Following the introduction of civil partnerships, Muslim representatives in Italy are now demanding the legalisation of polygamy.
Responding to a new law allowing same sex couples to enter civil unions, Hamza Piccardo argued that if gay relationships, which Muslims disagree with, are a civil right then Italians must accept polygamy as a civil right too.
The founder of the Union of Islamic Communities and Organisations (UCOII) in Italy took to Facebook to claim polygamy is a “civil right” and that Italy would benefit from the large number of Muslim births it would promote.
The UCOII president wrote: “When it comes to civil rights here, then polygamy is a civil right. Muslims do not agree with homosexual partnerships, and yet they have to accept a system that allows it. There is no reason why Italy should not accept polygamous marriages of consenting persons.”
The call for polygamy, from Italy’s largest Muslim umbrella group, was met with outrage by a number of politicians.
Debora Serracchiani, deputy chairman of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) said: “Centuries of fighting for women’s rights can not simply be brushed aside.”
“Polygamy has nothing to do with civil rights,” she added.
Paolo Grimoldi, an MEP for the anti mass migration Northern League, declared: “This is the moderate Islam, with which the Italian government intends to keep the dialogue open.”
Reflecting on the debate his Facebook post unleashed, Mr. Piccardo said: “A simple consideration of legal philosophy has sparked an uproar so grotesque as to be even funny.”
Doubling down on his earlier plea, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked body insisted polygamy is a civil right and a matter of “equality of citizens before the law”.
The former European Muslim Network spokesman also suggested Italy needs foreign labour and that polygamy would boost the nation’s economy.
Mr. Piccardo commented: “Do not underestimate the demographic action of polygamy. It would rebalance population decline and the consequent need for foreign labour.”
Youth unemployment in Italy has averaged at 40 per cent over the past year.
The legal recognition of civil partnerships has been highly controversial in Italy with its deep Catholic roots. In October, a representative from influential billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations attended an LGBT activist event in Rome.
The event, which lobbies the Synod of Bishops, was run by the newly formed Global Network of Rainbow Catholics. The network agitates against all Catholic scripture and Church decisions, language, and doctrine that it deems intolerant to homosexuals.
Open Society programme officer Peter Matjasic attended because, the foundation’s European communications officer said, it aligned with its mission to “promote equality and combat discrimination of minority groups”.
Soros’ foundation, which spent $827 million globally in 2014, has been very active in advancing gay marriage across Europe. Mr. Matjasic is particularly involved in this cause, his most recent Tweet praising an entire summer school in Ireland devoted to promoting same sex marriage.