German Justice Minister Heiko Maas has promised to put the values of the German people above those of Muslims immigrating to Germany from developing nations by promising to “crack down” on polygamy and underage brides. Mass has promised the multiple-marriages and marriages to underage brides will not be allowed or recognized by the German government.
Over 1.1 million Muslim refugees flooded into Germany last year, bringing with them their own sets of values, culture and teenage brides. Polygamy and the act of marrying underage brides in is common among the asylum seekers. The state of Bavaria alone was able to confirm 50 cases of brides under the age of 18, and 161 under 16 in the last wave of refugees from the middle east. A government report from 2012 shows that more than half of all Muslim marriages in Germany involved a bride that was under 18 and found that 30% of Arab men living in Germany had multiple wives.
The practice has been overlooked by local police for years and Maas has decided that this “amnesty” period will be coming to an end. Maas believes it is time for the German people to protect their customs and values.
“No one who comes to us has the right to put their cultural roots or their religious beliefs above our laws,” -Justice Minister Heiko Maas
Up until now local authorities have been appeasing Muslim immigrants in anyway they can. Such as distributing a Muslim man’s wealth among his multiple wives after his death. The Muslim community has also be fighting to have their values upheld by the German government have have been finding loopholes around restrictions.
Muslims living in Germany often appeal to Sharia arbitrators that bypass official institutions to rule according to Islamic scripture. They have also utilized a 2009 law that allows religious marriages to be conducted without accompanying state registration. This allows many people, including non-muslims, to avoid government interference and carry out a whole spectrum of semi-legal marriages.
Maas has stated that these practices are all coming to an end in the near future. He said in a statement to the general public:
“No multiple marriages will be allowed to be recognized in Germany…Everyone must abide by rules and laws, whether they grew up here or are new,” -JUSTICE MINISTER HEIKO MAAS
It’s unclear how the German government plans to put an end to multiple marriages. However, it is believed that up to 500,000 Muslim immigrants plan to join their families that have settled in Germany. Many pundits believe that barring entry for women and men engaged in multiple marriages could be a tactic to prevent the practice in Germany.