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Polygamy Befuddles Dutch Government
by David J. Rusin • Aug 19, 2008 at 11:21 am
A recent news item exposes the Dutch response to polygamy as a stew of accommodation, bungling, and illogic. We have witnessed these elements many times before as Western states grapple with Islamism, but their confluence in a seven-paragraph article is striking.
For starters, local Dutch officials are registering plural unions even though the practice is formally banned. The paperwork proceeds with nary a hitch as long as the people involved are immigrants whose marriages took place in countries where having more than one wife is permitted.
But this represents the least interesting part of the story. After all, Britain and the Canadian province of Ontario already grant de facto recognition of polygamy by providing added welfare benefits to men with multiple wives. Far more intriguing in the Dutch case is the manner by which the national government has been excising these data from public records:
The bizarre reasoning of the Dutch official recalls an attempt by Ontario parliamentarian Ted McMeekin to deny the presence of polygamy in his province, based on similar logic that something illegal must not actually exist.
Yet most disturbing of all is the census researcher's offhand comment, "In the same way, we delete marriages involving fourteen-year-olds." Child marriage is endemic to much of the Islamic world and the phenomenon is of growing concern in the West. For example, earlier this year British officials warned that pupils missing from school may have been forced into wedlock overseas.
Which begs the obvious question: is polygamy just the beginning of what gets dropped down the Dutch memory hole?