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Libyan interim leader’s remark favoring polygamy stirs anger

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New York Times
October 31, 2011

It was just a passing reference to marriage in a leader’s soberly delivered speech, but all week it has unsettled women in Libya as well as allies abroad.

In announcing the success of the Libyan revolution and calling for a new, more pious nation, the head of the interim government, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, also seemed to clear the way for unrestricted polygamy in a Muslim country where it has been limited and rare for decades.

It looked like a sizable step backward for women at a moment when much here – institutions, laws, social relations – is still in play after the end of Moammar Gadhafi’s 42 years of authoritarian rule.

In his speech, Abdul-Jalil declared that a Gadhafi-era law that placed restrictions on multiple marriages, which is a tenet of Islamic law, or Shariah, would be done away with. The law, which stated that a first wife had to give permission before others were added, for instance, had kept polygamy rare here.

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This article was posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 at 4:01 am





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