Features

Can Putin ban homosexuality and endorse polygamy? Yes he can

8 August 2015

9:00 AM

8 August 2015

9:00 AM

Homosexuality may not be tolerated in today’s Russia, nor political dissent. Polygamy, though, is a different matter. Ever since news broke this summer of a 57-year-old police chief in Chechnya bullying a 17-year-old local girl into becoming his second wife, Russian nationalists and Islamic leaders alike have been lining up to call for a man’s right to take more than one wife.

Most vocal has been Ramzan Kadyrov, the flamboyant 38-year-old president of Chechnya (part of the Russian Federation), who advocates polygamy as part of ‘traditional Muslim culture’. Veteran ultranationalist politician Vladimir Zhironovsky has long held that polygamy is the solution for ‘Russia’s 10 million unmarried women’. And even Senator Yelena Mizulina, one of the architects of Russia’s anti-gay laws, is sympathetic to the idea. ‘There are not enough men, the kind with whom women would want to start a family and have children,’ Mizulina told the Duma, calling a fellow lawmaker’s plans to make polygamy a criminal offence ‘absurd’.

The latest debate was triggered in May when villagers from the tiny Chechen hamlet of Batarki complained to Novaya Gazeta — one of the few independent news-papers in Moscow — that their chief of police, Nazhud Guchigov, had threatened a local family to hand over their daughter to be his wife, or he would come and claim her by force. Guchigov also allegedly posted policemen around the village to prevent the family of 17-year-old Kheda Goilabiyeva from spiriting her to safety. Bride kidnapping, once a common Caucasian practice, has been illegal in Chechnya since 2010, and in 2012 the legal age of consent was raised to 18. Polygamy is also a civil offence under Russian Federal law — and Guchigov already has a wife and grown-up son. No matter. When the story broke and Moscow liberals began kicking up a fuss, President Kadyrov, not a man to shrink from a fight, stepped in to host the nuptials himself. ‘This is the wedding of the millennium,’ Kadyrov told Russian TV news as Kheda, wearing a traditional head–covering Muslim wedding dress and a look of barely concealed despair, was given away. The pro-Kremlin Life News TV channel quoted the bride as saying that Guchigov was ‘very manly’.

Kheda’s story shows the extent to which Chechnya has become a self-ruling sharia state within Russia. It also shows the strange ideological convolutions of Vladimir Putin’s crusade to lead the world’s conservatives.


Kadyrov came to power in 2004 after the assassination of his father, Ahmad Kadyrov, the Grand Mufti of Chechnya, who headed a Moscow-backed government that pro-independence Chechens denounced as quislings. Kadyrov Jr has banned alcohol, un-Islamic dress in government offices, and even energy drinks. Restaurants are closed in Ramadan and Chechen police have been filmed shooting immodestly dressed women with paintball guns. Kadyrov’s brutal security forces have ignored Russian law, punishing the families of Islamist terror suspects by blowing up their houses and refusing to hand over Chechen suspects to Russian investigators.

A recent analysis by the International Crisis Group entitled ‘Chechnya: The Inner Abroad’ describes the republic as ‘a virtually independent polity, with its own ideology, religious policy, security structures, economy and laws’. In truth, Vladimir Putin — whom Kadyrov describes as ‘a second father’ — has little choice but to support his local strongman’s tactics and to allow his writ to overrun Russian law, whether on polygamy or his brutal security methods. What’s strangest of all about the chorus of approval for Kadyrov’s polygamy initiative from Kremlin-supporting media and politicians is that Putin also styles himself as a defender of Russia’s Christian values. Certainly many of Putin’s European admirers see him as a kind of Christian warrior. Nigel Farage said earlier this year that ‘in the war against Islamic extremism, whatever we may think of him as a human being, [Putin] is actually on our side’. And Matteo Salvini of Italy’s Northern League believes that Russia is ‘the main bulwark against the spread of barbaric, Islamic extremism.’

The apparent paradox between Putin’s toleration for Kadyrov’s brand of sharia and his stance as defender of the Orthodox faith makes more sense if one views it in context of the Kremlin’s quest to find new friends now that the annexation of the Crimea has soured relations with the US and Europe. Putin’s been making a special effort to reach out to Muslim allies. In June, prominent Russian Orthodox clerics and Muslim religious leaders from as far afield as Syria and Indonesia attended a meeting in Moscow on Russia’s ‘strategic partnership’ with the Islamic world. A giant new mosque is due to open in Moscow in September.

Supporting polygamy is part of the Kremlin’s international culture war against western values — in the same way that the Russian state’s crusade against gay rights is used as a tool of cultural diplomacy. The Kremlin has spent considerable diplomatic capital placing Moscow front and centre of a worldwide pushback against gay marriage. In July, a Russian-led alliance of conservative Muslim and African states voted through a motion in the United Nation’s Human Rights Council lauding the conventional family — overriding European and US attempts to validate gay partnerships.

If he chose to, Putin could make a case that polygamy has a long tradition in Russia. Prince Vladimir of Kiev, who brought Orthodox Christianity to Russia in 988, had hundreds of concubines and was ‘insatiable in fornication’, according to the 12th-century Primary Chronicle. Polygamy was also legal under the Russian Empire. The practice was suppressed by the Bolsheviks in the name of women’s liberation. But polls show that popular support for polygamy is falling — even though Russia’s 16 million-strong Muslim population has been growing faster than any other demographic group. In 1999, 58 per cent of Russians were in favour of legalising it for their Muslim countrymen — but in a survey this year 58 per cent were against (over 85 per cent of respondents opposed polygamy for Russians in both surveys). What’s changed is that polygamy’s advocates — primarily Kadyrov — increasingly need to be placated. And the Kremlin sees a domestic and international benefit in tolerating the notion.

What’s perhaps most surprising about the whole affair is that Putin — who came to power thanks to a war to curb Chechen independence and Islamic radicalism — condones and supports behaviour which runs contrary not only to Russian law but to the Christian values he claims to espouse. Could it be that for the Kremlin, questions of law, God and ideology come second to the political expediency of the moment?

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Show comments
  • Giuliano Lancioni

    What is missing in this article is that Russia is, as it has always been, before and after the Soviet revolution, an imperial power. Showing the ruler’s sympathy towards ‘Muslim traditions’ is exactly what a Czar or a Secretary general did (perhaps with a different phrasing).

    Interpreting Russia as a nationalist country, opposite to an imperial one, is entirely misleading: see e.g. the composition of the current Russian governemnt (a Tuvan [Siberian Turkic] ministry of defence, an Armenian ministry of foreign affairs born in Georgia).

    • Marcus Grant

      and Stalin who was not ethnic Russian…I doubt though that Communist authorities showeed any sympathy to muslim traditions – USSR was stricly atheist state and any religion was looked at with suspicion by authorities (though religion was not prohibited…)

      • Giuliano Lancioni

        In fact, I said “with a different phrasing”: the Communist state was officially atheist indeed and didn’t encourage religious practice (even if, as you correctly state, religion was not prohibited and, I would add, most people actually did attend functions), but did a lot to respect ‘peoples’, ‘popular traditions’, and so on. A curiosity to add to how “nationalist” is different in a Russian context: how many people would think that Zhirinovsky, the supposed arch-nationalist, was born Eidelstein, and his father was a Polish Jew (even if the latter later migrated to Israel and Zhirinovsky admittedly rejected his ‘Jewishness’)?

    • sidor

      Russia has always been very tolerant to ethnic and religious minorities. It has never reached the fascist degree of nationalism that we observe in France. A French minister said: “If you are a French citizen, your ancestors are Galls. ” France officially claims that it doesn’t have any ethnic minorities.

      • Giuliano Lancioni

        That’s true, but in the case of France it should be noted that it is the only case where doors of power are really open to immigrates that accept to assimilate: Beregovoy was Ukrainian, Valls is Catalan, Sarkozy was the son of a Hungarian and a Greek Jewess, Yves Montand was Italian (born Ivo Livi in Leighorn). You must adopt the Gauls as your ancestors, but your real ancestors don’t need to be Gauls…

        • sidor

          Thanks for supporting my point. Forced assimilation is the central point of the French policy with respect to minorities. No ethnic culture is tolerated. These idiots even thought to force the Moslems to pray in French. This fascist shit has never existed in traditional empires like Russia or Britain. The right to identify oneself with an ethic group is deeply respected in Russia as a fundamental human right. The French simply don’t understand what you are talking about. I am sincerely enjoying the growing-scale failure of their stupid attempt to assimilate the Arabs. Including the recent shooting.

          • Giuliano Lancioni

            It’s true that it didn’t work, but virtually for Arabs only. Italian, Jews, Armenians, Poles, were all assimilated without problems to the point they truly felt to be nothing but Frenchmen. Probably the distance with Islamic culture is stronger and the difficulty for muslims to accept “laïcité” more difficult to reconcile. I wouldn’t define the French model as a complete failure, however.

          • sidor

            The French model, invented by Louis 14, has historically proved to be a complete failure. France, the largest European power of that time, spectacularly failed to build an empire. The new attempt to do it in the form of EU is failing too (fortunately).

            Now, we come to a fundamental question of history: what is needed to build an empire? Why the Arabs succeeded and the Mongols failed? Why the British succeeded and the French and the Dutch failed? Why the Russians succeeded and the Poles failed? It is certainly not the military power, nor the economy. What is it?

          • Giuliano Lancioni

            For one, population. The Dutch, the Poles (and I would add the Swedes) were to few to sustain an empire, or at least a world empire. After all, the Dutch, as the Portuguese, managed to set up a smaller-scale empire (notwithstanding Brazil, which anyway went its way).

            The French in my opinion succeeded in building an empire. After all, the relations between France and Francophonie are imperial, and the way France meddles in Africa is imperial. Maybe they were less successful than the Brithish because they tried to build a European empire as well, which nobody managed to do…

          • sidor

            You touched the right point: language. We can clearly see that the French attempts to spread the language around the world spectacularly failed. Despite their pathetic attempts to do it by military force in North Africa and Vietnam. One spectacular example of that failure is Russia: the francophone Russian upper class was wiped out as a result of the popular revolt in 1917.

            You are completely wrong about the Polish-Lituanian empire that was a very populous and powerful state in the 17th century. But it collapsed because the non-polish part of the population refused to speak Polish.

            Arabs are the most spectacular example of successful empire builders. A small obscure tribe managed to spread its language to a huge territory, through a book. The French assimilation attempt can do nothing against that language.

          • Giuliano Lancioni

            The Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth was fatally impaired by the “liberum veto” (i.e., the capability of any nobleman in the Diet to veto any law). Empires are possible only when the ruler is able to limit the power of the upper classes: not casually, most empires were absolute monarchies.

            Failure of language is a more complicated matter: English became the world language long after the British empire collapsed. Disraeli had to try to pronounce speeches in French…

  • Marcus Grant

    article : “Kheda’s story shows the extent to which Chechnya has become a self-ruling sharia state within Russia.

    ========

    so Russia is REAL federal state where ethnic republics are not russified and local languages, traditions and religions are really guaranteered …interesting how sometimes western press incidentally refute its own propaganda clishe anout Russia as opressive russification force that is stripping its ethnic minorities of their identity and local ethnic culture…

    • Leon Wolfeson

      It’s the exception, and there’s been repeated wars about it. You may have missed them.

      • Marcus Grant

        it is not an exeption – all ethnic republics in Caucases differs a lot from central Russia – go to Dagestan, to Kabarda etc…same way Tatarstan is very specific, Sakha (Yakut) in Siberia etc – there are some republics that have nearly no difference vs. Moscow – like Karelia or Mordovia, but others are VERY different…I am sure you have never been there if you say such nonsence…

        • Leon Wolfeson

          And none of the others have any appreciable degree of self-rule.

          • Marcus Grant

            they ALL have self-rule in their home affairs with their regional Parlaments and Presidents(or Governors) that since 2012 are elected by popular vote in those republics – same like any federal subject in any federal (non-unitary country) -like in federations like GERMANY OR CANADA OR USA or INDIA or BRAZIL or MEXICO – all those are federal states too, not unitary ones like Estonia or Ireland or Japan- you will not be able to say in which way a Brazilian regional state or german federal land (Saxonia for examle) or Indian state of Maharashtra or Rajastan etc have more rights withing Brazil, India or Germany then for example Dagestan or Bashkortostan in Russia – they all look after their homeaffairs, but have no foreighn and defence policy as those are prerogatives of federal centre – be that Moscow in Russia or Delhi in India or Berlin in Germany…More to that – German federal lands for example are much more alike looking in betveen themselves then different ethnic republics in Russia…

          • Leon Wolfeson

            And in practice, they have very little say.

          • Marcus Grant

            in which field exactly they have LESS “say” as compared to what the state of Rajastan can “say” in India or Saxony in Germany?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Er, you mean apart from any of them? I have read up on this, of course.

          • Marcus Grant

            like for example?…name something that Rajastan in India have more rights in Delhi then Bashkortostan in Moscow, Russia?…or any other example with some other country about which you know…

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You keep asking for “examples”, Putinite. When I’ve been very clear. All of them.

            “Rights”….no, the actual situation.

          • Marcus Grant

            what “all of them” means?….just give one example of those “all” – you can’t because you don’t know what you are talking about, lol…

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Go back to your handlers and ask for more ESOL lessons.

          • Marcus Grant

            hahaha!!!!…trying to change subject? – good try…have a nice day, troll….

          • Leon Wolfeson

            “trying to change subject”

            Ah, Russian grammar structure. Right.

          • Marcus Grant

            you can’t refute a point if it is written with russian grammar structure? Poor troll, you have no arguments, only “english grammar structure” at your disposal…

  • Baron

    In the West, where hypocrisy rules, there probably are more men with mistresses than there are homosexuals.

    Not that Baron favours polygamy, but it seems to him that legalising something that exists, everyone knows about, nobody objects to on moral grounds (except perhaps the spouses who’re in the dark) is preferable to legalising marriages between the same sexes.

    • cartimandua

      polygamy s abusive. Gay marriage s a social good.

      • Baron

        Coupling between sexes has evolved, was created by Him, if you prefer, for human reproduction, and that’s it, just for breeding; Lust, love or whatever had to be thrown in as welfare, midwifery, pre-packaged foods were not around when we humans started going.

        The former does exactly as it said on the tin marked ‘humans’ when Nature or He opened it, the latter does FA for reproduction.

  • jeffersonian

    ‘Nigel Farage said earlier this year that ‘in the war against Islamic extremism, whatever we may think of him as a human being, [Putin] is actually on our side’.

    Admire Mr Farage though I do, when it comes to the thug-in-a-suit in the Kremlin, both Nigel and worryingly many of my fellow kippers have shown a remarkable short-sightedness.

    The enemy of our enemy is not our friend.

    • sidor

      “The enemy of our enemy is not our friend.”

      Pity you haven’t been born earlier. You could have given your wise advice to Churchill when he met Stalin in 1942.

      • jeffersonian

        Churchill knew. The one who would have needed convincing was Roosevelt.

        • sidor

          He knew what? Have you read his war memoirs?

          • EasyStreet

            It’s far too simplistic to offer a quote from 1941 as evidence that Churchill did not foresee the West’s confrontation with the Soviets. Things changed a great deal in the months and years that followed (not least the entry into the war of the US!) and Churchill certainly anticipated the confrontation between the Soviets and the West better and earlier than the Americans did. For obvious reasons, it was not possible for him openly to state such concerns, but their effects can be seen in the well-documented tensions between Britain and the US in the closing year of the war.

            Concern over Soviet ‘imperialist’ intentions was almost certainly behind Churchill’s obsession with the Italian campaign, the ‘soft underbelly’ which he saw as the swiftest route to Berlin and thus to control of post-war Germany. In this he clashed with the Americans, who preferred to concentrate on the Northwest European campaign, and Churchill personally lobbied Eisenhower on several occasions to cancel the transfer of troops away from Italy into Southern France. Eisenhower, however, was acting on instructions from Marshall and Roosevelt and refused to buckle. The landings in Southern France were named DRAGOON at Churchill’s insistence because he felt he had been ‘dragooned’ into them. The same ‘race to Berlin’ imperative pushed Montgomery into his own confrontation with Eisenhower over strategy in Autumn 1944, which culminated in the calamity at Arnhem as Monty sought to press eastwards.

            You also can’t take Churchill’s war memoirs as gospel. They are a source like any other and need to be read with the author’s agenda in mind. Writing “I told you so about the Soviets” was hardly likely to endear Churchill to Truman in the immediate post-war period where the two powers were involved in a delicate transfer of global status and nuclear weapons technology, among other things. The settled academic view today is that Churchill was well ahead of Roosevelt on the nature of the post-war relationship with Stalin.

          • sidor

            “It’s far too simplistic to offer a quote from 1941 as evidence that Churchill did not foresee the West’s confrontation with the Soviets.”

            It is far too simplistic to assume that Churchill was an idiot to the extent that he failed to understand in 1941 that the very existence of Britain as a sovereign state is decided in the snow fields of Russia. It was the same story as in 1812.

            This doesn’t exclude the obvious stupidity of many of the Churchill’s specific decisions during the war. He apparently failed to understand that it is a quite different war than WWI, and France is not anymore his ally. That explains his strange affair with de Gaulle.

          • Marlinspike2014

            “You could have given your wise advice to Churchill when he met Stalin in 1942.”

            Of course, it was Churchill who advocated continuing the war against Russia after the fall of Nazi Germany, and the Americans who declined.

        • sidor

          “The Russian danger is therefore our danger, and the danger of the United States, just as the cause of any Russian fighting for his hearth and home is the cause of free men and free peoples in every quarter of the globe.” Churchill, 1941.

          • RobertC

            I expect there were many a ‘Russian fighting for his hearth and home’, and perhaps a few fighting for his political goals.

          • sidor

            Whose political goals?

          • RobertC

            Each soldier’s goals. A few might be for the Red Flag, but most would be fighting to escape being conquered by the current known enemy: Germany, controlled by the SS.

          • sidor

            I don’t think you understand what you are talking about. Do you suggest that people were heroically dying just to escape something? The political goal of the Red Army soldiers in 1941 was clear: to defend their country the symbol of which was red flag. In military conflicts, those who fight for a cause beyond their own existence have a huge advantage as compared with those who fight for their personal interest. You can kill for the personal interest, but you will not die for it.

          • RobertC

            The feeling is mutual!

            Those who I knew that fought in WWII (and WWI) did not fight for Socialism, Communism, Capitalism or any other political or economic creed. They didn’t have plans for global political domination. They fought to keep Britain and her Allies independent from Germany and her associates. They wanted to return to their families and continue where they left off.

            As Churchill said about the Russians: “… just as the cause of any Russian fighting for his hearth and home is the
            cause of free men and free peoples in every quarter of the globe”, it would be true about the Allies’ soldiers.

            Churchill was making his statement non-political, about families and community, not about political elites ruling a subdued population.

          • sidor

            You still didn’t get it. People who volunteered to SOE had less than 50% chances to survive for more that 2 weeks. And they knew it. Do you suggest they did it “to return to their families”?

            Russia would have lost the war if its soldiers thought in the way you described. They won because they were ready to die. That is, they were fighting for the cause beyond their existence.

          • RobertC

            I was responding to this:

            EasyStreet:It’s far too simplistic to offer a quote from 1941 as evidence that Churchill did not foresee the West’s confrontation with the Soviets.

            So, did Churchill say anything that at least hints that he was aware of the threat? As I have already posted, “Churchill was making his statement non-political, about families and community, not about political elites ruling a subdued population.”

            I say this because Churchill said, “… I expect there were many a ‘Russian fighting for his hearth and home’ ”

            Churchill introduced ‘hearth and home’, a reference to family, not me! He wanted to say he supported those fighting patriotically. He couldn’t say that he didn’t support those wanting Communism across Europe.

            The soldiers didn’t have the statistics that you had. They just knew war was dangerous and they were supporting their country, patriotically, as most did from all nationalities.

    • Cyril Sneer

      Russia is really not our enemy but we (the west inc the USA) have made it so.

      Good job to the Obamanut. Not only has he sent us back decades with race relations but he’s also re-ignited the cold war. Another job done by the liberal mong in the Whitehouse.

      • jeffersonian

        I agree with you on both counts, although perhaps I’m more cynical about Putin. But the fact that Obama has been a calamity as a president is beyond dispute.

        • Voiceofreason321

          Great, another idiot. Tell me, how many wars has Obama started in comparison to his predecessor?

      • Voiceofreason321

        How naïve. Palin is a serious threat to world stability ~ if you can’t see that, you’re an idiot. Oh, wait , you said ‘the Obamanut’. Yeah, idiot.

  • ConservativeSmasher

    Wait. The Kremlin is tying itself in ideological knots because it endorses polygamous marriage, while banning homosexual marriage?

    What does that say about many Western nations like the U.K., the U.S, and Canada, which endorse homosexual marriage, while banning polygamous marriage?

    There’s an old saying about people in glass houses.

    • cartimandua

      Gay marriage a social good. Polygamy s abusive to women and frees up young men to fight.

      • Baron

        You keep telling us gay marriage is a social good, what good would it be then?

      • Giuliano Lancioni

        I think we’re missing a point here. Either we accept that everybody (while adult) lives the way s/he likes it, including polygamy (which I personally find repellent, but that’s just my way), ore we go back to the idea of an ethical state that determines what is a social good and what is not. Shooting enemies of the people was a social good in Stalinist Russia (and many people thought it was indeed): if social benefits are the only measure, you don’t know where you end up.

        Gay marriage should be allowed because people want this way for their own lives, not because it is a social good, which is something which should be argued: after all, polygamists beget, or at least try to, which produce new taxpayers, while gay couples are an inherent burden on social security when they grow older.

        • Marcus Grant

          Giuliano Lancioni wrote :”I think we’re missing a point here. Either we accept that everybody (while adult) lives the way s/he likes it, including polygamy

          ======

          they can live the way they like but they should not steal the word “marriage” – if you or I start producing new beverage and call it as “Coca-Cola” for better sales, then real ‘Coca Colla will sue us for millions of dollars and put us in prison for stealing their label and their copyright – the word “marriage” had aquired its meaning as the union of one man and one woman in Cristian tradition that is more then 2 000 years old….muslim poligamous “marriage” is called ʻaqd al-qirān, that is translated as “matrimony contract” – somlet them have their 4 women within this “contract” – but don’t translate it as “marriage” and don’t call it like that – it is seducing those who think that if “marriage” is good then anything that people would call like that will be good too…same about gay unions – they may find their own word for that, but nor confuse people by stealing the word MARRIAGE from its original meaning…

          • Giuliano Lancioni

            ‘Marriage’ happened to exist long before Christianism (don’t forget the ‘h’).

          • Marcus Grant

            ‘Marriage’ happened to exist long before Christianism

            =======

            you mean it is OK to call a union with a tree as a marriage then? – or with your car ? – or with your flat? – after all no copyright for the word, right? – in judicial practice there is such a notion as “tradition of the land” – according to it Cristian marriage dominated Europe and Americas for centuries and that fact has established the norm about what exactly is called as marriage in languages of Europe and Americas – to change that is impossible without violation of common law and tradition of lands by those who support the idea of calling other types of concubenage as marriage …

          • Linguistician

            You’re insane.

          • Marcus Grant

            Matthew 5:22 :

            But I say to you that everyone …. whoever says, “You’re insane!” will be liable to the hell of fire.

          • Linguistician

            Thanks for confirming my earlier statement!

      • RobertC

        Only if you want to believe it:
        New Study On Homosexual Parents Tops All Previous Research
        http://www.frc.org/issuebrief/new-study-on-homosexual-parents-tops-all-previous-research

      • ConservativeSmasher

        I think polygamous marriage is a social good. Gay marriage is abusive to men and children.

    • Marcus Grant

      ConservativeSmasher wrote : “The Kremlin is tying itself in ideological knots because it endorses polygamous marriage

      =======

      where does it say that Kremlin ENDORSES polygamous marriage? – 2 parlament members and one regional governor of chechnya ( 1 of 85 regional governors) say they would have endorsed it… no any reason to think that Kremlin or Putin will follow their advice (taking into account current policy of promoting Orthodox Christian values in Russia)

      • ConservativeSmasher

        I’m only quoting the article, Marcus.

  • Damaris Tighe

    Polygamy is an abomination. It destroys the ideal of a close partnership of one man & one woman & it makes the husband all-powerful because he can play off one wife against the other. I can understand why Islam would practise it.

    • Baron

      How does polygamy differ from men having mistresses then? Often ones they have kids with, the wives know about, friends, or in case of celebrities, politicians, the public is aware of?

      Once we’ve opened the door for homosexuals to squeeze through, it’s only a matter of time before polygamists will, too. Even more so if our friends, who worship on the altar of Allah have anything to do with it.

      The great Marke Steyn said it well: “If the sex of the participants is no longer relevant, why should the number be?’

      • Damaris Tighe

        I agree with your paragraphs 2 & 3.

        Monogamous marriage between – let’s say – two persons is an ideal & adultery is one of the few taboos left in our society. Polygamy in effect downgrades the wife & upgrades the mistress. As long as the husband can support them it provides women on tap, thus weakening the position of wives (although Muslims are limited to four wives this can be overcome by divorcing the one the husband is tired of so he can add his latest desire).

        While there is still sanction against infidelity, with polygamy infidelity is raised to marital status. This is one reason why polygamous Muslim households are often so tense & unhappy, filtering down to the children & no doubt contributing to their predisposition to violence.

        Anything good is always violated. Just because the ideal of monogamous marriage often falls short in practice, doesn’t means that it isn’t a good ideal. Monogamous marriage tames testosterone by requiring the man to stick to one woman – even if it fails in practice it still holds up the standard of fidelity to one partner & thus makes the male/female dynamic in marriage more equal.

      • Yorkieeye

        Because marriage is an official contract or a sacrament of the church. Infidelity is just cheating on that agreement. Many woman would be coerced or sold into polygamist marriages. In the 21st century do we really want to take away the few rights of self determination that women have in some countries? Polygamy would also be elitist, with families selling their daughters to the richest and most powerful/influential men in society. Think of your own seventeen year old daughters and granddaughters being targeted by some old badger who fancies getting his hands on some young, unsullied flesh!

        • Baron

          You don’t have to convince Baron, Yorkieeye, he’s against both the homo and poly extension of the marriage contract.

    • Zarniwoop

      Hebrews also practiced it

      • Damaris Tighe

        As did many pre-Christian & non-Christian peoples.

  • cartimandua

    Why are there not enough young men? Russian men die n their 60s of drink but the rest?
    Migrated or died n the army Where did they go?

    • The_greyhound

      There are enough men.
      There are too many women.

  • cartimandua

    There are lots of Chechens raping kids n Daesh land. They are not a civilized people.

    • sidor

      A fundamentally wrong opinion of a person who doesn’t understand what is going on. ISIS represents another civilisation with deep historical roots. We are dealing with a clash of civilisations. The same kind of conflict was running in Britain 400 years ago: some preferred Latin for the prayers, other prayed in English. That was the point of a huge bloodshed.

      • The_greyhound

        What huge bloodshed? By sixteenth century standards the Reformation and attempted counter-reformation went off quite quietly, with mortality in the hundreds rather than thousands. And by 1615, 400 years ago, it was all over.

        • sidor

          2/3 of the population of Germany and 3/4 of the Czech died in the 30-years war.

  • Sean Lamb

    And Vladimir Putin has precisely what connection with all this? There is polygamy in Utah, no one thinks its Obama’s responsibility.

    • Marcus Grant

      Sean Lamb ASKED : “And Vladimir Putin has precisely what connection with all this?

      ======

      actually he doesn’t even pretend to have any connection with that…simply this article is trying to “connect” him with that – but if you read it attentivelly you will realise that it (article) PRESENTS NO ANY FACTS OF PUTIN’S CONNECTION TO THAT…

  • sidor

    I can smell some air of discrimination with respect to polygamy. Can anyone present a single rational reason why same sex marriage is socially accepted and supposedly moral while living in mutual love in a family of one man and 2 women is not? The opinion on that matter of the representatives of militant homosexual community is of particular interest.

    • The_greyhound

      How about one woman with two blokes then, is that OK?

      • ConservativeSmasher

        Not that it’s going to happen but sure – why not?

        If that’s what the two blokes want and that’s what the woman wants, why shouldn’t they?

        • Linguistician

          So, you’re only ok with it because you think it’s not going to happen?

          • sidor

            It happens regularly. Many women routinely have an extramarital affair.

      • Zarniwoop

        Tilda Swinton would be happy with that arrangement

    • ConservativeSmasher

      You hit the nail on the head, sidor!

      It all comes down to “Marriage equality for me but not for thee.”

    • Yorkieeye

      If you are a Chritian, yes, it is easy.

      • sidor

        As a Christian I would prefer two wives to sodomy.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          Which brand of Christianity is that? Church of the Anti-Christ?

          I, of course, have no issue with that. Just trying to fit your expressed views to a church.

  • Baron

    Mr. Matthews starts the rant big: ‘homosexuality may not be tolerated in today’s Russia, nor political dissent’. Hmmm

    When he’s next in Moscow, he should find ‘911 Cafe’, go have a peep, also visit ‘The Rain’ a TV station broadcasting on the Net from Moscow, 50,000 subscribers, have a chat, he will like the young people there, they kick the KGB colonel, love the BBC $rap, have a slot for it.

    falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus

  • Mr Grumpy

    Polygamy is legal in virtually every Muslim majority country other than Turkey. It is legal for Muslims in India (a precedent which I expect to see touted much nearer home before long). Does Mr Matthews seriously doubt that it would be legal in an independent Chechnya?

    I’m no fan of Putin but the agenda here is transparent.

    • Marlinspike2014

      Agenda?

      Is it legal in Russia, or not? Is it legal in Chechnya, or not?

      • Oleg

        Not yet.

        • Marlinspike2014

          Men need to lay off the homemade spirits and Spice then they won’t need polygamy laws.

  • Dan O’Connor

    Why the Gate Keepers of the Truth– the entire morally degenerate mainstream Western political/ NGO / civil sector / media and academic elite, have a soft spot for creating an abnormal and unnaturally perverse ideology that glorifies the inhuman de-kinisation, dispossession and replacement of their own historical peoples, while interpreting it as the last word in social progress and proof of their own moral supermacy.
    Yes, why ?

  • Fulgentian

    “the Kremlin’s international culture war against western values ”
    That’s the problem. Which is the greater enemy for Russia, the West or Islam? It’s clearly the former.

    Goodbye Liberal Democracy, it was fun while it lasted.

  • The Wet One

    Well this is certainly interesting.

  • Anton

    It’s funny to read British articles about Russia. It seems like you don’t speak Russian and know nothing about Russian culture.

    Russian nationalists have never supported Kadyrov if you may not know..

  • cartimandua

    Polygamy frees up young men to fight. They wont be fighting for Russia so its very stupid to permit it.

  • Babenko Alisa

    Why author never mentioned, that according to law Nazhud Guchigov was not married – he did not register officially his first marriage, there was no stamp in his passport, that he had a wife and children. So, according to Russian laws, his marriage with Kheda Goilabiyeva was not polygamy at all. How many men all over the world live with women without official marriage, and latter leave previous family to make another one with younger ladies with officially registered wedding? Should public consider all such marriages to be polygamy? Then, why do not you blame Boris Nemtsov to be a polygamist with all his countless wives/ex-wives and mistresses?

    • Bonkim

      Good point. It is polygamy if you get married formally – but have many mistresses/live in women – no problem.

    • cartimandua

      There don’t produce litters of children and that doesn’t free up young males to fight or migrate.

  • digpig

    The Head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, is required by Orthodox Canon Law to be a celibate monk. However he lives more or less openly with a woman who is widely reputed to be his civil wife.

    So in Putin’s Russia anything goes.

  • Julia Gasper

    Owen Matthews is talking a load of rubbish here, Homosexuality is legal in Russia and nobody has suggested banning it. Only obscene public parades are banned.

  • Julia Gasper

    Homosexuality is legal in Russia. Only obscene public parades are “not tolerated”. It is worrying that the Spectator, which is supposed to be an up-market rag for educated people, runs an article claiming that Russia has banned homosexuality. Sheer LGBT propaganda. I suggest that we write to the editor, Fraser Nelson, and tell him to be more careful what he prints and which writers he selects. His e-mail address is

    • Cyril Sneer

      Yes absolutely right, also Putin was quite clear about this when interviewed during the Sochi Olympics. Yet more liberal western propaganda.

  • cartimandua

    Polygamy frees up young males to fight they have no stake in their society so they fight or migrate.
    They wont be fighting for Russia so as a strategy it is producing more crocs who will actually bite them.
    This may not bother oligarchs who have lots of bodyguards and don’t take public transport. bet their kids dodge conscription too.

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