Mumtaz Ali: “Very liberal-minded country”.
By TOM GODFREY, SUN MEDIA
Hundreds of GTA Muslim men in polygamous marriages — some with a harem of wives — are receiving welfare and social benefits for each of their spouses, thanks to the city and province, Muslim leaders say.
Mumtaz Ali, president of the Canadian Society of Muslims, said wives in polygamous marriages are recognized as spouses under the Ontario Family Law Act, providing they were legally married under Muslim laws abroad.
“Polygamy is a regular part of life for many Muslims,” Ali said yesterday. “Ontario recognizes religious marriages for Muslims and others.”
He estimates “several hundred” GTA husbands in polygamous marriages are receiving benefits. Under Islamic law, a Muslim man is permitted to have up to four spouses.
However, city and provincial officials said legally a welfare applicant can claim only one spouse. Other adults living in the same household can apply for welfare independently.
“Canada is a very liberal-minded country,” Ali said. “Canada is way ahead of Britain in this respect.”
He said Britain recently began permitting husbands to collect benefits for each of their wives.
* Breeding on infidel benefits…?
“I can assure you that polygamy is not recognized under immigration legislation,” immigration spokesman Karen Shadd-Evelyn said yesterday. “A conjugal relationship, whether involving marriage or a common-law partnership, must be exclusive.”
Councillor Rob Ford said taxpayers’ money should be spent on education and schools instead.
“This is wrong,” Ford said yesterday. “They should put a stop to this immediately.”
* Ya think??
Marriages between first cousins – prevalent in some Muslim communities in Britain – are more likely to cause birth defects in children, a government minister said last night, writes Patrick Hennessy.
Phil Woolas, the environment minister, said the culture of arranged marriages was the “elephant in the room”. They were confined mainly to families originating from rural Pakistan, he added.
“If you have a child with your cousin, the likelihood is there will be a genetic problem,” added Mr Woolas, whose constituency is the ethnically mixed Oldham East and Saddleworth.