NEW YORK: Are non Muslims afraid of Muslims law/tradition of polygamy or happy? This was a research topic of an American journalist which grabbed very interesting facts.
“[Polygamy] is not that common in the Muslim world,” Jenny B. White, a Boston University Anthropology professor who specializes in Islam, told the Observer. “Nevertheless, since it is permitted, men have taken advantage of this—particularly if they are wealthy.”
A 2008 report by NPR estimated that 50,000 to 100,000 American Muslims engage in the practice, or between 3.7 and 7.4 percent based on a population estimate by Trinity College.
Opinions about polygamy vary wildly in the Muslim world, a 2013 Pew Research study found, with Muslims in Sub-Saharan Africa being the most widely accepting. Outside of sub-Saharan Africa, however, attitudes are different. Only 4 percent of Bosnian Muslims favor polygamy.
Yusuf Khan, a web developer and entrepreneur, launched the UK-based polygamy site three months ago. The site already has over 3,000 users, he said.
When he first logged on, it looked like a standard online dating site: Women’s profiles, each with a non-identifying username, lined the page; we could filter prospects by age, location, appearance and interests.
But this wasn’t OkCupid, Match.com, or even adultery marketplace Ashley Madison. This was SecondWife.com, a matchmaking site that enables Muslim men to search for second, third, or fourth wives (the Islamic limit). On the flip side, women can search SecondWife.com profiles if they hope to become an extra wife.
“SecondWife.com wasn’t planned,” Mr. Khan said by email. Originally, he had hoped to create a more traditional matchmaking site, but found that the market was already saturated. “There [were] plenty of fish (excuse the pun) to compete with,” he said.
“The key to online success in 2014 is finding a niche,” Mr. Khan continued. “Being aware of Islam and Polygamy I saw an opportunity so decided to go with it. After doing research I discovered that we have little to [no] competition.”
The Koran permits men to marry up to four wives, as long as they can support them financially and treat them all equally. According to The Men with Many Wives director Masood Khan, as reported recently in the Telegraph, less than 5 percent of Muslims practice polygamy.
Mr. Khan hopes his clients think long and hard about whether they follow Koranic law, though his site has no way of verifying that new sign-ups are, in fact, Muslim.
But be warned: there is a system in place to prevent misusers. The site will remove any profiles that contain “abusive or disruptive messages,” and also encourages users to report suspicious behavior.
“We also charge a high premium for our service as a deterrent for misuse,” he continued, arguing that the $15 to $30 fee (for men only; every day is ladies’ night at SecondWife.com) dissuades riff raff: “If you cannot afford a subscription,” he explained, “then surely you cannot afford a second wife!”