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Jakarta Post

New polygamy campaigns trigger old controversies

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani and Gemma Holliani Cahya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, October 9, 2017   /  08:00 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Popular Islamic preacher Muhammad Arifin Ilham takes a picture with his wives. He announced his third wife in a short video posted on his Facebook and Instagram accounts last Wednesday.(

A deep-rooted controversy over polygamy once again takes center stage in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation. Campaigns supporting polygamy have gone viral on social media after popular Islamic preacher Muhammad Arifin Ilham posted a short video with three of his wives on his Facebook and Instagram accounts last Wednesday. “With my three angels from Aceh, from Yaman and from Sunda, a 37-year-old widow with two children,” the caption said. In the video, the three wives are seen posing with Arifin, then listening to him giving a lecture on sakinah (happy family). With more than 6.9 million followers on his Facebook page and 290,000 followers on Instagram, the post garnered hundreds of both supporting and castigating comments in less than an hour. Disapproving netizens, mostly women, slammed the way Arifin promoted his polygamous marriage, with many...