Saudi Journalist Stirs The Marital Pot
"Allow me to choose four, five or even nine men, just as my wildest imagination shall choose. I’ll pick them with different shapes and sizes, one of them will be dark and the other will be blond. ... [T]hey will be chosen from different backgrounds, religions, races and nations.”
So reads the first paragraph of Saudi journalist Nadine Bedair’s controversial article, recently published in the Egyptian independent daily Al Masry Al Youm, that raised the question of why only men are allowed to practice polygamy in Islam but not women.
As expected, the daring article, entitled "My Four Husbands and I," has stirred the pot among various groups.
Comments and criticism on the article continue to trickle in at a steady pace nearly a month after its publication, especially in Egypt, from where it originated. There, some Muslim authorities and lawmakers have attacked Bedair, condemning her writings as inflammatory and sexually provocative.
One of those who reacted with fury to her reflections on the alleged unfairness of polygamy in Islam was Sheikh Mohamed Gama’i. He lashed out at the Saudi journalist in an article published on an Egyptian news site, saying that “no woman has the right to attack our traditions in this manner” and said that Bedair ought to be “stopped.”
The article has also irritated some in Egyptian political circles, with one member of parliament reportedly filing a lawsuit against Al Masry Al Youm on accusations of promoting vice.
In her argument, Bedair suggests that either both men and women be permitted to take several spouses or that it’s time to make the rules more fair and come up with a new "map of marriage" in which men can’t marry more women just because they’ve gotten bored with the old one.
More About Saudi Arabia On AWR