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A Sikh Dating A Muslim

A Sikh Dating A Muslim

“You can marry any man you want – as long as he’s Muslim.” This warning was issued to me and my sister, by our parents, at an early age. Most children accept such nonsense without question. I’m ashamed to say I did, too, even though I was struck by the dissonance between the parental caution and the fact that nothing about us was especially Muslim. From our short hair, to our shorts and dresses, to our inability to name the Top Pillars of Islam, we probably would have been found unacceptable by any truly Muslim family. Nevertheless, I didn’t expect I would ever have cause to go against my parents’ wishes because, in those days, I didn’t like boys.

So what could be the problem when I finally found the person I know is the love of my life? The problem is, that I am Muslim and he is a Sikh; neither one of us is 100% practicing. We are both spiritual and believe very strongly in God and we both carry a respect for each others religion. What we would do with any future children? We’ve discussed it and the answer is that they would be raised around both religions and have nothing forced on them. I will stay Muslim and he a Sikh. I have absolutely no qualms in going to the Gurdwara nor does he about going to a Mosque. So if we have it all figured out, shouldn’t that account for something? In the perfect world my answer would be yes, however, in this situation it accounts for nothing. 
 
Where does the religious non acceptance root from? From my understanding during the partition of India in 1947, there was much bloodshed between Sikhs and Muslims. There was mass migration of people from all walks of life to leave their homes and belongings and travel by foot across the new border, on trains and on land people were killed in what was felt to be revenge attacks. Millions of Sikhs left Pakistan and moved into India, while millions of Muslims left India and moved into Pakistan. So what does this have to do with people of couples of today? I couldn’t tell you.  
 
To know that I have never felt this way about anyone else and that could potentially mean nothing to my family breaks my heart. This man is everything my parents would want me to be with however, religion makes him everything they wouldn’t want me with.I would think that the union of two religions is something to not only celebrate but also respect. It puts a stop to the stigma that surrounds inter-race couples and lets love be love. 
 
Despite my deep love for my family, its clear which way I would turn if forced to choose between them and my partner. It’s not that straightforward for everyone. I’m intrigued by the awful possibility that even true love might not be enough to help one rise above differences.
 
Disapproval is never easy to handle, but when it’s directed at your partner it’s especially difficult. This person – your other half – supposedly encapsulates all the qualities you value, and also reflects your own sense of worth. Any rejection of them is indirect rejection of you. 
 
Rosa Luxemburg said: “Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” It might be cosy to hunker down in the old comfort zone, but the sense of security is false. Too many of us are trapped by an unwillingness to see things differently, to act outside received social norms. We diminish ourselves when we do not accept one another as we are. Acceptance confirms a confidence in one’s own values, acknowledges the right to difference, and shows respect for the other. Love does not need to tear us apart.

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