About three days went by and I did not hear anything. Although she assured me not to worry, as the girl was probably still thinking about it, I already started losing interest.
A few days later, I get a text from my friend asking if we could talk on phone so that she could update me on the situation with her friend. She continued to say that the reason for the hold-up was that the girl was trying to talk to her parents first. Nevertheless, this scenario happens too often within our community. The Muslim American community is extremely diverse by the numbers. Taking into account both native and foreign born Muslims, the Pew study suggests that South Asians and Arabs together make up the majority of the Muslims in America, followed by a sizable number of Black Muslims, and the rest comprising a hodge podge of various other Muslim nations as mentioned above.
Despite the inherent diversity within the Muslim American community, these community social spaces tend to remain segregated. The South Asian and Arab communities that immigrated in the 80s and 90s have established themselves in various professions in the US as doctors, store owners, engineers, taxi drivers, and so on.
As more people from the same ethnic group gather and form a community, they eventually start to raise money and build a mosque, which serves as a primary space of gathering for those within this specific ethnic community.
Various other ethnicities attend these mosques as well for their spiritual fulfillment. Yet, despite the mixing of ethnicities at the mosque during prayer, the social groups that form outside of the mosque are quite homogenous. However, the same post-mosque social group separation is not as apparent in second generation Muslims compared to first immigrant Muslims. Perhaps because of a more shared American identity, or perhaps because of more interaction and inclusion in college spaces, but social gatherings today are not as divided along ethnic lines as they were in the past.
Therefore, you find more interracial dating and marriage within second generation Muslim Americans that was not as present in with first generation immigrants. Yet, the ugly truth is that certain interracial marriages are more accepted than others. Within the South Asian community, there is strong association with whiteness and beauty.
From the casting of very fair Bollywood actors and actresses to advertisements for the infamous Fair and Lovely skin whitening cream, to parents who implore their sons and daughters to avoid spending too much time in the sun to avoid becoming dark, there is a not-so-subtle message that white is right.
Sookhdeo believes that some 30, Westerners have converted to Islam in the last decade—the majority of them women. Clearly, our churches need to do something about this. In Sunday school classes and youth groups, we need to teach our kids, especially our daughters, about the difference between Islam and Christianity.
And we cannot forget the role that Christian education plays here. We must remind them of the Apostle Paul's admonition in Second Corinthians that we not be yoked with unbelievers.
As more and more Muslims immigrate to Western countries, Christians will likely find themselves mixing with them at work, in the college classroom, and in their neighborhoods. While we should welcome opportunities to develop friendships and share our life and faith, marriage is altogether different. If you know young Christians tempted to marry outside the faith, talk to them.
For The Love Of Culture: Racial Hierarchies In Muslim American Dating | HuffPost
And ask your church family for support. We must do all we can to help our children remain faithful to the one true God and His only Son, who alone died for our sins: Reprinted with permission of Prison Fellowship, P. Box , Washington, DC, For more information on the ministry of Chuck Colson and Prison Fellowship visit their web site at http: The Christian Broadcasting Network. But the term "dating" still invites an offensive suggestion for many Muslims, especially older ones, irrespective of how innocent the relationship may be.
Dating is still linked to its Western origins, which implies underlying expectations of sexual interactions — if not an outright premarital sexual relationship — which Islamic texts prohibit. Ismail Menk, a renowned Islamic scholar, argues in one of his lectures that love, within boundaries and with expectations of marriage, is an accepted fact of life and religion — if done the right way. This "right way," he says, is by involving the families from an early stage.
Before the rise of a Western cultural influence, finding a spouse was a task almost solely assigned to parents or relatives. But young Muslims have now taken it upon themselves to find their partners, relying on their own version of dating to do so. Older Muslims continue to reject dating because they worry that a Western world will also create Western expectations of premarital sex in these relationships. Adam Hodges, a former sociolinguistics professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, argues there is an added layer of culture and context to the term "dating" that is often overlooked.
For The Love Of Culture: Racial Hierarchies In Muslim American Dating
So the way that we label events or phenomena, such as dating, is definitely going to provide a certain perspective on what that means for us," he says. Therefore, taking on the dating vernacular to describe their relationship and labeling their significant other as "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" does put some couples at risk of falling into the physical expectations that come with dating, Hodges says.
But, he adds, these fears can be allayed because "the most important connotation that is borrowed is the ability to choose your own mate," which is also the main precept of dating in the West. One way that some young Muslim couples are rebutting the idea of dating being offensive is by terming it "halal dating. By adding the permissibility factor, some young couples argue, they are removing the idea that anything haram, or prohibited, such as premarital sex, is happening in the relationship. On the other hand, some young couples believe there should be no stigma attached to dating and, therefore, reject the idea of calling it halal.
Khalil Jessa, founder of Salaam Swipe, a dating app that caters to young Muslims, also believes that the negative associations attached to dating depend on the particular society. When they take the word dating, they're adding this connotation to it, and I don't think that's necessarily the case.
It's up to each individual and each couple to choose how they wish to interact with one another," Jessa argues. Getting to know someone and making the informed decision to marry them is not an alien concept in Islamic societies. Abdullah Al-Arian, a history professor at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, says that the idea of courtship has been present in Muslim societies for centuries but was subdued in colonial times.
When the British and the rest of Europe colonized much of the world, they also placed social restrictions on sexual interactions between unmarried couples, Arian says. These social restrictions also took hold in certain Islamic societies, with religious restrictions on sex leading some to go as far as segregating the genders as much as possible, including in schools, universities and even at social gatherings.
These practices began to disintegrate as women started entering the workforce, demanding their rights for universal education and pursuing higher education, Arian says. Segregating because of religious dogma became harder. And so, as the genders mixed, dating relationships also took root in some societies.