By Hilary White

MOSCOW, January 13, 2006 ( – The polygamy trend is catching on around the world. In an interview with a Russian radio station, Ramzan Kadyrov, a militia leader and Deputy Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic, said that the depopulation of Chechnya by war justifies legalizing polygamy.

“(Polygamy) is necessary for Chechnya, because we have war. We have more women than men,” the pro-Moscow Kadyrov told Ekho Moskvy radio. The Muslim Chechen rebels are fighting to gain independence from Russia and are largely of the fundamentalist Wahabist sect.

In response to the suggestion, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Deputy speaker of the State Duma, said the idea of introducing legal polygamy in Chechnya is “absolutely right,” and proposed to spread it for the whole of Russia.

“We must welcome (this idea) and spread (polygamy) for the whole Russia because we have 10 million lonely women.”

Zhiriniovsky said it is necessary to “allow the registration of the second and the third marriages without dissolving the first one. We will surely introduce such an amendment to the family code and to the Russian Constitution during the parliament’s spring session.”

Many commenters are warning of the effects on women of the “Islamicization” of Europe. Already in some European Union countries, the traditional protections for women and families are being undermined by demands of the growing Muslim population for the adoption of aspects of Islamic “Sharia” law, including polygamy.

In November 2005, Norway’s Directorate of Immigration (UDI) reported that despite its illegality, polygamy is becoming increasingly prevalent in the country. Similar reports are coming from France and the Netherlands has legalized the practice in spite of the recent anti-Muslim backlash in that country.

Today, the Canadian Liberal government revealed that the Canadian federal Justice Department has recommended legalizing polygamy.