Greenbelt Interfaith News
    World Brief

    July 31, 1997

    British Muslim is Denied Pension

    A British appeal court has denied a widow's pension to a Muslim woman because her husband took a second wife. The court ruled on June 25 that Fuljan Bibi could not be considered the widow of her late husband, Suhab Ali, because Mr. Ali's second wife was still alive at the time he died.

    Mrs. Bibi, who has two children, applied for the widowed mother's allowance in 1989 after her husband died. Mr. Ali was a British citizen who had married twice, both times in Islamic ceremonies in Bangladesh. Polygamous marriages are valid under Islamic law, but the appeal court refused to recognize such marriages. According to The Daily Telegraph, Lord Justice Ward said, "The hallowed definition of marriage in English law is the voluntary union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others."

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    ©1997 Heather Elizabeth Peterson