A report by the Islamic Women’s Council of Victoria in Australia, says some imams perform polygamous marriages and apply sharia law when it benefits men but not when it benefits the rights of women. The report was rejected by the Victorian Board of Imams, but the Islamic women’s group charged some imams told women seeking divorce they must leave with “only the clothes on their back” and not seek support or a share of property because they can get welfare payments. The report was commissioned and funded by he prior government of prime minister John Howard. The report is based on extensive interviews with police, lawyers, court workers, and academics as well as discussions with the Victorian Board of Imams.
The report apparently is based on extensive discussions with key people in the Muslim world of Victoria and can not be lightly dismissed as coming from a group of women who wish to make trouble. The study claims polygamy is increasing among Muslims as well as more underage marriages. The Board of Imams denies all allegations.