Thorns that prick the Muslim American woman

Posted by James, 19 Jun 07

Muslims Americans are one of the various cultural groups that have been under increased scrutiny in the U.S., with attention paid to their social, economic, and political characteristics. While majority of Muslims are foreign-born, they are happy with their lives, largely assimilated, and remarkably American in outlook.

Most of the Muslim immigrants have been to elite colleges, are in the professions and they're ready to settle down. And so the cycle of hand-wringing over intermarriage begins again.


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For Muslim men, interfaith marriage isn’t too big of a deal coz the tradition endorses it. Arsalan Iftikhar, the national legal director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations a big proponent of intermarriage says, "I plan on marrying someone who does not look like me." Well that’s easy for him to say, being a man. So what about the 'styled-up' American Muslim woman?

American Muslim women face a trickier challenge. How does she marry outside the Islam faith and retain her Muslim identity without the sanction of Scripture or history? One counselor who has counseled at least 100 interfaith couples over the past few years acknowledges the fact that in most cases the Muslim partner is a woman. Just like the Jews and Roman Catholics before them, how do these women balance their commitments to their families of origin against their new American lives? So where should she place her allegiance?

On the other hand, just like most black women, more traditional Muslim women complain that they're losing their men, too - not to Christians and Jews (or even Hindus) but to Muslim brides from abroad. These women definitely acknowledge the fact that even in the most conservative circles, when traditional religion collides with the educated, independent woman; this collision is bound to force a change.

With most people living together at one – well almost :lol: - these women mingle with all other races and religions and they are bound to fall in love. Its common sense really. Are Muslim American women supposed to sacrifice love for religion? Yeah, we all have heard the infidel story but why should it be ok for the men to intermarry and women to suffer in the name of religion? In this interconnected, global world of ours, don’t you find the idea that Muslim women should only marry Muslim men ridiculous and outdated?

Nothing against Islam faith but kindly, someone, help a brother swallow that!

Tags: interfaith marriages, Islam, Jews, Christianity

3 responses to "Thorns that prick the Muslim American woman"

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  1.   fkoi says:
    Posted: 29 Apr 10

    Most, if not all, of the major religions have an anti-woman bias that would make it extremely difficult, were I in their shoes, for me to embrace the tenets and traditions of those religions.

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  2.   T says:
    Posted: 10 Aug 07

    I would venture a proposition that in case of Muslim women, she would find it difficult without completely breaking off with her culture's traditions. And many, I suspect highly educated women, do.

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  3.   hiimsteph says:
    Posted: 21 Jun 07

    I know you are abosolutly right. It's a shame especially after the whole 9-11 thing that people just get really ignorant and discriminate, how juvenile.

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