Pro-polygamy groups are now not only facing protest from angry housewives and women’s rights activists; a new group of men calling themselves the Men’s Coalition against Polygamy (Kolmi) has also joined the struggle.
Kolmi spokesman Abdul Hamim Fauzie said via a statement in Jakarta on Sunday that the coalition considered the practice of polygamous marriage degrading, not only to women, but to men as well.
“Facts show that polygamy leads to nothing but domestic violence, discrimination and the abuse of human rights,” he said.
“However, polygamists often argue that polygamy is necessary to avoid infidelity and love affairs. They also claim that polygamy is a part of their religious beliefs. Men use these arguments to justify their polygamous practices,” he added.
“They need to know that not all men agree with and support polygamy. For us, the practice only degrades men’s values and dignity.
“The practice labels men as aggressive, egotistical, wild, unfaithful, and worst of all as being unable
to control their libidos,” he said further.
The coalition also said that it regretted a number of discriminative articles in the current marriage law.
“The law legalizes men to have more than one legal wife when their spouses are seriously ill or sexually incapable.
“This is very unfair, especially to women, because the law only accommodates the needs of men,” Abdul said.
Meanwhile, Muslim scholar Siti Musdah Mulia said that people practicing polygamous marriages who quoted verses from the Koran to justify their behavior were misinterpreting the message.
“Those people must not quote the Koran by verse.
They need to read the whole context and understand its real essence before saying the Koran endorses polygamy,” she said.
Musdah said the Koran actually says that Islam aimed to eradicate polygamous practices, not to endorse them.
“Islam considers polygamy an unjust practice that originated in the dark ages. Therefore, Islam sought to eradicate such practices, but due to the severe reaction it caused, it took some time to fully eradicate the practice from the culture at that time,” she said.
“Overall, the Koran says that Islam aims to ensure justice among human beings and in the way they develop relationships from the smallest scale. Justice here means guaranteeing that no one will feel they are being treated unfairly or are being hurt,” she added.
Musdah said that she was not surprised to see that a number of men decided to bond together and fight against polygamy.
“Actually, anti-polygamy figures in the past were mostly prominent male clerics. The Prophet Muhammad himself was very angry when one of his son-in-laws planned to engage in polygamy,” she said.
Recently, controversy has sparked following an official launch of a polygamy club, dubbed the Global Ikhwan, in Bandung.
The club, originating from Malaysia, cites the noble aim of helping single mothers, reformed prostitutes and aging single women find spouses.
As soon as the club was established, condemnation poured in, especially from housewives and women’s activists.
Ironically, the club is chaired by a woman named, Hatijah Am, who has insisted the club could introduce people to the beautiful side of polygamy.
Previously, a number of polygamy scandals have reduced the popularity of public figures engaged in the practise.
Source: The Jakarta Post/ Asia News Network