has been taking in record numbers of migrants, 
many from Muslim countries.
The law in Germany is clear: no-one is allowed to be married to more than one person at a time, and that includes recent arrivals in the country.
But in practice polygamous relationships are often quietly tolerated, the paper reports. For example, if a man dies, his inheritance may be 
distributed between his two wives.

But Mr Maas wants to stop authorities turning a blind eye.
"Everybody must abide by the law, no matter whether he has grown up here or has only just arrived," he told the tabloid.
This also applies to forced and underage marriages.
"We cannot tolerate forced marriages, above all, if they affect under-age girls," Mr Maas said.

Bild reports that the federal state of Bavaria alone has registered 550 cases of brides aged under 18, and 161 under 16, 
among the asylum seekers that have arrived in the recent migrant wave.
In most of these cases, the young girls were already married before their arrival in Germany.

There is no clear law in Germany regarding what to do with underage marriages conducted in Muslim countries, 
and courts make judgements on a case-by-case basis.
A court in the city of Bamberg recently decided that the marriage of a 15-year-old girl to a 21-year-old man, 
conducted under Syrian jurisdiction, could be regarded as legal in Germany.

In Germany the minimum age for marriage is 18, but it is possible for a young person aged 16 or 17 to marry, 
if a family court gives consent, and the other party to the marriage is at least 18.

Syrian "child brides" and international law

"Alarming increase" in number of child marriages within Syrian refugee communities in Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, says Save the Children!
It is argued by Muslims that marriage protects the girls from sexual assault and other hardshipIt is also seen as safeguarding family honour
It reduces economic burden on refugee families. Non of these arguments have any reality when used in any Western nation where women usually 
are very safe and a persons honour isn’t based on a young girl but rather on the adults and their actions.

 Legal Facts in the West clearly state it is prohibited ...
Question: Why does US and EU not demand that all marriages made by Muslim Imams or other religions to be registered with the authority s to avoid polygamy and child marriage.

- Child marriage threatens a girl's physical and mental health
- The right to free and full consent from both parties is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 16)