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January 04, 2004

Muslims & marriage

This is a 12 minute audio piece about Muslim women and their problems with marriage. The juxtpositions that crop up can be jarring to stereotypes. For example, one young British Muslim talks about how she got an arranged marriage with a man who was from a religious and "good" family. She comes to find out he likes ham sandwiches and is offended by her wearing Asian clothes at home and talking about Islam. Seen in this way, he is the "liberal" and she is the "conservative," but when she goes on to describe how he treats her, and how his family views the situation (deal with it, it's done), just who is "liberal" and "conservative" can get very muddled.

The way I see it, there are many consumeristic and secular children of immigrants of Muslim and Asian origin who live double-lives, being Western in their individual spheres, but keeping up the sham of "respectability" so that the family rep is kept intact. On the other end, you have liberated, intelligent and independent girls who are rediscovering their culture and get a nasty shock when the practice does not conform to Islamic ideal....

Posted by razib at 12:02 AM