05/25/2015, 00.00
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Russia faces debate on the legalization of polygamy

After the marriage between a Chechen police chief and a minor, who he took as his second wife, an official close to Kadyrov intends to "regularize" the practice, already widespread in the Muslim majority Russian Caucasus. The Kremlin keeps a low profile, while the Church defends Chechnya: "Media attack" launched by opponents of the traditional family.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - In the Russia of "traditional values" and laws "against homosexual propaganda among minors", a debate about polygamy has been sparked on social media in recent days by the marriage between a senior police chief in Chechnya and an underage girl, who is now his second wife.

The Kremlin has distanced itself from the controversy, while the Orthodox Church has almost justified the practice, widespread in Chechnya and in the Muslim majority Russian Caucasus.

Magomed Daudov - head of administration in Grozny for leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who was among the guests of honor at the controversial marriage - has called for the legalization of polygamy. "If a man can afford to have another wife, why not?  It is widespread practice and should be regularized " Daudov  told the news portal Gazeta.ru.

His words followed those of a Russian deputy, who proposed the introduction of criminal responsibility for polygamy, banned in the Federation but not currently liable to prosecution. The parliamentarian Yelena Mizulina, head of the Commission family, women and children in the lower house of Russian parliament, originally told RIA Novosti  that it would be ridiculous to criminalize polygamy “ because its cause is not linked to the absence of a law, but rather to the fact that there are not enough men with whom women want to start a family”, only to ensure  the Duma, after a few days, that "there are no plans to legalize polygamy, such proposals have not been received. "

"I can only say that polygamy is not permitted in our country” Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, responded stressing that "this case will not take part in the discussion."

The Moscow Patriarchate, however, believes that the debate sparked by what  Kadyrov has called "the wedding of the century" is a media attack launched by opponents of the traditional family. Speaking to the Interfax-Religion news agency, the head of the Synodal Department for Relations between Church and Society, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, noted: " It is curious that the circles now criticizing polygyny or polygamy, which in fact exists in the North Caucasus, often stand for homosexual marriages". "I am afraid that groups that want to destroy traditional family as a phenomenon stand behind it as well as behind the ongoing informational attack against Chechnya: they understand that people deprived of a tradition and a family are easily managed with the help of political and informational manipulations"

While noting that the Orthodox Church does not accept polygamy, because marriage is considered the union between one man and one woman, Chaplin admitted that "it is hard to deny the fact that the Russian Empire did not pose any obstacle to polygamy among Muslims. " "There are different traditions in the world - he added - how they can live in one state and in the modern world is a matter that must be addressed with a serious discussion, especially at the level of legislative power."

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