25 May 2015, 18:09
Hundreds of polygamous marriages are made in Moscow according to Sharia law every year - mufti
Moscow, May 25, Interfax - Moscow Mufti Ildar Alyautdinov (Council of Muftis of Russia) has spoken in favor of legalizing polygamy.
"It would probably be right to legalize such marriages for Muslims, but on certain conditions. It's not like it's allowed and everyone can get a second and third family. There are very many difficult conditions here, that need to be observed," the mufti said in an interview with Russian News Service, the radio station, reported on its website on Monday.
Alyautdinov said women outnumber men in Russia.
"What will we say to those 11 million women in the Russian Federation alone who are left without family? I think these 11 million women will vote for such marriages to be legalized. Would it be better to be someone's mistress than to be a full-fledged wife, but on certain conditions?" the mufti said.
Alyautdinov said imams make hundreds of polygamous marriages annually, mainly among migrants.
"The family that is left at home understands that the husband, who is in Russia, fully supports them and they give their approval for him to make a family here, but on condition that he supports them the same financially," Alyautdinov said.
Alyautdinov said he sometimes declines to make such marriages, for example, if the man refuses to call his first wife to get her permission.
The public debate on polygamy began in Russia in May following a high-profile Chechen wedding between Nadzhud Guchigov, the head of the district interior affairs department of the Nozhai-Yurt district, and Luiza Goilabiyeva, 17. The wedding drew broad public response in Russia. Human rights activists expressed their concerns about the fact that the bride was underage, the substantial age difference between her and the groom and information that Guchigov may already be married.
Magomed Daudov, the head of the Chechen administration, said he believes that polygamy could be legalized in Russia, saying it is widespread in the Caucasus. However, he reiterates that he has never made such proposals anywhere. "I am not a parliamentarian and I do not take part in the adoption of federal laws. We have the State Duma for that, which will study the issue and express its attitude to the issue, if need be," Daudov told Interfax.
Shafig Pshikhachev, mufti and the head of the International Islamic Mission, told Interfax-Religion polygamy is a reality in Russia. "No matter if it's a civil marriage or an official marriage, in any case, polygamy can't be avoided," he said.
Pshikhachev, who knows the situation in the Northern Caucasus well, said some people in this region practice polygamy. "It's more widespread in Dagestan and Chechnya and a little less in Ingushetia. It's not really advertised. Two adults agree that they can get married according to Sharia law," he said.
Yelena Mizulina, the head of the State Duma committee on family, women and children, has said polygamy will not be legalized in Russia.
"There are no plans to legalize polygamy, such proposals have not been received," Mizulina said in the State Duma on May 22.
Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko has also said recently that she does not support the idea of introducing polygamy in Russia.