Tag Archives: family

Having faith in interfaith

Image: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/change/faith/

Although my husband and I have different backgrounds in religion, culture, language and nationality, none of our arguments have ever related to any of those differences. That’s not to say we never fight – because we do, our fights just don’t ever get political.

We are one of very few couples who not only get along with but also adore each other’s parents. My husband’s parents are crazy about me and I’m fairly sure my parents love my husband more than they love me. Furthermore our respective sets of parents share a love for each other. The fact that they live in different countries doesn’t stop them from contacting each other on a regular basis. Additionally, my Mum calls my husband’s brother and sister her son and daughter (respectively), and they in turn call my Mum their Mum too. The sort of relations my husband’s family has with my family can only be seen in fairytales, and even then our ‘Happily every after’ is better than that of any fairytale.

I have several friends and acquaintances that share the same nationality and religion as their partner, but their families can’t seem to get along. That puts a great strain on the functioning of their relationship and prospective future of their partnership. My husband and I are truly blessed, that despite all our differences our families get along and they get along well.

I can’t imagine the difficulty of an interfaith marriage of which one or both sets of parents disapprove. Thus, the small hardships that my husband and I have faced (and are likely yet to face) from the outside world, cannot in any way be compared to the sorts of hardships other interfaith couples experience whose parents disapprove of their union. I can’t really comment on those hardships because, luckily, I myself have not had to endure them. What I can say, however, is that my husband’s family and my family have set a pretty damn good example of how things should be with regards to interfaith marriage and marriage in general. Other interfaith couples’ families should seriously take note and follow suit.

Parents want what is best for their children, but sometimes what parents think is best for their children, isn’t want the children think is best for themselves. Furthermore, parents who are scared about their child marrying into a different culture or religion because they might lose the culture and religion they were born into, have unfounded fears. You don’t lose your identity to your partner when you marry them, so why would you lose your culture and religion? Anything is possible; it’s simply a matter of choice. If the families of a couple comprising of one Russian-Orthodox Jew and one Iranian Muslim could unite despite their differences and figure it out, I’m sure other families can figure it out too.

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Although I am new to the blogging world and am completely incompetent at using technology (I only recently learned how to make hyperlinks), I believe that my message of peace and tolerance needs to be heard. To learn a little bit more about my background please read my post titled “A little bit about myself…”. To learn more about why I started this blog, please read my post titled “Introduction…”.

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Familial Intolerance

Image- http://imgarcade.com/1/couple-fighting-silhouette/

To be honest, at first my parents had their doubts about me having a Middle-Eastern boyfriend. As soon as they met my now-husband, however, they realized their fears were simply a product of their own imaginations. My grandparents, on the other hand weren’t as easy to convince. To give them the benefit of the doubt, I’m going to apportion part of that difficulty to the fact that they don’t live in the same country as I do and my communication with them is limited to phone calls.

I received countless phone calls from my Grandma (Mum’s mum) who told me about a Russian television series she watches with the following storyline: Middle-Eastern men luring Russian women to the Middle East and then not letting them leave. It was basically another “Not Without My Daughter” conversation, except this time it was with a person close to me. Unable to just simply dismiss her concern, I was forced to engage in discussion in an attempt to prove her otherwise. Usually by the end of the conversation she would agree with me, but the next time she called it was like Ground-hog day and I had to enjoy the same conversation all over again. To my Grandma’s merit, as soon as she found out that I was getting married, she stopped comparing my life to a soap opera and told me that she was really happy for my fiancé and I, and that she had full faith and confidence in our decision to wed.

I wish I could say the same about my Dad’s side of the family. They didn’t even know that I had a boyfriend, let alone his nationality, because they’re not the type of people that can be trusted with such information. Naturally, when they found out that I was getting married and the nationality of my then husband-to-be, all hell broke loose. My Grandma (Dad’s side) phoned me and came out with the following gem:

“My dear granddaughter, given that you study law, why don’t you just go ahead and write up a prenuptial agreement stating that you won’t change your religion and that your kids won’t be Muslim”

I had not only lost all words, but all faith in humanity. I reacted intolerantly to her intolerance by hanging up on her. My Mum later called her back on my behalf and tried to have a calm, rational conversation. My Mum explained that she herself didn’t need to write any contracts relating to religion when she married my Dad. “Yes, but you two were young and in love”- my Grandma replied…I thought that we reached rock bottom with the prenup comment, but apparently I was wrong.

“Blood is thicker than water”- goes the expression, but with relatives like that, I don’t need enemies. Thank Christ, Moses and Mohammed that these relatives live on the opposite side of the planet and I am not forced to interact with them often.

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Although I am new to the blogging world and am completely incompetent at using technology (I only recently learned how to make hyperlinks), I believe that my message of peace and tolerance needs to be heard. To learn a little bit more about my background please read my post titled “A little bit about myself…”. To learn more about why I started this blog, please read my post titled “Introduction…”.