…inter-religious. Yes, this is another controversial, orthodoxy-breaking post from me. You may disagree with my view, and even you may get offended, so I am sorry for any inconvenience caused. But please be noted that I merely express my concern and opinion, and don’t intend to offend you. If any disagreement occurs, I will just beg to agree to disagree. Good criticisms and corrections are welcome.
You have been warned, thus trolling will not be tolerated.
So I have ever been attracted to these two ladies. One is older than me, and one is younger than me. I can say that they are subjectively attractive to my eyes, if not beautiful. I like their behaviours, and from the past experiences, I can say that I get along well with them. Now, knowing that I am a Catholic, will you be surprised if I tell you that both are Moslem who wear hijab?
My stance regarding marriage is that I am neither racially, ethnically nor religiously picky. Behaviour, intelligence and beauty are the only selection methods I apply. I am willing to marry an atheist, as long as she is moderate, her behaviour interests me, and she is able to have an intellectual discussion with me (and vice versa). And yes of course she has to be physically attractive enough, standard procedure. Now, if I can marry an atheist, who entirely opposes my world-view, it must not be an obstacle for me to marry a theist of different faith, must it?
The obstacle lies, well, on their side. I am aware that although a Moslem man is allowed to marry a Christian or Jewish woman, Moslem woman is not allowed to do so, although implementations differ from country to country (source). To be fair though, in fact this is a “consensus” commonly agreed by people from many religions, including my own. For example, you can find in this article that the Portugal’s cardinal and the Vatican itself discourage marrying a Moslem.
Another thing is that, referring to this old post, in my opinion religion is not fundamental. To me, love is more fundamental, whichever form it assumes. Love at its most honest level spans across the many backgrounds of humanity, be them political, geographical, cultural, religious, etc. It is wrong and shameful for love to be bounded by these worldly attributes. And no, this stance is not without Biblical support.
12 For to the rest I speak, not the Lord. If any brother has a wife that believes not and she consent to dwell with him: let him not put her away. 13 And if any woman has a husband that believes not and he consent to dwell with her: let her not put away her husband. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the believing wife: and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the believing husband. Otherwise your children should be unclean: but now they are holy.
Religions are supposed to be liberating, not oppressing.
As liberal as I can be, however, I am a conformist. Many people, maybe including you, my dear readers, disagree with this ultra-pluralist stance, and I can do nothing about it. I respect other world-views. It’s also undesired to break the person’s relationship with her family. Therefore, if I were to propose one of them, religious conversion is inevitable. However, – you may want to call me naive – I can’t see any good reason of conversion either. I am quite a follower of the following Gandhi’s statement.
“After long study and experience, I have come to the conclusion that  all religions are true;  all religions have some error in them;  all religions are almost as dear to me as my own Hinduism, in as much as all human beings should be as dear to one as one’s own close relatives. My own veneration for other faiths is the same as that for my own faith; therefore no thought of conversion is possible.“
Mahatma Gandhi, All Men Are Brothers: Life and Thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi as told in his own words, Paris, UNESCO 1958, p 60
To paraphrase it according to my own interpretation, while it is true that religions differ in some doctrines, e.g. whether it was Isaac or Ishmael whom Abraham sacrificed, to me the core of religions is not on this issue. The ethical teaching and the spiritual aspect of religion hold stronger ground-truths. It is possible for you to follow the ethical teaching of religion A even if you are not an A. Conversion asks too much. Conversion needs you to also believe in the mythical doctrine, which I see is harder to change. For example, I am educated and was raised as a Catholic, in some sense I follow some of Siddhartha Gautama’s teachings, I appreciate sufists’ understanding of God (well just assume that these premises are true), but to me believing polytheism is hard. On the other hand, conversion for a mere marriage is just too shallow for a background. The ideal condition thereof is for a better-suited understanding of God and the world, and for the refinement of behaviour.
To conclude, if not because of these issues, I would have at least said to them that I put some interest on them. But this is impossible, unless they change their stance by themselves voluntarily, without any direct intervention from external parties, or the same thing happens to me. So, I can only keep this unrequited love to myself, again. Goodbye my potential love(s).
PS: don’t ask me who these ladies I mentioned are. If you are a Moslem woman and wear hijab, you might be one of the two. 😉