The Mormon-Muslim polygamy question [Karl]
At AoSHQ, Gabriel Malor takes issue with Eric at Classical Values — as well as a number of AoSHQ commenters — who have reacted to the news about the week-long raid by Texas authorities of a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints polygamist compound by wondering whetherÃ‚Â Muslims and renegade Mormons receive the same treatment on TV:
Yes, there’s moral relativism going on here, but it’s not coming from Larry King. Eric–and the commenters in my earlier post who mentioned it too–should be asking themselves why its necessary to demonstrate some equivalence between renegade Mormon polygamists and Muslim polygamists. Is Eric’s argument that we shouldn’t be describing women as “escaped from polygamy” or is he merely saying that Muslims get kid glove treatment when it happens?
That’s a strange case to make when we’ve got a renegade Mormon polygamist ranch right in front of us. It’s not like CNN had a choice between doing a story on Muslims or one on Mormons…
I read Eric’s post as expressing the latter sentiment.Ã‚Â I certainly have no sympathy for the generally abusive practice of polygamy by either religion, which is illegal here in either case.
Malor, however, overstatesÃ‚Â an otherwiseÃ‚Â valid point when addressing the editorial choices made by the establishment media in covering polygamy.Ã‚Â Approximately a year ago, there was the case of a Muslim bigamist slain by one of his wives just outside Philadelphia, and the MuslimÃ‚Â polygamy uncovered after aÃ‚Â fatal fire in a row house in the Bronx — either of which could have been a news hook for an examination of the underground culture of Muslim polygamy in the US, which may be larger than that of Mormon polygamy.
That the story of Muslim polygamy has not become fodder for the 24/7 cable news cycle is probably not entirely due to political correctness.Ã‚Â The police raid in Texas provides the dramatic video that the Muslim stories may have lacked (though cable nets could have had footage of the NYC fire or the courtroom coverage of the Philly case).Ã‚Â However, as the New York Times noted:
DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t-ask-donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t-know policies prevail in many agencies that deal with immigrant families in New York, perhaps because there is no framework for addressing polygamy in a city that prides itself on tolerance of religious, cultural and sexual differences Ã¢â‚¬â€ and on support for human rights and equality.
It appears that one reason there is not video of government crackdowns on Muslim polygamy is that government is squeamish about cracking down on it.Ã‚Â
Accepting Malor’s general condemnation of polygamy at face value, I presume that he would not haveÃ‚Â the government or the publicÃ‚Â do nothingÃ‚Â about the abusive culture of Muslim polygamy.Ã‚Â Raising the issue in the wake of the Texas Mormon case may seem like moral relativism to him, but the case does present the opportunity to raise the profile of a tragedy going largely ignored.