Polygamy (file)
Polygamy (file) Hadas Porush, Flash 90

The head of the Lakiya local council in southern Israel, Salem Abu Ayish, said Tuesday in an interview with Mendi Rizel on Radio Darom that he supports polygamous marriage and that the Justice Ministry's struggle against the phenomenon is a lost cause.

In recent months, the Ministry of Justice has issued a firm line on the issue of polygamy. Last month, a memorandum of law was published by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked which seeks to impose economic sanctions on Bedouin women who declare themselves fraudulently as 'single mothers' but are, in fact, married.

When Abu Ayish was asked what message he had to convey to Shaked, he replied: "I tell her - she will not succeed and it is a matter of religion and we will not give up our religion."

Transcript of the interview:

Do you have this phenomenon (polygamy) in the community, in the sector?

"Of course, you call it polygamy, we call it Sharia and legal, religious, real, written in the Koran."

Are you in favor of polygamy?


And the fact that the state legislates laws against it is coercion?

"It can legislate, but it cannot change our religion ... We are Muslims and you are Jews, we have a religion and you have a religion and everyone follows his own ‘halacha’ [religious law]. We are allowed, according to our religion, to marry up to four women.”

If you have a message to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who fights polygamy, what message do you have to convey to her?

"I tell her - she will not succeed and it's a matter of religion and we will not give up our religion."

And you say there is no problem, we do it even if the state does not allow?

"I do not say that, but we do it."

Even if the law does not permit it, you say the Muslim religion is above the law on this issue.

"Look, religion is above the law. That’s what I think."