Saturday, May 20, 2006

(Making) Marriages Made In Heaven

Here's a change of subject in all these articles about war, terrorism, killing and violence, especially in the name of religion.

I was made to switch gears from two unrelated items today. One was an email exchange with a librarian friend of mine, Gail, commenting on "relationships" and marriage - and another was my visit to a business contact's blog and seeing a short note from him on "mixed marriages", actually inter-faith marriages. So, I had to sit and look back on my life and see how blessed I have been.

I have had a truly incredible life in the truly one in a billoin people I have loved and been loved by, love that impacts you the core of your being. And, I remembered that a few months ago the same lady friend Gail had actually emailed me something I wrote literally 13 YEARS ago on this topic.

So, while Muslims kill Muslims based on Shia-Sunni, Catholics and Protestants kill each other in the name of Jesus, Zionist Jews keep married Arab Palestinians from being with their spouses, crusaders attack others for oil, here's a salute to those who make inter-faith relationships and marriages work better than marriages made in heaven, while the whole world goes to hell with war, murder, tyranny, and bigotry. God Bless You all!

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Newsgroups: soc.culture.pakistan,soc.culture.indian,soc.religion.islam
Subject: Marrying People from Other Religions: Do What is Best for You

I hate following a debate where EVERY single poster simply includes the whole of the original posting to add two lines of commentary.  So excuse this start of a new thread here.

I have seen several posts in response to the original one about marrying people of different religions.  Someone called the poster a net.mullah (an apt analogy in my humble opinion), and stated  that he did not agree with the poster's comments.  Fine.

Then someone called this second person a net.liberal wanting people to give up their "morals" or some such stuff.  I would like to defend the  "net.liberal" here.  (Sorry I do not have names as I junked all the articles after reading them)

Th "net.liberal" simply expressed an opinion about disagreeing with a SINGLE individual's posting.

The "net.mullah" did a lot more.  He issued a DECREE, telling people what is RIGHT and what is WRONG (because he thinks so), and he DECIDED what Islam SHOULD mean regardless of what the Quran says, he passed JUDGEMENT on people who decide to marry Western/Christian/Jewish girls, he ASSUMED that CHASTITY and BEING A GOOD HUMAN are based on one's actions without regard for what a person's SOCIAL surroundings (environment) are, he SELF-RIGHTEOUSLY assumed that one's own society is PERFECT (and chaste), and he HURT the feelings of those who are already married to a Western person whether they had converted or not.  I do not think that the guy has anything to do with Islam and Muslims.

The funny thing is that he mentioned knowing Western girls for eight years.  Perhaps the posting was either the result of "sour grapes" in that he never got what he wanted from the "unchaste" Western girls, or maybe he did get SOMETHING out of it but was "dumped".

I just know one thing, every person has to decide for himself or herself what they want in life.  This includes knowing how to balance their faith in Islam (or whatever religion they profess) and how to adapt to the differences that exist.  There are always differences between people, and any kind of coming together of two people means compromise, adaptation, and flexibility.  It does not necessarily mean giving up on particular thing, or faith or belief.  

Obviously the number of differences, potential conflict points, and issues needing decision/compromise will be much higher between two people from different countries, different religions, different races, and different cultures.  The fact that some people are willing to try it, and give it their best shot, and to face all odds, is something to be respected.  They have taken a leap (of faith!) in hoping that two HUMAN beings who share a goal to live happily and make the world a better place to live in for their children, themselves, and for others.  I would respect them more for trying to make it work, than some self declared expert who will simply pass judgments and use religion as a tool to prevent the people of the world from leading happier and fullfiling lives.

To those of you out there, who are already married, are marrying soon, or hope to get married sometime in the future, I have this to say.  

If you know what is important for you, and decided to stay with the "sure thing" of marrying someone with exactly the same background as you, I respect that, and I admire you for knowing yourself, and deciding what you think works best for you today, and ten years from now.

To those who married people from a different culture or nation, but one of you converted, I respect and admire you both, for being open to new ideas, and for making a sacrifice (probably a little bigger sacrifice for one person) and for adapting, to make it possible to have two people of different backgrounds to make things work with sharing, adapting, and compromise.  

And those, who decide that they will marry someone from a totally different culture, nation, religion, and race, I have respect you, admire you, and honour you for being two great **human beings**, open to the idea of a "whole new world" and "a fantastic point of view", for having the courage and the conviction that two HUMAN beings can make this world a better place, for their children, for themselves, and for all humankind, simply by taking the alternate route, the big leap, and the giant step. I, and thousands of others, love and respect you, and wish you the best, for you are the ones who will open the frontiers of a new world based on love and understanding, peace and sharing, learning and giving, and above all, in the *faith* that that is what the Creator (by whatever name you call the Supreme Being) wanted from the human race.

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  May Love and Happiness be yours, always,

Imran Anwar
New York City
April 13, 1993
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