Tue, Aug 23, 2005 - Page 5 News List

Polygamy helps to cut `aged virgins,' Islamic leader says

AP , KUALA LUMPUR

A top Muslim fundamentalist leader in Malaysia has urged women to let their husbands practice polygamy as a way of helping spinsters who would otherwise become "aged virgins," party officials said yesterday.

Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, spiritual leader of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, was commenting on two separate incidents this month involving wives who attacked their husbands when they tried to marry other women.

Wives should consider the plight of other women "who would become aged virgins until they die because ... the men who want them are blocked from marrying them," Nik Abdul Aziz was quoted as saying by local media. His aide, Anwar Bakri, confirmed the comments made on Saturday.

Nik Abdul Aziz, who is also the chief minister of northeastern Kelantan state, said "wives should give their husbands room if they have the financial means and ability to marry more women."

Islam allows a man up to four wives, but most Malaysian states require them to fulfill various requirements before they can marry again. Nevertheless, polygamy is common in Malaysia, where 60 percent of the public are Muslim.

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