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Islamic leader wants to legalise polygamy in Italy

People gather in front of Milan's Duomo cathedral during a gay rights demonstration prior to a vote to change laws on same-sex unions (AP)

The leader of the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy has said there is “no reason” for polygamy not to be legalised after the Italian government passed a law to recognise the union of same-sex civil unions.

In a Facebook status, Hamza Piccardo wrote: “There’s no reason for Italy not to accept polygamous marriages of consenting persons.

“When it comes to civil rights here, then polygamy is a civil right. Muslims don’t agree with homosexual partnership and still they have to accept a system that allows it,” he added.

The Facebook status proved to be controversial among Italians, who are deeply divided on the issue of civil partnerships. The Italian government voted in favour of allowing civil unions between couples of the same gender, despite opposition from the Catholic Church. This gives the couples the same rights as married people under Italian law except they are not allowed to adopt children.

According to Crux, Piccardo shared a photo of the mayor of Milan celebrating the civil union between two men. Underneath it he wrote: “If it’s only a matter of civil rights, then polygamy is a civil right.”

Crux also reported that the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy has been criticised for having links with the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group in Egypt. Some members, however, showed solidarity with Catholics by attending Mass after the murder of Fr Hamel by ISIS.