Apart from the “nanny ruse,” new female partners enter the country using tourist visas, student visas or work permits. They simply overstay the visas, which are normally for six months, and then remain in Britain, often hiding away in their husband’s home.
The United Kingdom also recognizes polygamous marriages in which both parties, before they moved to Britain, were resident in a country where the practice is legal. Since the 2008 change the former Labour government made to British law, a Muslim man with four wives is entitled to receive £10,000 ($15,000) a year in income support alone. He could also be entitled to more generous housing and council tax benefits to reflect the fact that his household needs a bigger property.
The result is that the more children produced by Muslim polygamists, the more state welfare money pours in for their wives and them. By having a string of wives living in separate homes, thousands of Muslim immigrants are squeezing tens of millions of British pounds from the state by claiming benefits intended for single mothers and their children.
Those women are eligible for full housing benefits – which reach £106,000 ($250,000) a year in some parts of London — and child benefits paid at £1,000 ($1,500) a year for a first child, and nearly £700 ($1,000) for each subsequent one.
The exposé describes, by way of example, a street in a Yorkshire town on which all the residents are Pakistani women with children living on social security. There is not one man living in the street.
The report says: “The men find second wives in the UK as well as any Muslim country abroad. The new favorite places to find women are Turkey and Morocco, because the men can drive there by car to meet them and bring them back.”
The report also interviews a Muslim woman who was deserted by her husband of 20 years when he went on holiday to Bangladesh and returned to say he was about to marry, in a Nikah ceremony, a girl of 19 whom wanted to bring to Britain as his second wife.
“All over the place, in London’s East End, in Yorkshire towns, down the road, across the street, I see Muslim men taking second or third wives. I cannot count the number of times I have been approached to be a second wife myself by Bangladeshi men who know I am now on my own,” she said.
A separate investigative report describes how Muslim women suffer as a result of polygamy. It quotes a government social worker who is active in Muslim neighborhoods as saying: “The first wives get depressed because they are so ashamed of their husband taking a second or third wife. Many wives have been here for years, but have never been allowed to learn English or even go out of the house alone. They have no one to turn to for help.”
The controversy over multiple marriages in Britain became a national issue in September 2011 with the publication of a hard-hitting essay entitled, “Polygamy, Welfare Benefits and an Insidious Silence.” It was written by Baroness Shreela Flather, Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead, who was born in Lahore (now part of Pakistan) and was the first Asian woman member of the British House of Lords.
Baroness Flather wrote: “Under Islamic Sharia law, polygamy is permissible. So a man can return to Pakistan, take another bride and then, in a repetition of the process, bring her to England where they also have children together — obtaining yet more money from the state. We cannot continue like this.”
More recently she said: “Why are they allowed to have more than one wife? We should prosecute one or two people for bigamy…that would sort it out.”
Originally published by the Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org
About the Author: The writer is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group, one of the oldest and most influential foreign policy think tanks in Spain.
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