Gee, why did it take so long to find that out?
Visits to Pakistan, wife beating and child abuse, will it ever end for France’s notorious polygamist, w/ the burqa driving wife
Of course this all started, with the wife / mistress being asked to pay a ticket for wearing a burqa while driving. If only they have agreed to pay the 22 euro penalty….
Along with the new allegations of wife beating and child neglect, he was actually on the radar for Muslim extremists after he made several visits to Pakistan and dangerously enough Londonistan. He enquired about opening a mosque near where he lives in France and was planning to open an …. Islamic bookstore.
It might be that the family’s -Â extended lots of mistresses/ Muslim wives – refusal to pay the fine ~ was a part of pushing back against French secular society’s encroachment on their Islamic way of life.
All while ~ they and their 12 children were living off the French state.
In fresh allegations, the French Muslim man suspected of polygamy and welfare fraud has been accused of beating at least one of his women companions and keeping his children “locked away”.
Lies Hebbadj, a French Muslim butcher suspected of polygamy, has been accused of domestic violence and mistreating his children, the French interior minister, Brice Hortefeux, told French lawmakers on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, police sources said Hebbadj’s father-in-law filed a complaint Monday, saying his daughter was “beaten” by her husband and their children were kept “locked away”. He also reported having “little or almost no contact” with his daughter.
Hebbadj, an Algerian-born 35-year-old butcher in France’s north-western city of Nantes, has been at the centre of a political storm over alleged polygamy and welfare fraud.
According to Hortefeux, Hebbadj lives with four women who have borne him 12 children, and each wife receives “single parent” welfare benefits.
The Algerian-born butcher, now 37, came to France at the age of two. He did not acquire French citizenship until 1999 when he married Anne, a Frenchwoman who converted to Islam.
The well-regarded businessman recently opened a halal meat market and gocery store. He is also planning a bookstore.
Mr. Hebbadj is an adherent of a group known as Tablighi, a proselytizing movement that aims to bring Muslims closer to the practices of the Prophet Muhammad. It has about 100,000 members in France.
He has visited Pakistan several times. His trips, which include one to London, have brought him to the attention of various foreign security services.
The French government has said it has information Mr. Hebbadj is married to four women with 12 children and accuses them of fraudulently claiming single-parent benefits.Â NP
Hortefeux last Saturday called for Hebbadj’s French passport to be removed, saying polygamy is “not welcome in France”.
The controversy began last week, when one of Hebbadj’s companions complained that she had been fined 22 euros for driving while wearing her niqab full-face veil, in Nantes.
“I’d go so far as to say that polygamists here (in France) are breeding for cash”
Flashback: The Imam of VÃ©nissieux
The burqa, or face-covering veil, is getting all the attention in the debate over Muslim immigrants in France. But another controversial tradition among some immigrants is less noticed and far more widespread: Polygamy.The issue resurfaced last week after a woman received a traffic citation in the western city of Nantes for driving with a veil over her face. Officials then accused her husband of having at least three other wives, and saidÂ he may be profiting from them financially while the state pays the bill.
Polygamy is one of several issues, like forced marriage or genital mutilation, that France and other European nations face, as immigrants arrive with customs that conflict with the law of the land. But experts say polygamy in France can also be linked to fraud, where husbands hijack a generous social welfare system to line their pockets with state funds from each of their wives.
“They practice polygamy just for that,” said Jean-Marie Ballo, founder of an association that helps women escape from polygamous situations, Nouveaux Pas, or New Steps. “I’d go so far as to say that polygamists here (in France) are breeding for cash.”
Ballo said he’s even aware of cases where a legal wife’s papers are used for hospital care for a second – a health risk as medical records intermingle.
It’s hard to count how many polygamous families live in France because of the secrecy of the practice. But the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights in a 2006 report madeÂ a minimal estimate of 16,000 to 20,000 polygamous families in France, or some 180,000 people, including children. That compares to fewer than 2,000 women who are thought to wear burqa-style garments.
For decades, polygamy was legal in France for immigrants arriving from any of about 50 countries where it is legally recognised. Historically, taking numerous wives was either a social and economic necessity in poor countries with high death rates, or a sign of external wealth or male domination.
France banned polygamy in 1993. At the same time, it launched a process of “decohabitation” to help multiple wives trapped in small apartments with numerous children to move into their own homes. Experts say that system has been largely successful.
But abuses thrive. Especially vulnerable are women who arrived in France after 1993 – often here illegally and, therefore, with limited means to extricate themselves….
Chantal Brunel, a lawmaker from the governing conservative UMP party, called last weekend for a region-by-region examination of the family subsidies program to stop corruption by men profiting from state aid to illegal wives. Brunel, who has written a book about violence against women, saidÂ she has polygamous families in her district east of Paris “and since 2004-2005 I have asked that the state stop closing its eyes.”…
Other countries in Europe also struggle with polygamy. Fines and prison sentences, in some cases up to seven years, are the norm for those convicted of polygamy in Europe. An exception is Norway. In France, marriage to more than one person is punishable by a year in prison and a 45,000 (almost $60,000) fine.
However, the law is being challenged in Ireland. And in Cyprus, with a 5-year prison term, the court can take into account arguments that the accused’s culture or religion permits polygamy.
Carina Hagg, a Swedish lawmaker for the opposition Social Democrats, warns against mixing notions of polygamy and culture.
“You have to be careful not to make it an issue about ethnicity,” she said. “Fundamentally it’s about women’s rights.”…
Ballo, whose Malian father and grandfather were both polygamous, said he helped “decohabit” 12 households with 26 wives and 145 children in Les Ulis, south of Paris, where his group is based.
The human rights commission report notes that “there is, of course, no question of generalising and considering all polygamous men as executioners.”
Ballo is more cynical: “There are always people in life who defend hell.”
How very true!