Ayaan Hirsi Ali Everyone followed the cartoon crisis, or the crisis about the cartoon drawings of Mohammed in Denmark. That led to an explosion of violence because large groups of Muslims still will not accept criticism of their religion.
Fundamental religious differences can bring unexpected complexities to marriage life. Here, objective is to increase awareness of interfaith complexities and help young adults better prepare for a happy and long lasting married life, even that is an interfaith relationship.
A s the former president of a Balvihar, I only regret one point of our collective inaction: In the Western world, it is quite common that young adults date those from other faiths during their college years, therefore it should come as no surprise that about a third of our young generation of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists marry a person from outside of these Dharmic faith traditions.
In almost all cases where a non-Dharmic life partner is selected, the decision is made by our young adults without pre-emptive advice, guidance, or consultation with their parents. As cited in this article, religious differences could bring complexities in their married life, starting with an "unintended" religious conversion of Dharmic and their progeny to the faith of their intended spouse.
Further, divorce rates in interfaith marriages are double compared to within the same faith marriages. For these reasons, it is increasingly important for our young adults to understand potential complications before entering into a serious relationship.
While interfaith relationships should develop based on a mutual respect for religious diversity, sometimes major differences in fundamental pose difficulties in finding a common ground 12.
Dharmics carry this tolerant attitude that all faiths help you attain God, and everyone should respect not only their own religion, but other religions as well. But this tolerant attitude is not universal.
Many families belonging to Christianity, Islam, and Judaism Abrahamics believe in the supremacy of their monotheistic dogma.
Their holy books reject what they consider polytheistic beliefs of Dharma. According to the Ten Commandments: I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods eg. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God. Another example, Islam forbids marriage with a non-believer in Allah.
Non-believers are expected to convert to Islam by taking the Shahadah oath, the declaration that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad as his apostle. A similar practice also exists in some Christian sects where there is often intense pressure from family members and the clergy to perform a religious conversion of a Dharmic by Baptism before the church wedding.
An uninformed Dharmic will only discover the often times unmentioned expectation of religious conversion after years of being in a romantic relationship. At this point, reluctantly accepting the religious conversion may be the only way of averting a marital grid-lock. Religious conversion may be a matter of just a brief ceremony, but do not underestimate this ritual as a trivial matter.
You will soon find out that the conversion was not just a matter of satisfying the sentimental obsession of the parents-in-law, but a binding commitment guarded by every member of the new community. Offering prayers or supplications to anyone, living or dead, is an unpardonable sin.
Therefore, one should be prepared to accept conversion to a new religion as a serious and irreversible process. M ost conflicts in inter-religious marriages will surface after you have children.
For Abrahamics, it is vital that children from their marriage follow only the rules of their individual holy book. A Muslim spouse and the community may demand your kids have sunat religious circumcision and bear only an Arabic name. A Jewish person may not ask for a religious conversion for the spouse but may want Bris circumcision to declare the Jewish faith for the child.
A Christian spouse may require Baptism of children and require them and you too to attend Church every Sunday, while you may wish to take your child to the Mandir or Balvihar.
Another major consideration is about the expectation for family planning.
I know of a case where an Ahmedabadi young woman already has five kids because her Catholic husband did not believe in birth control. Did she know and realize the consequences of her interfaith relationship while dating in college?
In the truest sense, marriage is a secular act and not a religious one. Unfortunately, some religious leaders and communities would like to use the wedding as a tool for their ambition of religious expansion.
I learned of a case in Boston where without the Shahadah and Islamic wedding nikaahthe wedding was denounced by a local Imam and most Muslim relatives did not attend the wedding reception party.
In almost all cases of a Hindu-Muslim marriage in which both Muslim and Hindu ceremonies are performed, the religious conversion to Islam Shahadah is performed first. Then it is followed by the Muslim wedding ceremony nikaah and after that by the Hindu ceremony Vivah.
Similarly, in many church weddings declaration of faith to Christianity is a mandatory requirement. Therefore, technically speaking, after conversion to Islam or Christian faith has been performed, the Hindu ceremony is a totally superfluous oxymoron because it is a Muslim to Muslim or Christian to Christian wedding performed by a Hindu priest!
In such a wedding, do celebrating Hindus really know what why they are celebrating?It is critical to hear your view points and life experiences, especially from those who have interfaith dating or marriage experiences.
This is the only way to give other young adults first hand unbias guidance relating to interfaith relationships. After all, this site is a forum for intellectuals and is designed to stimulate discussion on interfaith relationships with EQUALITY.
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