Unequal Marriage

By DeusExMacintosh

Definition of 'marriage' should remain unchanged

The UK’s largest Muslim body today spoke out in support of Church leaders backing traditional marriage, following the Coalition Government’s proposed changes to the role and status of the institution.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said that it agreed with sentiments expressed by the Archbishop of Canterbury (in his recent address to the Council of Churches in Geneva), and by two senior Catholic leaders, Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Peter Smith, in a letter read out to Catholic congregations, backed up by Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s recent letter to the Sunday Telegraph, in support of traditional marriage.

The Church leaders were prompted to make their statements after the Government announced the launch of a consultation process to change the legal definition of marriage.

Speaking today, Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the MCB, said:

“Whilst we remain opposed to all forms of discrimination – including homophobia – redefining the meaning of marriage is in our opinion unnecessary and unhelpful. With the advent of civil partnerships, both homosexual and heterosexual couples now have equal rights in the eyes of the law. Therefore, in our view the case to change the definition of marriage, as accepted throughout time and across cultures, is strikingly weak.”

MCB press release

So does that mean the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain just came out and said Mohammed was WRONG for having more than one wife?

H/T to the BBC’s Home Editor Mark Easton on Twitter @BBCMarkEaston


  1. Posted March 20, 2012 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    Sigh, it gets even more depressing. Apparently one in five young asians think ‘honour’ violence is justified according to a poll featured in tonight’s Panorama. Let’s hear it for those “traditional values”… where a woman should be beaten if she shames her family by not marrying who they tell her to. *headdesk*

  2. Patrick
    Posted March 20, 2012 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    If only it was merely beatings, DEM. Honour killings/crimes should come with savage sentence for the perpetrators but with public humiliation for the entire family of everyone involved, or at least all the males.

    Something like standing the local shopping mall with a sign describing what happened in their names.

  3. Posted March 20, 2012 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Salzman explains the cultural source of dishonour killings quite well.

    Women are to breed (sons) for the lineage. They cannot gain honour, they can only lose it.

    Men are to protect the capacity of their lineage’s women to breed for the lineage. So they can (re)gain honour by retribution. There is little or no generalised obligation to protect and respect women.

  4. Posted March 20, 2012 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Yes Patrick, but only 3% supported honour killings, the one in five figure was just those supporting “physical punishment” for the girls… *doubleheaddesk*

  5. Posted March 20, 2012 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    In other news, dogs must be carried on the Underground, and if your baby does not like spinach, try boiling it in milk.

    A lighter comment, I know, but the MCB flunky who made that statement clearly wasn’t told ‘use the dictionary’ often enough when he was a child.

  6. davidp
    Posted March 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Re: the one in five supporting honour violence, a very scary report from The Age today, “a small but significant proportion of Indonesians are hostile to Australia. About 12 per cent were in favour of the Indonesian government encouraging militant groups to attack.” That corresponds to 28 million supporting attacks on Australia or Australians! A different cultural group, but another scary tolerance for violence.

    At the bottom of http://www.theage.com.au/world/five-killed-in-bali-raids-were-terrorists-police-20120319-1vfui.html

  7. davidp
    Posted March 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Lorenzo’s review of Salzman is very interesting. I’ll be trying to get the book.

  8. Moz
    Posted March 20, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I was thinking that they’d endorse marriage as “up to four women and no more than one man”, which I know my sister would be happy with, Their marriage has 0 men, 2 women, and that fits the muslim requirements…

    Other than that, my usual objections to basically everything they have to say. Bah, humbug. And whatever happened to the Jewish stricture that a wife is entitled to sexual satisfaction? The Christ-followers seem to have lost that one somewhere…

  9. Posted March 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    That seems reasonable to me. I mean really, how is a religion supposed to make the world a better place if they can’t arbitrarily hate on people.

    Therefore, in our view the case to change the definition of marriage, as accepted throughout time and across cultures, is strikingly weak.

    I think that statement makes more sense without those words.

    …one in five young asians think ‘honour’ violence is justified…

    It’d be nice if they narrowed down the culture a bit from just ‘asian’. I’m guessing there’d be significant variation between countries and regions within the continent.

    In other news, dogs must be carried on the Underground, and if your baby does not like spinach, try boiling it in milk.

    Thanks, now I have two images in my head: one of a man on a subway with a German Sheppard in his arms and another of a baby in a boiling saucepan of milk.

  10. Posted March 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    You’d be surprised, Desipis. For some reason most of the British Asian population seem to have all ended up from areas around the Punjab (the only newcomers being the Kurds from Iraq/Turkey borders) so we’ve had honour killing convictions from Muslim, Hindu and even the Sikh communities as the base culture overwhich the religion has been laid is pretty much identical. I’m just off to watch the episode on iPlayer but suspect the major difference will actually be in the higher tolerance of violence among Asian men than their sisters.

  11. Patrick
    Posted March 22, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    DEM, you are right, but not insofar as you suggested Desipis is wrong.

    You seem to have pretty much narrowed it down yourself to what we still call subcontinentals, or even more narrowly to punjabis!

    You don’t suggest a particularly high level of honour killings amonst Chinese, Viets, Koreans, Thai, Malays, Indos, Japanese, Laotians, Cambodians, Hmong, etc, do you?

    And if you go to France or Australia you will see that Lebanese and North Africans have this problem that all those other countries I just mentioned don’t.

    Just call this mysterious region the uncilivised belt, that should do.

  12. Jonathan D
    Posted March 22, 2012 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Patrick, it’s probably worth noting that the Chinese, etc. that you mention are in Britain not generally referred to as “Asian”. “Asian” mostly means the subcontinent. East Asians end up in “Oriental” or “Chinese or other” type categories.

  13. Posted March 22, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Jonathan, I suspect the issue of terminology you raise is the source of the disagreement. I definitely have the list Patrick refers to in mind when the word ‘asian’ is used.

  14. davidp
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    I think in the UK “Asian” is an abbreviation of “South Asian” which means “having ancestry from the Indian sub-continent”.

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