IFOP poll suggests French Muslims torn between traditional and modern relationships

According to a recently released IFOP poll, French Muslims are torn between tradition and modernity when it comes to relationships and marriage. Done for an online dating service, the poll found huge opposition to both polygamy and arranged marriages.

The poll suggests that the group’s value system remains “impregnated” with a moral code which views sex as legitimate only within a marriage and which strongly influences marriage partner choices. The poll found that 84% opposed the legalization of polygamy in France, while 83% reject the notion that parents should choose spouses for their children. Roughly three out of four (73%) are against sex outside marriage, while 53% said they were unwilling to marry a non-Muslim.

The telephone poll involved 503 respondents interviewed Nov. 23-24, 2010. The poll’s margin of error is between 1.3 and 4.4 percentage points, according to Ifop.

IFOP poll suggests French Muslims torn between traditional and modern relationships

According to a recently released IFOP poll, French Muslims are torn between tradition and modernity when it comes to relationships and marriage. Done for an online dating service, the poll found huge opposition to both polygamy and arranged marriages.

The poll suggests that the group’s value system remains “impregnated” with a moral code which views sex as legitimate only within a marriage and which strongly influences marriage partner choices. The poll found that 84% opposed the legalization of polygamy in France, while 83% reject the notion that parents should choose spouses for their children. Roughly three out of four (73%) are against sex outside marriage, while 53% said they were unwilling to marry a non-Muslim.

The telephone poll involved 503 respondents interviewed Nov. 23-24, 2010. The poll’s margin of error is between 1.3 and 4.4 percentage points, according to Ifop.

Sarkozy says polygamy and female circumcision are not grounds to lose citizenship

News Agencies – September 6, 2010
President Nicolas Sarkozy vowed to press ahead with plans to strip French citizenship from immigrants who attack police, but ruled out that punishment for those who practice polygamy or promote female circumcision. Sarkozy first proposed reversing the naturalisation of immigrants convicted of endangering the lives of police in July in response to three days of urban riots in the southern city of Grenoble after police shot dead a suspected armed robber.
But the president’s proposals and a separate call by his Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux to strip the nationality of polygamists and female circumcision advocates, have been fiercely criticized by the opposition and some legal experts.
Left-wing and intellectual critics accuse Sarkozy of playing to racist sentiment by lumping violent crime and immigration together, and creating two classes of citizenship. Tens of thousands of demonstrators protested in several cities against Sarkozy’s security crackdown, which has included the highly publicized rounding up and expulsion of illegal Roma migrants. The government called the protest a flop.

Muslim man at centre of French firestorm over polygamy charged with aggravated rape

News Agencies – August 7, 2010

A Muslim Frenchman cited by officials as a reason behind a crackdown on polygamy has been charged with aggravated rape. Lies Hebbadj, who lives in the Nantes region, was charged with aggravated rape based on a complaint from a former companion. The Algerian-born Hebbadj made headlines for purportedly being a polygamist, but because his reported four companions and up to 15 children live under separate roofs investigators could not prove polygamy as defined by law. He was charged in June with fraud for allegedly collecting too much state aid for the women and children.
The case became public last April when his veiled wife was issued a traffic citation for driving with apparel that hinders vision.
French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux referred to Hebbadj before announcing plans to include polygamy and female genital mutilation on a list of practices that could lead to revocation of French citizenship from immigrants. Hortefeux said he would formally submit the plan, which has drawn controversy, by the end of the month.

French judge hands Muslim man at centre of burqa controversy preliminary charges

A French judge has filed preliminary charges of fraud against an Algerian-born man who spoke out after his companion, wearing a burqa, was cited for driving while her vision was hindered. The preliminary charges against Lies Hebbadj, including fraud, didn’t stem directly from the traffic citation but from an investigation that followed.

After his companion was cited in April 2010 for driving while wearing apparel that hindered her vision, Hebbadj spoke out publicly in her defence. It then emerged that he was suspected of polygamy, with France’s interior minister suggesting he had four wives. The judge did not file preliminary polygamy charges against Hebbadj, but charged him with collecting too much money in state aid to single parents. Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux insisted that in reality Hebbadj was living in a polygamous state, even if he wasn’t legally married to all four women, and called for his citizenship to be stripped.

The Lies Hebbadj Affair in France Could Result in Tougher Anti-Polygamy Laws

Lies Hebbadj, the Muslim businessperson in Nantes who has received a great deal of media attention since his wife was fined with a traffic ticket (see: http://www.euro-islam.info/2010/04/26/french-muslim-denies-polygamy-admits-to-mistresses/), has precipitated a new legal proposal to further criminalize polygamy in France (please see the Senate proposal below). Polygamy has been illegal in France since the 1993 Pasqua law; there are approximately 20, 000 polygamous families in the Republic.

Polygamy question in France continues, CFCM weighs in

A French Muslim threatened by the government with being stripped of his passport for practicing polygamy said he had only one wife and several mistresses. The case of Lies Hebbadj, an Algerian-born butcher who became a citizen when he married a French woman in 1999, has flared into a major political debate. The government, which days earlier announced it planned to ban the full veil from the streets of France, said Mr. Hebbadj appeared to have several wives and suggested that he lose his French nationality. But Mr. Hebbadj denied having more than one wife, saying other women he has had children with were his lovers.

The French government has said it has information that Mr. Hebbadj is married to four women with 12 children and accuses them of fraudulently claiming single parent benefits. “If the French consider that fraudulent polygamy and benefit claims shouldn’t be allowed, then … we could well imagine a change to the law,” Immigration Minister Eric Besson told RTL radio, suggesting a tightening of legislation. Frederic Lefebvre, a spokesperson for the ruling UMP party, accused Mr. Hebbadj of being “someone whom we can well suspect of practicing polygamy, which is against the principles of our society, for financial aims.”

The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) condemned the information dispelled by Mr. Hebbadj who claimed that the tradition of Islam allowed mistresses. The CFCM spokesperson said, they were “Lies about the legality of mistresses in Islam” and “qualified these allegations as offensive and insulting for the Muslim religion.” The organization also reminded French Imams who grant religiously-understood marriage contracts that polygamy in France is illegal.

French Muslim denies polygamy, admits to mistresses

A French Muslim threatened by the government with being stripped of his passport for practicing polygamy had publicly stated he has one wife and several mistresses. The case of Lies Hebbadj, an Algerian-born butcher who became a citizen when he married a French woman in 1999, has flared into a major political row with opposition parties accusing the government of exploiting the situation.

The story came to light on when Mr. Hebbadj’s wife, Anne, complained she had been fined for driving while wearing an Islamic veil, which police said was dangerous. The government, which days earlier announced it planned to ban the full veil from the streets of France, said Mr. Hebbadj appeared to have several wives and suggested that he lose his French nationality.

But Mr. Hebbadj denied having more than one wife, saying other women he has had children with were his lovers. “If one can be stripped of one’s French nationality for having mistresses, then many French could lose theirs,” he said.

A person can see their French passport taken away if they acquired it through fraud – if, for instance, Mr. Hebbadj hid an existing marriage when he married Anne. Mistresses, however, are hardly unusual in France, where former President Francois Mitterrand maintained a hidden, second family for years.

The French government has said it has information that Mr. Hebbadj is married to four women with 12 children and accuses them of fraudulently claiming single parent benefits. Frederic Lefebvre, a spokesman for the ruling UMP party, accused Mr. Hebbadj of being “someone whom we can well suspect of practicing polygamy, which is against the principles of our society, for financial aims.”

Report on Polygamy in France

French think tank the Montaigne Institute recently published this study on polygamy in France, highlighting the dangers for women in these marital arrangements.

This report suggests that 500,000 people are affected by polygamous households, including adults and children. It includes 10 recommendations.

The Pasqua law in 1993 formally prohibited polygamy in France.

Report on polygamy in France

This article chronicles the financially and politically difficult lives of French polygamists of Malian and Senegalese-origins who live in housing projects near Paris. French think tank the Montaigne Institute recently publicized a study conducted on polygamy in France, where they highlight the dangers for women in these marital arrangements. The report suggests that 500,000 people are affected by polygamous households, including adults and children. It includes 10 recommendations. The Pasqua law in 1993 formally prohibited polygamy in France.