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article imageOp-Ed: Delights of a Muslim man in France: 4 women, but no polygamy

By R. C. Camphausen     Apr 28, 2010 in Lifestyle
Following a pick-up by French police who are watching out for veiled women, it was discovered that an Algerian man lived with four women, all of whom claimed social benefits while living in a sort of Islamic commune with the man.
While many media use the word polygamist for the Algerian born Lies Hebbadj (class of 1975), they perhaps do not realize that polygamy means - in legal terms - to be married to many, or at least to more than one. And that is exactly the defensive stance of the 35-year-old who says that he's not married to the four women in his household, but that all except one - his legal wife - are merely his mistresses.
While a million Western men dream of this, to have all of their lovers in the same home and be at peace with each other, most or all of them now seem to crack down on an Algerian who's got this together. And although police and politicians proclaim him to be a polygamist - which is legal in South Africa but not not in France, the man is utterly defiant in his stance.
While French officials are considering to yank his citizenship - claiming that he's a polygamist., the defiant Muslim clearly states that he is only married to one of the women, while the other three living in his household are merely lovers, mistresses, concubines - a situation most European or American women would not feel comfortable with. Well, I can sympathize with both views. He loves women, and if he's a truly exceptional man, perhaps they all can love him and have no problems amongst each other.
However, it could also be the case that the women have little choice, resent the situation but feel somehow forced to give in ... who knows?
The whole situation came to the attention of authorities when Hebbadj's wife was stopped while driving a car dressed in a niqab, a face covering veil that just leaves a small opening for the eyes. Since she couldn't pay the required fine, police requested her husband to pay - discovering three more women in his house.
The Algerian with a French passport, however, is defiant - insisting that having three mistresses does not constitute bigamy nor polygamy, saying that "If you lose your French nationality for having mistresses, then a lot of French men would have been stripped of their citizenship."
His tiny problem, though, may be the fact that his so-called mistresses all appear to be collecting social welfare benefits - naming him as their spouse.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Polygamy, France, Muslim, Islam, Women
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