Aina Khan, the Head of the Duncan Lewis Islamic Law Department featured in The Daily Express on the 4th July 2015 discussing Islamic marriages in the UK and the fears of polygamy in these cases.
Aina Khan stated;
“Probably a quarter of (Islamic Marriages) I see involve a polygamy issue”.
“There has been a huge rise in recent years because people can have a secret nikah (ceremony) and no one will know about it." She said potentially 100,000 Muslim marriages are without legal recognition and says the growth in nikahs is driven by younger Muslims who are becoming more religious.
She said that among marriages of those under 30, "80 per cent could be unregistered and in some faith communities, such as Somalis, it is 90 per cent".
Aina’s feature in The Daily Express coincides with her Register Our Marriage (ROM) roadshow, a series of national press conferences taking place throughout the UK aimed to inform and to tackle the serious and rapidly growing problem of unregistered religious marriages and suggesting solutions, including legal reform, Law Commission consideration and a widespread education campaign about legal pitfalls.
Aina’s “Register Our Marriage” (ROM) roadshow has already seen successful turnouts throughout the UK, including Bradford, London and Birmingham.
In her roadshow press conferences, Aina addresses the importance of registering religious marriages in the UK. It is estimated that around 80% of British Muslims aged under 30 are in unregistered marriages and that this is growing.
As a consequence, couples are left with no legal rights upon relationship breakdown or to inheritance and pension rights. Given the shocking deficiency in quantitative and qualitative data, intellectual paralysis has set in.
With this in mind, Aina Khan has initiated the “ROM” Project to lobby for an update of the Marriage Act 1949, which at present only covers Church of England, Jews and Quakers. This project enjoys Interfaith, Cross-Party and grassroots support and the ROM National Working Group is making strong inroads.
For more information on the Register Our Marriage Roadshows, please consult the event facebook page by clicking here.