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Switch to Forum Live View Muslim men prefer non-Muslim women
7 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2008 - 3:28PM #31
Miraj
Posts: 5,021

USMuslim wrote:

Respectfully, I've known life-long born Muslims who have so much cultural baggage mixed in with their Islamic knowledge they understand less about the faith than their new Muslim counterparts. Convert Muslims may be more intent than you on following the tenants of the faith simply because they have already explored those "out of bounds" parts of life and don't have any need or desire to explore beyond them any longer.

Faith is not a birthright, nor is it a matter of your ancestors. For those who have been guided toward Islam were destined be Muslims, regardless of their "heritage", so it's not a self-hatred thing. A person whose parents were Christians for example, doesn't reject Christianity because they are rebelling, it's because they have been guided by God in that direction. You are not the only one who thinks her faith is her heritage. I recall one day in the grocery store when an elderly, well dressed man approached me after several minutes of staring and said, "may I ask you where your people are from?" I told him in my obvious American voice, that my "people" were German. He continued to look puzzled and said, "but, why the..." and gestured to my hijab. I said, "This is an expression of my faith. I am a Muslim, it has nothing to do with my genealogy; it is my faith." He made more comments to the effect that he thought I looked German or Anglo Saxon and didn't understand why I was dressed that way, etc. His comments gave me the feeling that I had somehow "jumped ship" and betrayed the Lutherans, as if I was a traitor. I have had to answer this type of question so many times I've lost count over the years. So Christians also often look at their faith as a heritage issue.

There are surely a few converts who end up there because they are chasing a Muslim man, however, the Islam doesn't "stick" and they weren't being thoughtful about the conversion to begin with, but my experience is that most young women are sincere in their beliefs. As any convert can tell all, it's not easy walking away from your family's faith, their traditions, and embrace a much more disciplined way of life, especially in the West, where you are not always welcomed by the greater society, given the current political climate. And then to top it off, you get the suspicious types like the Miraj inside the Muslim community who aren't ready to accept you as part the community because you weren't born into it. Every convert Muslim can relate to Yusuf Islam's (formally Cat Stevens) comment that if he had met Muslims before he learned about Islam, he wouldn't have embraced Islam.

Your last analogy regarding being Chinese is again going back to ethnic identity and your heritage perspective. It's a convenient example for you to use because being Chinese is something you can never change, nor could an African (as an example) ever become an Asian. It's a club the African cannot join, no matter how well he speaks Mandarin and knows the culture, and the Chinese can always say, "You speak the language perfectly, but, friend you are not Chinese!" This ethnocentric mentality in your comments are what I would say show arrogance toward convert Muslims.



First of all, USMuslim, the topic of this thread is why Muslim men prefer non-Muslim women. Your combativeness is threatening to turn it into your personal agenda, and I will not allow that to continue.

Second, your personal attacks on me are baseless and reflect uncertainty about yourself as a Muslim more than they say anything about me,

You've accused me twice of being less of a Muslim than are converts; implied that I am less interested in and less devoted to my faith because I'm born into it. You also accuse me of being ethnocentric, which is funny because Arabs accuse me of being anti-Arab, and I'm an Arab myself, And, you infer that I'm anti-convert. None of that is true, and none of that is the topic of this thread.

Is not for you to know why I say anything, If you need clarification, then ask me to give it, like atsila did, and I will be happy to comply within the best of my ability. But, do not come here and accuse me falsely of things you know nothing about. I am the world's most foremost expert on me and what I think. You are only guessing and that guessing informs me that you are not really settled with your choice and comfortable in your own identity yet or you would not be so defensive,

I based my comments about marriage and converts on what I have observed over a period of nearly 50 years, I have been paying attention all that time, and my observations are shared my many of my collegues, friends and family. The use of Chinese was not about ethnicity, but an attempt to create an analogy that would give power to the fact that it takes alot to make such a change and fit in to something you are new to and learning about.

Now, my advice to you is for you to relax and let this thread continue on re the intended topic.

Salaam

Disclaimer: The opinions of this member are not primarily informed by western ethnocentric paradigms, stereotypes rooted in anti-Muslim/Islam hysteria, "Israel can do no wrong" intransigence, or the perceived need to protect the Judeo-Christian world from invading foreign religions and legal concepts.  By expressing such views, no inherent attempt is being made to derail or hijack threads, but that may be the result.  The result is not the responsibility of this member.


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7 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2008 - 4:30PM #32
Atsila
Posts: 207
[QUOTE=Miraj;178639]You answered part of it in your post above.

For one thing, a born Muslim is less likely to be "tired of" Christianity, or have the kind of animosity expressed by many converts toward their old religion because of the harm they felt it did to them. I hear that alot from converts, a rejection of the old stuff that makes them want to emerge themselves into the new thing and creat a whole new identity. Creating new identity is a convert issue, although you can find it in those who become newly enamored with their current religion, too.

Converts are learning from scratch; that's another perspective they don't share with born Muslims, who, no matter how much or little engaged with the faith, simply have a higher comfort level with it and don't feel threatened by moving beyond what many converts would consider to be their boundaries as a Muslim. The reason why I'm asking the question is because born Muslims don't seem to any longer feel the same impetus you ascribe to them - to marry other Muslims because they would share a common faith. For one thing, Muslims don't seem to share a common faith anymore. There is far more sectarianism in Islam than in decades past. A lot of Muslims actually feel as comfortable with non-Muslims as they do with Muslims.

These are things you don't pick up if you are relatively new to being Muslims or relating to them. There is a difference between being born and raised Muslim and being a convert, and no one needs to be offended by that being said. It's the same as if you went to China and felt called to become Chinese. It would be obvious to the Chinese that you we'ren't born Chinese, that you had a learning curve, and that some of the things you believe about being Chinese or not being Chinese are a little strange to those who are already Chinese.

I hope that helps.

Salaam[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I read further and saw your explanation. 

Of course a born muslim wouldn't be tired of christianity, you weren't saturated in it.  Of course I reject the 'old stuff' because that isn't my beliefs anymore.  However, I don't reject everything.  Growing up southern baptist was and is a part of me and it actually led to me being muslim.  It was my culture and it's something that I wouldn't just toss out the window.  Obviously the parts that conflict with islam will have to go.  I am not hostile to my old religion and I do not like when muslims criticize it and will defend that religion.  But it is simply not my religion anymore and I don't want to have a husband who said 'in the name of Jesus' all the time. 

As a christian, I read the bible several times and disliked how women were treated in the old AND new testament.  The subjection of women in christianity is doctrine.  You can't argue that women are equal using scripture and the scripture clearly points out that women are subject to men, shouldn't take leadership, and should wear a constant reminder that they are under the authority of a man.  Do all christians do these things today?  No, but I am a person who is concerned with principles and islam doesn't have those principles.  I have often found it amusing that I left one religion where the (general) culture is that women are equal to men, but the religion does not prove it, to a religion where women are equal to men, but the culture doesn't prove it.  Dealing solely with the principles, I wouldn't want to raise a daughter in a religion that considers her second class in relation to men.  Islam does not teach this, and the culture of many muslims, I can deal with that by using the Quran to refute it. 

I wouldn't marry a muslim man because I am afraid of losing my 'muslimness'.  I would want a muslim husband who also believed that women were equal to men and taught his daughter that, based on scripture.  I couldn't get that with a christian husband and certainly not with a Jewish one.  That doesn't mean that a jewish or christian man couldn't teach his daughter that she is equally important in general, but they couldn't use scripture to prove their point.  And religion is important to me and I would want any children I had to feel comfortable with their religion.  I don't feel that I am bound by my religion to marry only a muslim man; it's just a preference.   

I am muslim and am surrounded by christian friends and family and I still manage to hang on to my faith.  If I didn't feel comfortable around christians, I would be in a world of hurt.  I didn't change who I was when I converted and have often said that converting wasn't the great experience where I 'saw the light' so to speak.  I simply moved from being a christian to a muslim, because it fit in closer with my beliefs.  I didn't change my name, clothes, who I associated with on a daily basis, or start going around trying to speak arabic.   

Yes, muslims don't always share the same beliefs and that's why it is important to know if a potential partner has the same beliefs as you.  I think that the situation of who feels more comfortable with their faith born muslims vs converts depends on the person.  I am very comfortable with my faith.  I COULD marry a christian or jew and be comfortable in my faith, but I choose not to, because I don't want another religion being preached in my house; it has nothing to do with me being afraid that I won't be muslim.  I suppose that you must be talking about new converts, because there are converts that have been muslim for decades, longer than some muslims have been alive.  Surely they have found their comfort level by now.  I have.  And it didn't even take me a decade. 

Sure there is a difference between being a born muslim and a convert.  I'm glad I converted and learned the religion without the culture.  It was easy for me to pick out religion vs culture.  Do all converts pick out the difference between culture and religion?  Probably not.  Do all born muslims follow more cultural standards than religious?  Probably not, either.  I think people's experiences depends on the person.  There may be a generalization on how a born muslim or a convert acts, but I don't believe it holds true for everyone and maybe not even for most people.  Who people choose to marry is based on preference and there are a number of reasons.  Maybe born muslims are not able to understand why a convert would seek out another muslim to marry, because born muslims don't understand the culture and former religions of those converts and are not able to clearly understand why a convert would choose to not take their former religion 'back home'.  That lack of understanding doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the convert or that their decisions are based on shady motives.     

I don't take offense at the fact that there is a difference between born muslims and converts.  I take offense that my choice to marry a muslim is considered to be a way for me to 'fit in' better or because I'm scared of losing my religion.  I have often said that when I'm around some muslims I wonder why I'd bothered and when I go to church (on rare occasions), I'm glad to be muslim.  Being a former christian in the south, I know how many christian men think and behave.  As a muslim, I know that's not what I want.  Hell, I didn't want it as a christian.  At least with islam, I have the Quran to prove that women are equal to men, not so with the bible.  Again, having the same religion doesn't make two people compatable, but for many people it is important.  A convert marrying another muslim doesn't mean that that convert is trying to be arab or asian or that they are scared or that they hate their former religion.  It could simply mean they want a healthy, islamic home to raise children in.  I don't see what is wrong with that. 

Maybe I am an anomaly from the usual convert, and if so, thank God.   

wassalam,
Atsila
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2008 - 4:36PM #33
Atsila
Posts: 207
[QUOTE=Faqir;178721]
As this thread seems to also have turned into a bit of a confessional I will admit that I would prefer to marry a muslim, I would not rule out marry a non-muslim. To put it bluntly, I would rather be with someone who I can relate to who is not muslim than someone who is muslim but with whom I have nothing in common and see the world in completely different ways. What I am saying is, thank you Mr. Pakistani, for the hundredth time, I do not want to marry your niece straight for Karachi. Some people can do that sort of thing, but not me. Compatibility is very important and we have to realize that you can't just stick two people around the same age together and expect things to work out and people are simply more compatible with people they have had similar experiences to. If I were to ever, by some miracle, to meet someone who could put up with me and I could stand them, then who am I to be picky.[/QUOTE]

Exactly how I feel.  If we have nothing in common but religion, it's going to be difficult.  Especially if we have two completely separate views on religion.  I could assure you that a marriage between me and Osama bin Laden would NOT work out, but then again, I would be $25 million richer.  :D 

Again, I think this is where some converts go wrong.  'Oh!  You're muslim?!  So am I!  Let's get hitched!'  I believe that your spouse should be your best friend and if you two can't see eye to eye on common issues and don't have the same goals, how is it going to work?

wassalam,
Atsila
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2008 - 4:40PM #34
Atsila
Posts: 207
[QUOTE=USMuslim;178970]Just to clarify, I wasn't commenting on Endgame's posts, I was commenting on the guy who said, " It has been, and still is, used as means of emasculating the enemy, since they can't even defend their own women, reminding non-muslim men of their inferior status. There is more to this non-muslim woman chasing than just sex."

I find Endgame's comments very mature and sensible.

And I agree with you on the black man/white woman thing comment. I think there is a hint of resentment in a few of these comments toward convert women, as though we may be usurping a "born Muslim's" place with Muslim men or something....[/QUOTE]

Sorry, I meant Maji77.  I don't think Maji actually supports it.

You know, I have actually heard what you are talking about.  I've heard some mothers get antsy when women convert, especially white women, because they are taking the muslim men.  Well, excuse me.  Maybe if you let your daughter out of the house every once in a while, she could meet someone, or at least have some real life experiences.

I had forgotten what this thread was about.  I think that some muslim men marry non-muslims because that is simply who they are around all day.  They can chat with them, work with them, talk about similar experiences with them, etc.   

What kills me is that men marry non-muslims and then some muslim men say that there aren't enough muslim men to go around and that's why muslim women should be open to being a second or third wife.  Well, maybe if muslim men didn't marry non-muslims there would be enough men to go around.  Of course, I really don't think there is a problem with there not being enough muslims.  And I don't blame, or think it's wrong, for muslim men and women to marry non-muslims.  If they are more compatable, then it's bound to happen.

wassalam,
Atsila
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2008 - 4:55PM #35
Atsila
Posts: 207
[QUOTE=sazaj36;179325]Atsila

I do know that sex is often used as a form of dominance and power...I was married to a man for 20 years that used sex for just that reason...and usually as a punishment as well....sigh...

I guess the point I was trying to make is that men see sex as the "reward" for efforts made...whether it be wooing his current interest...or conquering new lands and overcoming enemies....if the reward wasnt in the offing...then the effort probably wouldnt be made...[/QUOTE]

I see your point and I know you know all too well how some men use sex, unfortunately.

wassalam
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2008 - 5:03PM #36
Atsila
Posts: 207
[QUOTE=Miraj;179336]First of all, USMuslim, the topic of this thread is why Muslim men prefer non-Muslim women. Your combativeness is threatening to turn it into your personal agenda, and I will not allow that to continue.

Second, your personal attacks on me are baseless and reflect uncertainty about yourself as a Muslim more than they say anything about me,

You've accused me twice of being less of a Muslim than are converts; implied that I am less interested in and less devoted to my faith because I'm born into it. You also accuse me of being ethnocentric, which is funny because Arabs accuse me of being anti-Arab, and I'm an Arab myself, And, you infer that I'm anti-convert. None of that is true, and none of that is the topic of this thread.

Is not for you to know why I say anything, If you need clarification, then ask me to give it, like atsila did, and I will be happy to comply within the best of my ability. But, do not come here and accuse me falsely of things you know nothing about. I am the world's most foremost expert on me and what I think. You are only guessing and that guessing informs me that you are not really settled with your choice and comfortable in your own identity yet or you would not be so defensive,

I based my comments about marriage and converts on what I have observed over a period of nearly 50 years, I have been paying attention all that time, and my observations are shared my many of my collegues, friends and family. The use of Chinese was not about ethnicity, but an attempt to create an analogy that would give power to the fact that it takes alot to make such a change and fit in to something you are new to and learning about.

Now, my advice to you is for you to relax and let this thread continue on re the intended topic.

Salaam[/QUOTE]

Miraj's experiences of what converts do has not been my personal experience, although that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.  I don't think this should turn into a born muslim vs convert debate as we are all muslims and only God can judge who is pious.  I don't think Miraj's faith is any less because because she is a born muslim just like my faith is not any less because I am a convert. 

Miraj can speak for herself, but I am a witness that Miraj has, on many occasions, championed the convert when born muslims tell converts that they don't know anything, should 'become' arab in culture, etc.  Miraj has also spoken out against culture masquerading as islam, well, almost daily.  I don't think Miraj meant to offend anyone with her comments, although I, too, took exception to them.  It's just her personal opinions and experiences, that I am blissfully unaware of. 

wassalam,
Atsila
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2008 - 5:07PM #37
Atsila
Posts: 207
[QUOTE=USMuslim;179102]You hit the nail on the head, at least in terms of American Muslim society. I have seen young Muslims struggling to find proper venues to even meet each other. You can read other posts in other threads that illustrate this point.
The American Muslim community around the country needs to step up and organize activities for singles to meet in halal ways and not think life is as it was "back home" where there was a huge network of family and friends. Muslim parents and community leaders need to put more effort into providing ways for young adults to interact and work together in a manner that is decent and engaging. and I'm not referring to the Islamic convention "speed-mating" venues![/QUOTE]

Amen.  We certainly need some venue where men and women can meet with each other and talk without being accused of being 'loose'.  The problem I see is that 'those in charge' are so against a man and woman being in the same room, that they aren't willing to change.  It's especially tough when there's only one mosque in town and it's conservative and so many single muslims don't come.  How can you find anyone if you don't know they are there to find?

wassalam,
Atsila
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2008 - 10:01PM #38
Miraj
Posts: 5,021
Thank you for your kind words, atsila. You have not been an "average" convert since I've known you.

I was very appreciative of faqir's thoughtful response. However, as I see it, there's little motivation to find ways to bring men and women together because an "old World" mentality is running the primary institutions. Most Muslims who disagree are reluctant to attempt change, prefering to stay away. As long as imported patriarchal attitudes are being accepted by American Muslims that teach that it's ok for Muslim men to marry any non-Muslim women, then we will be subjected to growing gender segregation, and the increasing legitimacy of the view of women as collectibles.

Women, unable to find a man, and believing that they cannot or should not marry a non-Muslim, are oftened pressured into polygyny, and this is particularly true of convert women. Most of the cases I saw in my practice have been convert women. No, converts are not all the same, but too much of the time, it is the women whose naievete is taken advantage of after converting.

I'm not advocating interfaith marriage. What I am going for is what I see coming on the horizon - a movement to solidify authority, promote a gender double standard, make polygyny acceptable, and to limit even more the ability of women to make proper Islamic marriage choices.

The post by GracieMae asking how I had the strength to oppose polygyny inspired this thread. I was hoping to hear more about what messages men are getting; instead it turned into a convert vs. born Muslim debate. What I want to see is women and men of like mind standing up against double standards, self-serving interpretations and cultural tyranny in their ummahs. If few do, what will things be like in 5 years, 10 years?

Salaam
Disclaimer: The opinions of this member are not primarily informed by western ethnocentric paradigms, stereotypes rooted in anti-Muslim/Islam hysteria, "Israel can do no wrong" intransigence, or the perceived need to protect the Judeo-Christian world from invading foreign religions and legal concepts.  By expressing such views, no inherent attempt is being made to derail or hijack threads, but that may be the result.  The result is not the responsibility of this member.


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7 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2008 - 11:13PM #39
endgame
Posts: 122
aslaamualaikum all,
It seems that everyone is in agreement that there is a need for a proper venue for muslim men and women to interact with each other. What are people's suggesstions on these proper venues? What is the proper islamic etiquette in everyone's opinion as far as cross-gender interaction is concerned? When does one go too far? Is there a need to police the interaction?
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2008 - 11:59PM #40
magi_77
Posts: 32
I stand by my statements and haven't said anything that can't be backed by historical fact or current events (especially for Europe).  I am not a fan of politically correct history, if it is politically correct, its not history, its a lie.  As far as the marrying business goes, I've heard a few of my muslim male friends always complain about muslim women being too sensitive.  If the guy said something wrong however slight, she would stop talking to him.  They all told the same story that non-muslim women are easier to talk to, they don't run away for whatever reason.  Some muslim men have simply given up trying with muslim women.
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