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The imam questioning polygamy – creates hot debate in Egypt

Is the attitude to polygamy under review, among islam's scribes? The issue has become topical since Ahmed al-Tayeb, storimam at al-Azhar university in Cairo, the highest authority within the sunniislam – publicly criticized the practice of polygamy and called it ”unfair to women”.

al-Tayeb, who had their prestigious title in almost ten years, takes part each Friday in a program in Egypt statstelevision where the various religious and ethical questions to be discussed. Last week surprised storimamen tv viewers when he, with the support of their interpretation of the Koran, ruled that polygamy is likely to be ”unfair” towards the woman.

" If injustice occurs, polygamy is haram (prohibited). This is a topic which is not open to experiment, " said Ahmed al-Tayeb, referenced by the pan arab news site al-Monitor.

is nowadays most commonly associated with islam. Originally there were, however, the practice of polygamy even in christianity and judaism, and in a poll of Gallupinstitutet in the US for a couple of years ago, 17 percent of respondents felt that the polygamy could be justified morally.

most countries with a predominantly muslim population in north Africa and the Middle east condones polygamy – for men, mind you, not for women. The exception is Tunisia and Morocco, which legislated against polygamy 1957, respectively, in 1958.

In Egypt, the arab world most populous country and cultural hub, is male polygamy is accepted, but there are no current or reliable statistics on how widespread the phenomenon is.

Storimamens tv announcements were how effect whatsoever. Sameh Abdelhamid Hamouda is a famous egyptian preacher who profess to salafismen, the movement within islam that seeks the social order that prevailed during the first generations after the prophet Muhammad's death in 632. Hamouda drug immediately started a campaign on social media to strengthen their right to polygamy.

– the Claim that polygamy means an injustice for the woman is completely wrong. On the contrary, the favored egyptian women of polygamy. They don't have to be old unmarried ungmöer, " says Hamouda to al-Monitor.

a female colleague of storimamen Ahmed al-Tayeb at Al-Azharuniversitetet, I also think that mångifte liable to create injustice. But any law forbidding polygamy would she not hear about.

And al-Azharuniversitetet felt compelled to clarify the Ahmed al-Tayebs statement: storimamen directed against polygamy in and of itself, but he condemns the månggiftesmän who is not able to treat his wives equally.

at the same time as polygamidebatten rages, it is stated that the divorce rate increases exponentially in Egypt – six, seven per cent on an annual basis during the last few years.

however, It is unclear if the rising of divorce rates has no connection with the månggiftena. But it is said to be common that women often request a divorce if the man takes a new wife.

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