television’s desperate Muslim romantics | Khaled Diab |


he number of Muslim figures on tv is growing continuously; the other day I found myself addressed to two in one night. Both dealt with questions of this heart, and one because of the risqué subject matter of dating a gay muslim.

Holby City
– that fantasy land NHS medical facility where the physicians and nurses tend to be gorgeous, and clients are not often a virtue associated with land – utilized liberal dosages of creative license when among their clients nearly passed away of a broken cardiovascular system.

The individual concerned had overlooked to take their medication and his transplanted heart was in risk of conking aside. The motivation with this youthful Muslim – most likely a Turk or a Cypriot – eventually surfaced when he confided to their aunt that he did not like to access the wedding their moms and dads had positioned for him because he had been in love with an English girl.

Undoubtedly, organized marriages stay a pertinent issue for a number of Muslims, especially among much more traditional individuals and also for women, whoever destinies will be more closely controlled by their own families. The sheer number of women, including, who possess marriages positioned on their behalf with extremely unacceptable young men off their family members’ countries of beginning is fairly high.

But parentally imposed couplings of this type bedevil young people from a lot of minorities. Really actually frequent among groups with a rather liberal reputation, instance Sikhs. Fellow Cif contributor
Warm Hundal
told me:

There was notably less coercion in marriage than there had previously been. But In my opinion is quite socio-economically dependent. Village-mentality family members will however find lovers for ladies and will almost force all of them into that matrimony (usually mentally). A lot more cosmopolitan families will try in order to find appropriate lovers and introduce them, but will honor a strong ‘no’ if a guy is denied.

Its true that parents however have an inordinate amount of control over kids’s everyday lives, particularly women, and sometimes torpedo whatever see as unacceptable suits – a staple of soaps in Egypt and, I do believe, different Arab and Muslim countries. However in Egypt, most people I’m sure opted their wife. Also those people that employed traditional or modern-day matchmaking services did very of one’s own agreement. Indeed, as Egyptians
progressively marry later on
, primarily because of economic constraints, lots of people are flocking for the Muslim exact carbon copy of online dating: on-line wedding sites and
marriage offices
– that are occasionally utilized as an address for prostitution or as everyday immigration solutions.

Arranged marriages can also be subversive. Although ultra-conservative at most amounts, some Islamist teams tend to be remarkably modern in other people, and contract marriages between their particular users are far more egalitarian as compared to mainstream, with little regard to the material wealth or course regarding the spouses-to-be. One surprising appeal of Islamist groups is that they not only assist members discover partners; they help them create a house.

Another interesting perspective, which Holby City hinted at but neglected to explore totally, is the fact that of combined relationships and premarital sex. The Muslim client had been obviously terrified to share with their moms and dads about his English sweetheart. This would likely be for two reasons: the particular problem of admitting a premarital intimate or intimate liaison additionally the fact that she is a non-Muslim.

Whether Muslims should get married non-Muslims is actually a prickly issue. My personal take would be that anything goes, and people should hitch up with whomever they love, whatever that individual’s history. I communicate from a secular point of view, but also for orthodox Muslims the solution is not even close to straightforward. Within her publication
Sexual Ethics in Islam
Kecia Ali
contends compellingly that marriages to non-Muslims are not only




, if you like), being practised widely in the last centuries of Islam, and just as appropriate for both women and men.

However, the greater typical view would be that it’s only appropriate, not attractive, for a Muslim guy to marry a non-Muslim lady, because Islam is handed down through male line. Inside my personal more liberal circle of buddies, where many Muslim men and women live with or are hitched to non-Muslims, a lot of non-Muslim guys had to endure a bogus conversion process.

Different religious communities are grappling with comparable difficulties. “I don’t believe discover much tolerance but [for combined marriages among Sikhs],” Hundal reflected. “Some take a grim view – my personal moms and dads won’t really worry about … but i really do think the amount of mixed-race relationships is growing.”

These types of cross-cultural relationships offer a gold mine of dramatic possibilities – and chances to test stereotypes – containing perhaps not already been explored sufficiently, apart from the horror situations of kids caught in two warring cultures.

Better still, precisely why can’t there is a lot more Muslim characters without having the Muslim themes? I have discovered, for instance, that Holby once had a Muslim doctor,
Professor Zubin Khan
. Exactly why cannot they reintroduce this character, or better a hijabless girl Muslim doctor, into the healthcare facility’s already varied employees? Whenever can we anticipate one Muslim detective, state a cultured and innovative Inspector Mo?

Although we still have some way to visit before Muslims tend to be completely mainstreamed, Brit film and television are leagues ahead of their particular United states counterparts, which nevertheless tend to depict Muslims as one-dimensional villains.

In the next instalment, join us to observe how British television features veered off the beaten track to someplace perhaps not seen since
My Gorgeous Laundrette
by discovering what takes place whenever Muslim child meets man – but ultimately ends up marrying woman.