Thursday, June 26, 2008

CRIKEY: Media briefs and TV ratings: ... more polygamous fun

The polygamy circus continues.

The Herald Sun has added yet another crazy graphic to their story showing two women-in-black taking a stroll:

It also had a poll asking readers: "Should Muslims be allowed to have more than one wife?" As at 1:27am, after some 104 votes were cast, 71% answered yes. I reckon it was the work of Turkish soccer fans getting tipsy on arak whilst waiting up to watch the UEFA Cup semi-final. Not to be outdone, the Daily Telegraph added an extra 1.5 completely veiled faces to the graphic accompanying its story.

It’s great to see Sheik Rupert bin Murdoch's tabloids giving News Corp's Saudi shareholders some value for money.

To its credit, The Australian refused to join this hysterical bandwagon. It published two thoughtful pieces which covered the issues thoroughly and which mentioned that polygamy concerned Mormons as much as Muslims. The issue raised wider concerns about unregistered polygamous relationships, many of which are more a case of infidelity than religiosity. A wide variety of views were canvassed in what was quality journalism. I'd take off my burqa to Natalie O'Brien and Sian Powell, except that I don't wear one.

The Age's piece is also worth reading. The Sydney Morning Herald website, as far as I could see, largely ignored the issue. Fair enough. What's missing from all this is Uncle Sam from Salam Cafe asking Keysar Trad to perform a few on-the-spot polygamous marriages for him.

First published in the Crikey daily alert for Thursday 26 June 2008.

Words © 2008 Irfan Yusuf

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