TV’s eager Muslim romantics | Khaled Diab |



the guy amount of Muslim characters on television is growing steadily; a week ago I was addressed to two in one night. Both managed questions in the heart, plus one using risqué topic of dating a gay muslim.

Holby City
– that fantasy secure NHS medical facility in which most of the medical doctors and nurses tend to be gorgeous, and customers are not generally an advantage of the plot – used liberal dosages of artistic licence whenever one of the clients nearly died of a broken cardiovascular system.

The individual involved had ignored to simply take their prescribed medication and his transplanted cardiovascular system was at threat of conking around. The determination for this younger Muslim – probably a Turk or a Cypriot – at some point appeared as he confided to his brother he failed to would you like to come into the wedding their particular moms and dads had organized for him because he was crazy about an English lady.


Admittedly, organized marriages remain an essential problem for all Muslims, particularly among a lot more old-fashioned family members and ladies, whoever destinies will be more directly controlled by their own families. The amount of women, for example, who have marriages positioned on their behalf with very improper men off their family members’ nations of source is fairly large.

But parentally imposed couplings within this type bedevil young people from many minorities. It is even frequent among teams with an extremely liberal reputation, such as for example Sikhs. Fellow Cif contributor
Sunny Hundal

There was far less coercion in-marriage than indeed there was once. But i do believe is very socio-economically mainly based. Village-mentality households will still find associates with their women and will more or less press them into that relationship (usually emotionally). More cosmopolitan family members will endeavour and locate suitable partners and introduce them, but will admire a strong ‘no’ if men is actually declined.

It’s true that moms and dads still have an inordinate amount of power over their children’s resides, particularly ladies, and sometimes torpedo the things they see as improper fits – a staple of soaps in Egypt and, I do believe, various other Arab and Muslim lands. However in Egypt, the majority of people I know picked their own spouse. Even those that employed traditional or modern-day matchmaking solutions did very of their own agreement. Actually, as Egyptians
increasingly marry later on
, primarily due to economic limitations, the majority are flocking to the Muslim exact carbon copy of internet dating: on the web matrimony websites and
wedding workplaces
– that are sometimes used as an address for prostitution or as informal immigration services.

Arranged marriages can even be subversive. Although ultra-conservative at the most levels, some Islamist groups tend to be interestingly modern in other people, and contract marriages between their people are more egalitarian compared to the main-stream, with little to no reference to the material wide range or class associated with spouses-to-be. One astonishing appeal of Islamist teams would be that they not only help members discover spouses; they help all of them establish a home.

Another fascinating perspective, which Holby City hinted at but didn’t check out completely, is the fact that of mixed connections and premarital gender. The Muslim patient ended up being certainly terrified to share with their parents about his English girl. This will oftimes be for two reasons: the particular problem of admitting a premarital passionate or intimate liaison in addition to proven fact that she actually is a non-Muslim.

Whether Muslims should marry non-Muslims is actually a prickly issue. Our take usually something goes, and individuals should hitch up with whomever they love, whatever that individual’s back ground. I speak from a secular perspective, but for orthodox Muslims the clear answer is actually far from simple. Inside her guide
Intimate Ethics in Islam
Kecia Ali
argues compellingly that marriages to non-Muslims are not just




, if you prefer), being practised widely in the earlier generations of Islam, additionally just as acceptable for gents and ladies.

But the greater usual view would be that it is only appropriate, not desirable, for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim girl, because Islam is actually handed down through male line. Even in my a lot more liberal group of buddies, where many Muslim women and men accept or tend to be hitched to non-Muslims, many non-Muslim men had to undergo a bogus conversion.

Other spiritual communities are grappling with comparable problems. “I don’t imagine there is certainly much tolerance however [for mixed marriages among Sikhs],” Hundal reflected. “Some take a grim view – my personal parents wouldn’t truly mind … but i actually do imagine the sheer number of mixed-race relationships is increasing.”

These types of cross-cultural relationships supply a gold-mine of dramatic opportunities – and possibilities to test stereotypes – which has had perhaps not been investigated adequately, apart from the nightmare scenarios of young ones caught in the exact middle of two warring countries.

Better yet, exactly why are unable to we’ve a lot more Muslim figures without the Muslim themes? We have found, including, that Holby used to have a Muslim physician,
Professor Zubin Khan
. Why cannot they reintroduce this character, or even much better a hijabless woman Muslim doctor, into healthcare facility’s currently diverse staff members? Whenever are we able to look forward to one Muslim investigator, say a cultured and sophisticated Inspector Mo?

Although we still have some way to visit before Muslims are totally mainstreamed, Uk movie and tv are leagues ahead of their own American alternatives, which still tend to depict Muslims as one-dimensional villains.

In the next instalment, join us to find out how Brit television has veered off the outdone track to a place perhaps not seen since
My Breathtaking Laundrette
by discovering what the results are whenever Muslim son fulfills child – but eventually ends up marrying lady.