A human rights organization called Fatki that works with refugee and immigrant women who have immigrated to Denmark has discovered that nearly one third of the refugee women the organization provides counseling to are living in a polygamous relationship.
In Denmark, Polygamy is illegal, but it is now being practiced on a more widespread basis by Muslims who are immigrating and choosing to practice Sharia Law instead of the law of Denmark. Because polygamy is illegal, Muslims who have multiple wives are choosing to not register their marriages with Danish authorities.
“Polygamy is forbidden in Denmark, but it is being practiced nonetheless,” Fakti head Lise-Lotte Duch said.
The Copenhagen Post reported on the rise of polygamy in its Danish communities, writing: “Ida Jensen, a social worker with the group, estimates that at least 30 women she has talked to have said their husbands have a second wife. “The women say this is quite a normal practice. They think it is a man’s right according to Islam,” Jensen continued. Although the subject is taboo, according to the women it is okay if a man takes another wife if the first one is incapable of performing her wifely duties.”
Since Islam permits men to have multiple wives, polygamy is a common practice among Muslim families.
However, despite the fact that polygamy is illegal, Danish authorities are having trouble prosecuting Muslims who have multiple wives, due to the fact that majority of the Islamic marriages are taking place under the radar and are not legally registered on paper.
According to Anika Liversage, senior researcher in integration and gender equality at the Danish Center for Social Science Research (VIVE), “It’s difficult to legislate on something that has no legal validity. People can simply go out into the woods and get married according to the law of Odin and Thor.”
Muslim leaders in Denmark said Islamic marriages do not require an imam or license to be performed, and can be conducted by average people.
“We do not hide the fact that it is allowed to have up to four wives in Islam, but we also mention that you cannot be registered with more than one woman according to Danish legislation,” said Mohammad Khani, Imam and teacher at the Imam Ali Mosque in Copenhagen.
In Denmark, Islam is the largest minority religion. A report in 2018 determined that 5.3 percent of the entire Danish population is Muslim, but the percentage has been increasing over the past several years due to mass Islamic immigration.
Canadian Police Report Almost 2,200 Home Visits To Monitor Quarantine Compliance
Canadian police officers reportedly have conducted almost 2,200 home visits to ensure travelers into the country are complying with quarantine rules.
In late March, the Canadian government announced the start of the Quarantine Act, which mandates that anyone entering the country, with the exception of essential workers like truck drivers and those in healthcare, must self-isolate for 14 days.
Failure to comply can incur a fine of up to $750,000 and/or six months in prison. However, so far there have been no arrests, and only one fine of $1,000.
Still, many may find unsettling the degree to which the Canadian police, in coordination with official border and health services, are enforcing a nanny state by paying home visits to incoming travelers deemed at risk of non-compliance. In addition, prime minister Justin Trudeau has hinted that even tougher measures could be coming, even once Canada begins easing cross-border travel.
Also in late March, the Trudeau government announced a halt to all immigration in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. However, current immigration applications would not be closed or denied due to failure to meet typical requirements.
Still, many pointed out that Canada’s response was actually stronger than the US’, which has continued to import thousands of H-1B workers even while under lockdown due to a global pandemic.
The border between the US and Canada has been closed since the end of March, and this was recently extended, likely into mid-June. Trudeau has stated that the closure and its extension were implemented with full cooperation from the US.
While travel into Canada has not stopped completely, it has fallen drastically since the implementation of restrictive policies. However, critics of the government question whether Trudeau reacted quickly enough, and argue that the policy going forward is too vague and requires more explanation and accountability.
As stated by Conservative MP Pierre Paul-Hus:
“It was the Trudeau government’s failure to close our borders that allowed the virus to spread in the first place. It is incumbent on the Trudeau government to explain how they plan to ensure that travelers who are coming back to Canada are not spreading COVID-19… Unfortunately, right now the Trudeau government is telling Canadians to ‘wait and see’ without explaining what metrics they are relying on to make decisions.”
While Canada is doing significantly better than the US in terms of the number of cases, one tragically sobering area in which it has exhibited clear failure is the fate of its elderly, particularly those in state and private long-term care institutions.
It is estimated that up to 86% of the Canadian death toll is from facilities such as long-term care, retirement, and corrections, with the first two making up the large majority. In one privately-run nursing home, as much as one third of residents have died from coronavirus.
While the situation is complex and there are few countries that do not seem to have significant problems with their approach, it is clear that something is wrong with Canada’s. Perhaps the government should focus more on taking care of its elderly than intrusively monitoring its citizens.
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