One consequence of the départementalisation of Mayotte in 2011 is that the laws of the République Française must now apply. This has led to a decline in the influence of the cadis, the Muslim dignitaries previously in charge of the island’s moral and legal affairs. Among the customs the Republic disapproves of is polygamy, especially when the wives can be as young as thirteen. The cadis, though, have no problem with this – it’s been part of cadial law, approved, and to a large extent practised, by the cadis themselves for centuries. Before we start feeling sorry for them, though, it should be noted that the practise is still going strong. The cadis have simply learnt to pretend that it’s not.