The death of a model who learned that her husband was already married has shone a light into the world of Muslim polygamy in Britain.
Sahar Daftary, 23, fell 150 feet from the twelfth story of a block of apartments where she had gone to collect her belongings at the home of a businessman whom she had married in a religious ceremony last year.
Her husband, Rashid Jamil, 33, was arrested on suspicion of murder but bailed by police after they found no evidence that the death was anything other than an accident or suicide.
Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, the head of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain, told The Times: "This story is very common, unfortunately. We have tried to plug some of the holes in the whole system, but unfortunately our clerics do not live on this planet.
“They don’t understand. For them, controlling the sexuality of the woman is far more important than justice, so we have this problem.”
Daftary, a Sunni Muslim from London whose family comes from Afghanistan, was crowned Miss Face of Asia in a beauty contest last year. She was found critically injured by the apartment block in Salford Quays near the Manchester United football ground on Saturday. She had been helping with makeup at a fashion show in the city but left early to collect clothes from Jamil’s home.
Daftary also wanted to arrange an Islamic divorce from him. She had undergone a Muslim wedding ceremony in Brentford, West London, only to learn later that her husband already had a wife.
Islam traditionally allows husbands to take up to four wives at a time