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What do I really care about, and what is just my stubborn ego? And what do I owe to my religious community, which may need me as much as I need it?Jewish-Catholic intermarriages are particularly interesting because of all that our two communities have in common.These forces drive Muslim women to either select suitable marriage partners from outside the faith or face unremitting spinsterhood.” There are two potential solutions to this crisis: The first is to allow Muslim women to marry out as well, something that Ahmed advocates in the name of gender equality.She says women should be able to make their own decisions in this regard, that they should be guided by the principles of ijtihad, which allows Muslims to interpret religious texts according to their own judgments.It is often easier for a Muslim to meet a non-Muslim of the opposite sex–in school for instance–than for a Muslim to meet another Muslim in a religiously sanctioned setting because Muslim prayer and religious education are all segregated by sex.Ezzeldine says that the high interfaith marriage rates should be a “wakeup call” for the community.

“They actually want to get to know the person for a certain amount of time, but also within the boundaries.” If a young Muslim is aiming for this kind of compromise, there are other resources too.Rather, they may see the strong religious influence that mothers have over their children in America as a reason to prohibit interfaith marriage across the board. If women here are so “equal” that the child of an interfaith marriage is more than twice as likely to adopt his mother’s faith as his father’s, then why should religious authorities trust that a Muslim man married to a Christian woman will end up with Muslim children? One is committed to raising the children within the faith, while the other will give the children latitude to come to their own conclusions about God and the universe.And I always imagine, as a Jew, that Roman Catholics have it easy.

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