Moscow, June 18, Interfax - Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has reaffirmed his staunch support for polygamy in Russia's Muslim-majority republics because it would be more honest than having lots of mistresses.
"Polygamy is permitted by our religion. It is not an obligation, but men have such an opportunity if they are sufficiently healthy and well-off," Kadyrov told Interfax on Thursday.
"Polygamy is needed in order to stop men from having mistresses, who cause them multiple problems both with their health and their family life because men have to lie and deceive their wives and children," he said.
Such men demand that their family members be "honest and decent, but they themselves have to lie throughout their lives," Kadyrov said.
"If a man has someone on the side, and if it is real love, this woman may become his second or third wife if they both want it," the Chechen leader said.
"Many people find this scary. And I say: give me at least one man who would not have several mistresses. There are no such men. And all of them lie to their wives. But I would never be able to lie to my wife. That is why polygamy is very good, but having many mistresses is bad. If I speak out against polygamy, I am not a Muslim. I support the idea of a man having several wives if he needs them and if he is able to provide for them. This would help resolve the demographic problem in Russia," Kadyrov said.
When commenting on a recent wedding between a 47-year-old man and an underage girl in Chechnya, Kadyrov said: "A 17-year-old girl married a 47-year-old strong and healthy man in Chechnya. And you say that it is a tragedy, but, to my great regret, we largely keep silent on thousands of underage children being raped in other regions."
"In Chechnya men lead a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly and really blossom after they turn 40. Recently our 93-year-old man married a 33-year-old woman and now they have a son. Under certain circumstances, in Moscow young girls are allowed to get married from the age of 16, in Bashkortostan from the age of 14, and in Chechnya from the age of 17 after they finish school," he said.
When asked how secular laws correlate with Sharia Law, the Chechen leader said that Chechnya "does not violate the laws of the Russian Federation."
"Only one marriage can be concluded at the registry office. Russia has a Muslim population of 25 million people, and polygamy should be permitted in regions such as Dagestan, the Chechen Republic and Ingushetia," he said.
"Those who call us 'cavemen' are obviously 'cavemen' themselves because it is a normal, pure and correct attitude towards women. Even in Soviet times, when our people were expelled to Kazakhstan, men took on a second and even a third wife fearing that they might be sent to prison. This also often happened because tens of thousands of men were killed fighting on the frontline or died of cold and hunger, and it was necessary to take care of their children and widows," Kadyrov said.