Netherlands: Imam answers about polygamy

Controversial Hauge imam Jneid Fawaz of the orthodox As Soennah mosque gives his followers advise on the internet about marrying a second wife.  The imam neglects to mention that polygamy is strictly forbidden in the Netherlands.

On the website of the mosque,, Fawaz has a question and answer column where he tells Dutch Muslims what's the sound Muslim way on various vital questions.  Muslims ask if they can vote, if they must follow the laws of non-Muslim countries and they can let their kids go to the annual Remembrance Day ceremonies.  Muslims also seem to be curious about the opinions of the radical imam on polygamy.  [Curiously this appears under the 'sexuality' category and not under 'marriage'.]

"Is is not obligatory to ask permission from the first wife and it's not one of the requirements that the first wife gives her permission," writes the imam to his followers.  "It is recommended that those who wise to marry more women to carefully think it over and to thoroughly study this topic.  This is namely because those who want to marry more women most often just think of their physical satisfaction and not of the other duties that are related to it."

Fawaz gives the Muslims more advise.  But he doesn't mention at all the ban on bigamy or polygamy in the Netherlands.  VVD parliament member Henk Kamp responded with much displeasure.  "People can keep the Islamic rules as long as they fit within Dutch law."

Fawaz's explanation about polygamy has already been read 3000 times.  The most-read questions are about sex, with the top one being a question about whether oral sex is permitted (15,000 hits).  [Followed by a question about sucking a woman's breast - with 12,000 hits].

Nobody was available to comment at the mosque.

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)


Joachim Martillo said...

Obviously, the Imam (acting in the capacity of a mufti) was discussing marriage according to sharia and not according to the Dutch civil code.

A Jewish poseq (a Jewish scholar qualified to answer a legal question) would have said the same thing in discussing marriage according to Halakhah (Jewish law). Ashkenazi Jewish apologists will often refer to the takanah of Rabbenu Gershom, but they would just be tossing a red herring into the stew pot to distract from the permission that Jewish law gives for a man to take as many wives as he wants.

I am not sure why anyone cares about this issue in the Netherlands where a guy can live with as many women in sin as he wants. So what if he wants to live with up to 4 women in Islamic marriages or some even larger number in Jewish marriages?

Obviously the whole point of the article (especially with the absence of any mention of the similar halakhic position) is the othering (or demonization) of Islam.

A little investigation would probably uncover a Jewish Zionist facilitator that was involved in the placement of this article.

(BTW, I read Dutch and searched for polygamie on the website and could not find the alleged opinion from the Imam under any topic heading.)

Esther said...

Joachim Martillo,

Of course the imam didn't refer to Dutch law, that's exactly the problem. A Rabbi would most certainly have referred to the law of the land. This is not a discussion about sharia law, it's a question by somebody asking what he can and cannot do.

You can find the question here. Note that I wrote in my article under which category it is found, so if you read Dutch, it's pretty easy to find.

Esther said...

Joachim Martillo,

Since I'm a Jewish Zionist, look no further..

Again, I find it amazing that you ignore the oppression of the woman inherent in male polygamy, and the differences between that and having multiple partners on equal footing, all so that you can accuse Jews and Zionists of taking over the world. The end justifies the means.

Joachim Martillo said...

While I read Dutch, I have to admit that I sometimes forget the orthography.

Anyway, it is striking that the question and answer are more than 4 years old. The issue hardly constitutes news except perhaps in that the sudden coverage provides yet another example of the ongoing effort of Jewish Zionists to demonize and marginalize Muslims -- which is why this blog entry is of so much interest to me as President of Ethnic Ashkenazim Against Zionist Israel.

As for Jewish Rabbis and marriage, I have certainly discussed the laws of marriage in shiurim on Jewish law in many yeshivah and kollel situations. Non-Jewish marriage and marriage laws did not come up except as objects of derision.

One can interpret Christian, Muslim, and Jewish scripture as oppressive to women, but genuine believers try to prove their faith by living and interpreting their scripture in the most ethical way possible.

Here is an example from Between Kant and Kabbalah, An Introduction to Isaac Breuer's Philosophy of Judaism by Alan L. Mittlemen, p. 142

[Die Rechtsphilosophischen Grundlagen des Jüdischen und des Modernen Rechts (The Legal-Philosophical Fundamentals of Jewish and Modern Law, 1910) by Isaac Breuer] begins with a commentary on a sensational incident in the contemporary press. A German judge in a ruling concerning the divorce of two Jews who were Russian nationals determined that Jewish law was inadmissible in a German court because it ran counter to “good morals.” While the German civil code provided for a mutual right of divorce, Jewish law provides only for the husband’s right to divorce his wife. The German judge, in the case brought before him by the Jewish wife (who sought the divorce), ruled that the husband could not appeal to the principles of Jewish law to frustrate her because Jewish law entails unequal treatment of the sexes. This ruling, although later rescinded by the judge, touched off a wave of uneasiness in the Jewish community. An official declaration to the effect that Jewish law ran counter to good German morals sent tremors through both liberal and Orthodox Jewry.

Breuer found an opening in this sensation for a systematic study of the differences between Jewish and modern German law. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he was not daunted by the possibility that Jewish and modern law may very well embody disjunctive moralities. Breuer is at his most characteristic in this essay. He eschews any facile, apologetic harmonization between them. In exploring this discrepancy, Breuer begins to apply some general legal-philosophical concepts to an analysis of Torah.

Breuer points out that there are indeed areas in which Jewish law diverges very considerably from modern law. Modern law is grounded in the proposition that all persons are, respecting their legal status, equal. Although positive law falls short of this norm, equality before the law is nonetheless a key normative principle, an ideal of modern law. Jewish law, on the other hand, enshrines certain fundamental inequalities. In addition to the relevant disabilities for women, the slave and the Gentile are not equal to Jewish males under Jewish law. Brueuer categorically rejects an historicist explanation for these inequalities. He affirms, on the contrary, that the whole Torah is contemporary, valid law. Torah is not a museum piece invalidated in some way by history. The legal matter of the Torah is timeless or, at least not time-bound. The assertion leads Breuer to make the bold claim that although the practice of slavery has vanished from the world, the principle of slavery must still be valid! Any jurisprudential analysis of the underlying principles of Jewish law can do no less than treat the law under the assumption of atemporal validity. Appeal to historical influences is reductionistic and methodologically intolerable.

[Isaac Breuer stood in more or less the same relationship to German Orthodoxy as Franz Rosenzweig or Martin Buber played for non-Orthodox German Jews. Within the German Jewish context at the beginning of the twentieth century, he plays a role rather similar to that of Tariq Ramadan among European Muslims.]

Esther said...

Joachim Martillo,

But that's exactly the point - you discussed it on a theoretical level. You have here an imam who's answering a practical question.

You are right that this is an 'old' question. But in case you've missed it, polygamy by (Muslim) immigrants has been very much in the news in recent weeks, as had been reported on this blog.

Not only that, a few months ago Fawaz promised to stop making polygamous marriages and to post on the mosque site that such marriages are illegal. You now fault a newspaper for showing that he did no such thing?

Jneid Fawaz is an extremist imam who was personally responsible for radicalizing youth who had then (surprisingly) gone on to join the Jihad. You really think he's part of some Jewish Zionist conspiracy? Is he your role model for ethic behavior?

Joachim Martillo said...

Dear Esther, The idea that Eastern European Jews have the right to steal Palestine from the native population on the basis of an etymological relationship between the word Jew and the word Judea is so extreme that it is psychotic. One might as well believe that the Irish had the right to steal Rome from the native population because Roman Catholic contains a derivative of the word Rome. Until you denounce Zionism unequivocally as a racist, criminal, genocidal ideology, you certainly have no right whatsoever to characterize any Muslim as extremist.

In essence, Zionism is the belief on the part of ethnic Ashkenazim that Jews have the right to plunder and kill non-Jews. It is exactly analogous to German Nazism, which amounts to the belief that Aryans have the right to plunder and kill non-Aryans.

In other words, Zionism is ethnic Ashkenazi Nazism. It shows the power and efforts of Zionists to colonize the minds of N. Americans and Europeans that most non-Jews do not realize something so obvious.

Esther said...

Joachim Martillo,

I notice that when you have no response you just pick up a different Jew bashing thread.

Every word you wrote in your reply is wrong, but I don't see the point of arguing it with you.

Joachim Martillo said...

Dear Esther, I can't let a tendentious propagandistic use of the term "extremism" pass without challeng.

Zionism is the gold standard of extremism. By comparison with Zionists, even the most closed-minded aggressive Islamist is a rank amateur.

As for polygyny, I have met enough shomrei mitzvot polygynists that I suspect that normalized by population-size polygyny is far more common among Jews than among Muslims without even addressing issues of serial polygyny (multiple divorce and remarriage) or multi-partner fornication.

Yet, it probably is worthwhile to discuss what I learned in Yeshivah. Non-Jews are beasts. Zirmat susim zirmatam (their semen is the semen of horses). Thus sex with a non-Jew is effectively equivalent to bestiality.

I have recently put up a blog entry discussing a comment by The Magnes Zionist on Bill Kristol's shikse fixation. It is entitled The Magnes Zionist: Kristol and the Shikse and is probably relevant to the discussion of fanaticism, extremism, and sexual exploitation.

Esther said...

Joachim Martillo,

If you want to prove that Fawaz is not an extremist imam, you don't do it by pointing to Jewish yeshiva students. And you know why? Because the chance that those yeshiva students would attack a
non-Jew are close to zero. Fawaz's students have gone on Jihad trips.

If you have trouble with my wording, you are welcome to discuss it, but you didn't discuss it. Instead you went on a rant against Jews. Btw, I call Fawaz a radical and an extremist. Quite a few people think he's the norm for Islam. Is that your opinion?

Joachim Martillo said...

Dear Esther, You obviously have not spent much time in living with Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. What do think is happening?

Lots of Yeshiva students and religious people in general use Palestinian children for target practice, humiliate, degrade, murder, and rob Palestinians.

In my experience, the average American whether Jewish or non-Jewish only needs four months in the OT to hate everything about The State of Israel, Zionism, and Diaspora Jews that support Zionism and the State of Israel.

Esther said...

Joachim Martillo,

Again, you do not answer on topic. First you go for the Jews, now for the Israelis. I really expected more from a scholar like you.

I don't want to discuss this issue with you, but the Palestinians in the West Bank have been living under self-rule for 15 years. The ones I know live quite comfortably in mansions.

Am I to understand that you think Fawaz is an average Muslim?

Joachim Martillo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.