Date: 22/10/2020
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Dozy bint of the week

Men were deceivers ever, and Kirsten Evans is hardly the first lady to sigh over a cheating husband. The difference is that Aman follows a religion in which a husband's cheating isn't adultery -- it's just marriage. From The Daily Mail, with thanks to Esmerelda:

Her wedding dress was elegant, her hair woven in an intricate style and her groom handsome in his suit.

As Kirsten Evans beamed for the photographer and gazed at her husband Aman, it’s all too easy to imagine this was a dream wedding.

Far from it, though. Kirsten may have been in love with him for almost 15 years, but throughout all that time Aman had been concealing a terrible secret. He was still married to his first wife.

And not only that, he had six children with her — four of them conceived while Kirsten and Aman had been a couple.

It’s a story of duplicity, deceit and emotional manipulation. Aman had been adept at covering his tracks, but slowly his web of lies began to disintegrate.

Kirsten was repelled by the thought of his physical and emotional infidelity, but there were cultural issues, too.

She was a white, middle-class Christian who had long dreamed of a big wedding. Aman was a Muslim, as was his secret wife and family.

Aman was outwardly devout. He prayed five times a day, eschewed pork and alcohol and encouraged his vivacious blonde fiancee to stop wearing ‘revealing’ clothes and cover up.

But all the while, it seems, he had distorted the principles of the Muslim faith, in which men are allowed more than one wife, providing they are treated fairly.

My emphasis, showing a common misconception.  There is no contradiction between being a "devout" Muslim (inwardly or outwardly) and breaking the law and customs of a non-Muslim country. A devout Christian would be faithful to his one wife. A devout Muslim, as V. S. Naipaul puts it, has "tomcatting rights over four women at a time, to use and discard at will". Aman was quite restrained, considering the example of his "Prophet", and there was certainly no "distortion" of the faith.

Here was a man who was truly living a double life. The discovery of this almost broke Kirsten.

Brought up in Bridgend, she had a comfortable, sheltered childhood. She dreamed of nothing more than falling in love and having lots of children.

So, when handsome Aman crashed into her life after a chance meeting in a local club in September 1991, 17-year-old Kirsten was thrilled.

She admits she was intoxicated by the glamour of Mauritius-born Aman’s lifestyle. At the age of just 24, he owned a string of designer clothes shops.

Intelligent, charismatic and witty, before long he occupied her every waking thought.

‘I found him exotic and worldly,’ says Kirsten, now 39 and a beautician. ‘I’d never even eaten a curry before.

Calling all Hindu and Sikh curry house owners: come to Bridgend and be as exotic and worldly as you like.

'But he laughed off my innocence. Certainly, his background didn’t have a big impact on our early relationship.’

Six months later, however, Aman dropped a bombshell: his religious parents had forced him into an arranged marriage when he was 18 to a 16-year-old called Zabeen. They were separated and had two sons aged two and three.

‘He said his parents had pressured him into it, they were divorcing and he wanted to be with me,’ says Kirsten. ‘I was shocked, but believed him.’

Little did she know that, even as he told her this, Zabeen was pregnant with Aman’s third child.

It was at this time that he proposed to Kirsten. Naive and blinded by the overwhelming power of this first love affair, she accepted.

[...]

The joy of her son’s birth in August 1994 soothed any misgivings she had. Enchanted by baby Zak, Aman and Kirsten found a new closeness.

Then came the first of many bombshells. One afternoon, as Kirsten held two-month-old Zak in her arms, the phone rang. It was Aman’s first wife, Zabeen.

Kirsten braced herself. They had spoken on the phone once before, but only in the most cursory way. However, nothing could have prepared her for what was to come next.

After a pause, Zabeen said simply: ‘Tell Aman I’ve just given birth to his baby girl.’ In fact, she was their fourth child.

‘I was dumbstruck,’ says Kirsten. ‘I started shaking violently, but tried desperately to keep calm. After all, I was holding little Zak in my arms.  Then Zabeen said “You don’t know, do you?” and I dropped the phone.’

[...]

In October 1994, Aman agreed they would finally get married. But it was far from the big, white wedding Kirsten had dreamed of. He invited an imam to his house to conduct the nikah, a Muslim marriage ceremony that is not legally binding in Britain.

‘It was over in five minutes and just felt surreal,’ says Kirsten. None of her family were present, but at least, she thought, she finally had a ring on her finger.

Despite Aman’s rare display of commitment, it didn’t take long for old wounds in their relationship to emerge again.

He claimed to be away ‘on business’ for days at a time, but Kirsten would hear from the few friends with whom she kept in touch that he had been seen with Zabeen. Confronting him, however, brought no answers. ‘He accused me of being paranoid and ungrateful for questioning his absence,’ she says.

Then came yet another humiliation. In 2001, an acquaintance told Kirsten that Zabeen was pregnant with Aman’s fifth child.

Surely, you might ask, after all this, why didn’t Kirsten just leave her duplicitous partner?

In the end she did. In the end she could, because she lives in Britain, and her family will not kill her for doing so. Other women, who have burned their boats and gone to Iran, Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, have not been so lucky. Zabeen may not be so lucky if she decides not to put up with Islam-sancioned tomcatting, an insult to tomcats who do not claim divine authority for what they do.

Ladies, sigh no more. You have a choice. If you want "exotic", go for a pizza. If you must have curry, make sure it's made by a Hindu or Sikh, especially if you prefer Cobra to COBRA.