The Islamis Polygamy law, allowing men to acquire four wives at the same time as long as each is treated equally as others, has been the topic of many debates around the women’s rights movements in Islamic countries.
And throughout Islamic women’s rights movement history, its opponents have taken drastic measures to shed light on the unfairness of this ancient law towards Muslim women. A Saudi Arabian Journalist and a women’s rights activist talk-show host, Nadine Al-bedair, turned the tables, and assumed the rights of Islamic polygamy given to a man, as she went on talking about all the men she would marry, all from different backgrounds, races and ethnicities, shapes and sizes.
In her article, she explained that her own belief in monogamy made her think about this kind of “make them feel what we feel” strategy that was described by a cleric as an “appeal for people to wake up and see how badly some women are treated by their husbands.” She switched the rolls to provoke outrage, and her daring decision to go against the supposedly God-given status quo caused a lot of rage among Muslims.
In her Interview with Marie Claire magazine she talked about how “Muslim women have tried before to point out the inequalities in the polygamous marriage system, but nobody listened. I had to scream to start a debate.” And this scream even caused Muslim fundamentalist to send her death threats. “I refuse to be intimidated,” she says, noting that she has also received hundreds of letters of support. “I’ve got people talking,” she says, “and I’m proud of that.”
By Abigail Haworth, The Case for a Harem of Husban