On 9 October, Dutch website GeenStijl reported on a series named “Allah in Europe” commissioned by Dutch Public Broadcaster VPRO. Presented as “providing necessary perspective and that all-important nuance in the debate about integration“, GeenStijl has selected a rather dreadful fragment, the entire documentary can be seen here.
Of course, it takes place in Sweden, where it now seems rather commonplace for feminists to promote Islamic polygamy, even though it’s a deeply patriarchal institute.
In the video fragment above, the male Syrian migrant explains that he has two homes, two wives for which he receives 735 euro in government welfare “per wife” and nine children, who all live on the premise. He continues by saying that in Syria this was not a problem, and that a man could even marry three to four women. He continues by (jokingly?) saying he now plans to marry a third woman, a Swedish one.
The Dutch presenter continues by (jokingly?) saying: “I can feel some enrichment of Swedish culture going on here“.
But leave it to the Swedish woman present to overdo it and to go beyond parody:
“What I’ve learned, during my years working with people from different countries, is that you have to be very respectful of different cultures, because in every culture there is something that is better than in your culture.
In the tradition where they come from, the wife has to do a lot. They have to serve the man. And that’s very hard. If you have a few kids, you need to wash, you need to cook, you need to go shopping. So actually, there are women who tell their husband to get a second wife. And they are involved in looking for a good second wife. I can feel like that sometimes too!”
But then, as is so often the case, utopia clashes with reality. When the migrant’s first wife is asked whether her husband seeks her permission when looking for a second or third wife, she comments:
“With or without my permission, he does what he wants anyway. Of course I don’t have a choice.”
And just to undo any doubt, the translator emphasises:
“She cannot say anything. It’s his choice. He can get married alone, he doesn’t say anything to her. She has nothing to say about it.”