Sharia Alert from modern, moderate Malaysia: many monogamous Muslim men were actually secretly polygamous. From AFP:
KUALA LUMPUR — Authorities in northern Malaysia plan to annul nearly 200 marriages performed by an imam who allowed Muslim men to secretly take multiple wives, reports said Thursday.
Officials in Kelantan state, the only state in the country that is ruled by a hardline Islamic party, said that the imam belonged to a criminal syndicate that charged couples for covert wedding ceremonies.
“The imam is not authorized to solemnize marriages,” the director of Kelantan’s Islamic affairs department, Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman, was quoted as saying in the New Straits Times, adding that 199 couples would be summoned.
“We are tracing them through the addresses provided to the syndicate,” Abdul Aziz said. “Surprisingly, the addresses are correct but nothing about their marriages is valid. The certificates, stamps, and signatures were all forged.”
The syndicate, believed to be in operation for about five years, is used by Muslim men who want to take extra wives without their spouses knowing, and also by eloping couples, the newspaper said.