The ban had been included in draft changes to Germany’s Nationality Act [Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz, StAG]. The requirement was however removed from the final text, apparently in the interests of political correctness.
The new bill has opened a legal backdoor for polygamous migrants to become German citizens, creating a parallel legal system, alongside the one based on German Civil Law.
While polygamy is prohibited under Germany’s Civil Code, and punishable under Germany’s Penal Code, German authorities have long tolerated the practice.
Thus Islamic Sharia law will soon be legal. The Secretary General of the Free Democratic Party, Linda Teuteberg noted: “The acquisition of German citizenship is more than just a formality, but also expresses the recognition of a system of values. Polygamy is a form of marriage that disregards the rights of women and is incompatible with this order of values. Therefore, there is a need for legislative action here.”
Bavarian Justice Minister Winfried Bausback also expressed his misgivings: “If people who are arriving here are married to several women according to foreign laws, we currently have to recognize these marriages. This is an unacceptable contradiction. We cannot just accept polygamy because another legal system allows this. We do not want to accept harems in Germany.”
In May 2013, RTL, a mainstream German media outlet, aired a documentary about how Muslims in Germany use polygamy to commit welfare fraud. Imported Muslim wives, married the same husband in the presence of a Muslim cleric, routinely request social welfare benefits, including the cost of a separate home for themselves and for their children, claiming to be a “single parent with children”.
RTL reported that government agencies were reluctant to act due to political correctness.
After the German government withdrew the proposed legislation that would have banned immigrants in polygamous marriages from obtaining German citizenship, the Deputy Leader of Alternative for Germany (AfD), Beatrix von Storch commented: “To allow Islamic polygamy in Germany is a betrayal of our Western values and a slap in the face for equal rights.”
The original draft included language that would have prohibited immigrants in polygamous marriages, as well as immigrants who lack legal identification, from becoming German citizens, but the text was removed from the bill after a Cabinet meeting in early April.
German weekly, Welt am Sonntag reported on the omission by leftist Justice Minister Katarina Barley. Barley, who is the SPD’s top candidate for the European elections to be held later this month, has pushed for the mandatory distribution of migrants throughout the EU.
Her refusal to approve the ban on German citizenship appears aimed at ingratiating herself with Muslim voters.
In September 2012 already, Die Welt reported that at least a third of the Arab-born men living in the Neukölln district of Berlin are married to two women: one according to civil law, and another according to Sharia law.