If Britain were an inmate in a psychiatric hospital (and there is quite a bit of empirical evidence that it should be), the nation would be on 24-hour suicide watch. I say this after coming across this headline in the Sunday Telegraph: "Multiple wives will mean multiple benefits."
No, Westminster hasn't passed a law permitting bigamy. That is, unless you are a Muslim and happen to have acquired your harem before your British citizenship. It seems Gordon Brown's government will now allow Muslims with more than one wife to claim extra welfare benefits for each wife. That's called compassion. It is estimated that there are at least a thousand "polygamous partnerships" in Britain, so the ruling could cost taxpayers millions of pounds, depending, I guess, on the number of wives each immigrant in question want to bring with him. (Islamic law permits men to have up to four wives at any one time.)
Of course British officials have no way of knowing for certain the size of one's harem since there are no questions on the citizenship application or the census form asking which wife you are: wife number one, wife number two, etc. This would seem rather uncharacteristic of a nation that has been dubbed the "Surveillance Society," famous for its national DNA databases and ubiquitous surveillance cameras.
In the end, ministers from the departments of Treasury, Work and Pensions, Revenue and Customs, and the Home Office concluded that polygamy may be illegal in Britain, but what is more important is that it is legal in Third World (sorry, "developing") countries. So is torture and forced marriage and female genital mutilation, so presumably at some future date a progressive British government will allow British Muslims to torture and mutilate one another because it is acceptable elsewhere. Not that the government is likely to brag about it. Ministers refrained from announcing the decision publicly, naively hoping that no one would notice. Still, these things tend get out.
The decision was mostly a fait accompli anyway. By now your clever polygamist has figured a way round the system. He simply goes through a state-sanctioned divorce, which as a polygamous Muslim he likely does not recognize as legitimate anyway, and remarries -- often a gal from the old country who comes to Britain on a student or tourist visa or work permits. (Sorry, but the normal mother-in-law jokes don't apply when you are talking about ultra-submissive females, which is the opposite of the stereotypical rolling pin-wielding English housewife. Don't take my word. Ask Andy Capp.)
But even this ruling will not help one of Britain's most infamous Islamist extremists. Not long ago Omar Brooks, who once described the 7/7 suicide bombers as "completely praiseworthy," placed a personal ad on a Muslim marriage website seeking three more wives. Brooks, who goes by the alias Abu Izzadeen, has three children with his present wife. Even so, the 32-year-old Brooks steadfastly refuses to work, preferring to live off welfare benefits. Currently on trial in Britain on several counts of terrorism-funding and encouragement of terrorism, Brooks seems unable to entice three young Muslim gals to join his harem, regardless of how good a match he would make. Perhaps the fact that Omar is a British citizen and will thus receive no more benefits for his subsequent wives has something to do with it. Come on gals, who could be a better catch than an unemployed, soon-to-be convicted felon who hopes to die as a suicide bomber?
I SOMETIMES GET a laugh from perusing the reader comments following British news stories. For example there was this from Mike in New York commenting on the "multiple wives" story:
"Wow -- nicely done Labour! You are pretty much guaranteeing that the UK will either end up as a Caliphate or under some rascist (sic) British National Party regime - apparently there is no longer a middle choice. Good job Labour for surrendering like a ravening Frenchmen - and good job Tories for being a milquetoast opposition and abandoning basic conservative principals. You know your country is in trouble when only the freakish fringe parties are talking any sense."
"Let us found a religion that allows everyone to have a Porsche and five houses and and... And then ask the state to pay for our religious needs..."
That the law of the land may be applied differently to one depending on his set of supernatural beliefs is the epitome of multiculturalism gone mad, though hardly surprising. Britain's progressives long ago stopped regarding Western civilization as a culture or society worth preserving. Secretly they feel such intense guilt over their colonial history that they have concluded it is best for the colonized to colonize them for a change.
Now then, who's got the next watch?
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