Monday 17 January 2022

MPs call for action on Islamic weddings: civil ceremony must come first


People who undergo a religious marriage ceremony before taking part in a civil one will face fines, if draft legislation proposed by the right-wing Liberal VVD and left-wing green party GroenLinks wins parliamentary approval.

The measure is particularly aimed at Islamic weddings and aims to stop ‘the creation of a parallel society in which Islamic law takes priority over Dutch law,’ VVD MP Jeroen van Wijngaarden told Radio 1 news.

Currently clerics can be fined if they oversee a religious ceremony before a couple have gone through a civil ceremony but ‘some Imams ignore the rules’, Van Wijngaarden said.

The VVD and GroenLinks hope that by changing the rules, women will not be disadvantaged in the case of divorce and that it will be more difficult to go through arranged and forced marriages.

Dutch law currently states that marriage partners must be over the age of 18 and not married to anyone else at the same time.

The two parties also want the justice ministry to get tougher on clerics who break the rules.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.