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 Topic: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?

 (Read 7228 times)
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  • Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     OP - July 09, 2012, 08:27 PM

    Hi,

    I am not an ex-Muslim, I am an ex-Catholic atheist who is in a long term, very loving relationship with my Muslim girlfriend.  She is very devoted to her faith and her family are as well.  If I am to marry her, I will have to convert, say the shahada and pretend to her family that I am Muslim.  My girlfriend knows that I will never actually believe in it, I am extremely anti-religion, for me it is the worst about humankind and something I dearly wish we could rid the world of. She has accepted that I will always be against religion and I have accepted that she will always have her faith.

    A big issue we have though is about children.  I know that if we ever had children she would want to raise them in her faith.  I have told her I never want to have children with her as a result.  It is not about me or her, it is about the children.  Since I have been with her, I have learnt more and more about Islam, and the more I learn, the less I like. For me what makes it even more awful than the other religions is that there seems no way out, that to leave the religion means risking your family and friends turning their back on you, or worse.  I cannot raise my children in Islam because I am sure they will be intelligent children that I will teach to listen to others and appreciate other people's point of view, and with the access they have to information in today's world (or tomorrow's world!), I am sure they would realise that religion is simply imagined and would be left trapped feeling they have to continue pretending to be in a religion when they dont feel it.

    What I would like to ask.....

    How and why did you leave your religion?
    Did you find it easy to find support from others in and out of your religion when making this decision?
    Did you have any other family members who were not Muslim at the time?
    What was the worst reaction from a family member and what was the best?
    Please tell me also what country you are from and where you were living at the time.  My girlfriend is Muslim, I am Irish and we could be living anywhere in Europe over the next few years.

    Thank you so much in advance, it is something I really need some help with.

  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #1 - July 09, 2012, 08:34 PM

    Hi istabraq. Welcome Smiley

    In my opinion, you have made the right decision to not have children since you 2 are so totally opposite in your views about religion and Islam in particular. Frankly, I do not think it is a sustainable thing to pretend to be Muslim for too long. It may be that after a while, the pretension becomes more costly than it's worth, emotionally, mentally and physically.

    If you do have children with a devout muslimah who has coerced you into a pretend conversion for her family's sake, be prepared to live through a lifetime of pressures from her and her family, who will absolutely want the children raised as practising Muslims.

    It may be that your gf and her family are the progressive, secular, liberal type of Muslims, but it doesn't seem like it, or they would not be forcing you to convert, even as a pretence.

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #2 - July 09, 2012, 08:40 PM

    Hi Allat,

    Thanks for your advice.  The conversion is for her family's sake, she knows it is not genuine and accepts that.

    I am really not trying to be sarcastic here, but are there progressive, secular, liberal Muslims? I am  sure there must be, but it seems like a very all or nothing religion, which is the reason I couldn't have my children brought up in it as it affords them no freedom of choice.

    My girlfriend does drink and obviously she is with me even though I am an atheist, so she is more liberal than others, but to me she still seems very extreme.

    Thanks,


  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #3 - July 09, 2012, 08:50 PM

    Hi Allat,

    Thanks for your advice.  The conversion is for her family's sake, she knows it is not genuine and accepts that.


    Then she may be one of those "muslim in name only" types of muslims. You know, the kind who don't eat pork, and that's about it. Muslims have a deep rooted fear of pissing off/disappointing our parents, dishonouring the family blah blah blah. It is ingrained in us so deeply from before we are born. Many people who are actually not really that Muslim keep up this pretence of being Muslim just to appear honourable to the idealized Muslim community in their heads.

    I am really not trying to be sarcastic here, but are there progressive, secular, liberal Muslims?


    Cheesy No worries. There are such Muslims, but they are actually not following Islam in any genuine sense, more like cherry picking a few things here and there and mostly forming an identity on very non-Islamic ideas like universal human rights, equality of sexes, liberalism, etc.

    I am  sure there must be, but it seems like a very all or nothing religion, which is the reason I couldn't have my children brought up in it as it affords them no freedom of choice.


    Same here. I am an ex-muslim woman and I would rather never have children than have them and be forced to raise them as Muslims. yes

    My girlfriend does drink and obviously she is with me even though I am an atheist, so she is more liberal than others, but to me she still seems very extreme.


    Drinking is easy. Half the muslim world drinks, I'd surmise. People tend to become a lot more conservative and fall back on mommy and daddy's rules (religion, especially) when they have kids themselves. This is especially true when a person has not thoroughly examined their own beliefs and just goes along with whatever anyone says.

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #4 - July 09, 2012, 08:54 PM


    Hello mate.

    There is another member here called Doubting Thomas who is in a situation somewhat similar to yours. You can read his introduction thread here

    http://www.councilofexmuslims.com/index.php?topic=19987.0

    Hopefully he might interact and you can share experiences.

    Other than that, I agree with what allat says in general. Can you live a lie for the rest of your life? Ultimately these are questions only you can answer, because it involves someone who you obviously love. Either way, you have come to the right place for asking these questions.



    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #5 - July 09, 2012, 09:12 PM

    If she is in a serious relationship with you knowing that you are an Atheist then it sounds like she is quite open minded.

    And if her parents are accepting of you then they must be quite open minded too.

    I guess it all depends on how much you want to have kids. How long have you been with your girlfriend? I suggest you continue as you are and try to talk these things out a bit more with her.

    What would happen if you told her that you think your kids should have the option to learn about both Muslim and modern Western morality and have the chance to choose which they want to follow when they get older? Maybe you should try that and see what she thinks?

    Also, you said that you could be living anywhere in Europe over the next few years, I think that may make a difference. Because living in places where there is a very small Muslim community is probably different from living somewhere where there are lots of Muslims. In places where there aren't many Muslims around the pressure to conform to Orthodoxy is less.
  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #6 - July 09, 2012, 09:29 PM

    The fact that she wants to raise all her kids Muslim should be good enough of a reason to not marry her. I wouldn't like having a brainwashed kid like this who thinks I'm going to hell and keeps trying to convert me to Islam:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=287388vONrs

  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #7 - July 09, 2012, 09:50 PM

    Chip away at her mate. Try to get her to question her faith a little. Do this sensitively and gently, as if you are trying to resolve one or two of your own doubts. By doing this, you may well hit on the right question or argument to ease the grip that Islam has on her. There is a possibility than that she will start seeing the world a little more as you see it. Even if it only opens her mind that slight bit more, it would make your life with her that little bit easier.

    Love can conquer, and you and her could easily share a happy life together, where Islam only plays a minimal role. Hell, you can even pretend for the sake of her parents, once in a while, when you come to visit: that is a sacrifice you may well have to make for the sake of your love for her. But, by chipping away at her, I'm hoping you will get to a position where you won't ever have to pretend to her at least.

    When it comes to children, my advice would be very similar to the advice the guys have given above: be very careful. Hopefully, if you and her ever decide to have any, she will by then have moved sufficiently away from Islam not to ever want to impose her parent's archaic beliefs onto her children. Otherwise, things will be messy.

    Learn from my mistakes mate: if you dont tackle this issue before marriage, and well before any children come into play, the goalposts could move irrevocably against you at the blink of an eye.

    Hi
  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #8 - July 09, 2012, 09:57 PM

     parrot

    As catholic, why do you need to convert?

    When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.


    A.A. Milne,

    "We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"
  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #9 - July 10, 2012, 01:06 AM

    No one has a "muslima girlfriend" because there is no such thing.

    "That it is indeed the speech of an illustrious messenger" (The Koran 69:40)
  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #10 - August 07, 2012, 05:12 AM

    I've been lurking for a while, but I guess I'll lose my posting virginity now.

    This is eerily similar to my situation. I'm also an ex-Catholic atheist with a long-term Muslim girlfriend with problematic parents. It's far from resolved for me, but I'm determined to raise my children secualrly. If they choose to become religious at an age that they can think for themselves, then that's fine by me. I just don't want them to be indoctrinated. In my situation, I don't think a faked conversion would be the wise thing to do, even though my girlfriend is pushing for it. Good luck, it's a tough situation to be in.
  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #11 - August 07, 2012, 07:32 AM

    Guys, just find a different girl, both of you. I can't imagine ever converting to christianity just to appease a girl or her parents. Or even hinduism or buddhism. So its crazy to me how you guys can think of converting to Islam just to get married, even if in just name.

    Life can't be lived on a lie. And neither should love be one sided. If she loves you, why doesn't she de-convert from Islam or at least not force you to convert? At the very least, she should compromise and agree to raise the kids free from any religion until they're old enough. If you're the one making all the compromises: both converting, and also agreeing to raise kids as muslims, then you're essentially setting the foundation that you'll be the one compromising on everything for the rest of your life.

    At the very least demand equal compromise from her. Or just find someone new. There are a billion girls in the world. You'll find someone better.  If you managed to find someone attractive enough for whom you're willing to swap religions, you'll find someone like her again, trust me.

    Yeah an I am super ugly, I can't even beat my chest am too skinny and when I roaaar to attract women, they laugh at me, because it sounds like a girl screaming. I can't even attract any bitches!  Cry

  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #12 - August 07, 2012, 07:35 AM

    P.S, http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=oneitis

    Yeah an I am super ugly, I can't even beat my chest am too skinny and when I roaaar to attract women, they laugh at me, because it sounds like a girl screaming. I can't even attract any bitches!  Cry

  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #13 - August 07, 2012, 08:22 AM

    To clarify, I've made up my mind on not faking a conversion and I've told her as much. It would be a foolish decision that would just put a band-aid on the problem that is her parents.  The problem is that a fake conversion is the only way she can be with me without getting disowned by her family, which she wants to avoid at all costs. I guess eventually, she'll either have to choose, or her parents will have to have a change of heart. I don't see any other options.
  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #14 - December 06, 2012, 02:22 PM

    I understand that this post was some time ago. But if on the off chance you do read this :

    I agree with your decision not to pretend to convert. Even for the most non-religious of muslims the religion can be very manipulating because in their heart they believe the religion is the truth. Who is to say that one day she doesn't decide to start practicing more and views your relationship differently. Bringing children into the relationship would be a catastrophe.

    The problem is that her family can use little ups and downs in every relationship to coerce and convince her that its not going well. They will attack you with Islamic ideology and cultural ideals that can easily turn her against you despite being raised in a non muslim country. For instance she may believe in her heart that you are wrong and because she loves you and knows your a good person that perhaps one day you will convert to islam. When children are in the picture many non practicing muslims change their ways and raising their children secular would not sit well. From the sounds of your OP she is still quite religious and this will have a great influence on her beliefs surrounding the children. Any parent would be mortified at the prospect of their children going to hell because they didn't raise them on the correct path. Hence many bad boys/girls become suddenly practicing.

    The only way would be to convince her that her religion is indeed false. Which will constantly be undermined by her families obsession with it and everything she has been brainwashed with since a young babe.

    Coupled with the fact that most mothers gain custody in the west and you will have a fight on your hands should she ever leave you and stop contact with the children. Which will be fully supported by the family.

    I wish you the best of luck but my advice is to never bring children in this type of relationship.
  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #15 - December 06, 2012, 03:32 PM

    Just talking with a Muslim friend who said it is never for someone else to tell someone else who they should or should not marry and what conditions should be attached to it.

    When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.


    A.A. Milne,

    "We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"
  • Re: Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #16 - December 06, 2012, 11:03 PM

    I have mentioned this on a previous thread and will say it again. Despite the drinking etc (which makes you a sinner not a kafir). Does your girlfriend genuinely believe the Muslim worldview? And what I mean here is not simple lip service but actual genuine belief? If that question is in the affirmative, I'll comment further.
  • Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #17 - December 09, 2012, 06:19 PM

    Mate... you just hit the nail in a coffin... this is what i was about to pots........

    IMO... You don't need to "make her question" her faith as it will be as good as "brianwash".... i understant you don't believe in God thin but not all of us are same... however... you can have a "healthy" discussion" permitted by the amount of "religiousness" your GF has....

    On the other hand..... why so much on JIHAD on every level.... like you have JIHAD to Kill non muslims... BUT not what i see here is kind of "LOVE" Jihad... WTF....... so are moderate/liberal/open minded muslims believ in it...?!?!?!?

    Non Muslim boy + Mulimah= Boy's conversion to Islam
    Non Muslim Boy +muslimah= boy does' get convert but children would be muslims

    MuslimBoy + non Muslim girl= girl convert to Islam
    Muslim boy (progressive)+ non muslim girl= Child get "automatically muslim..

    WTF... I MEAN.. REALLY..... REALLY..... then sacularism ( sickularism) ................ by any mean the JIHAD is on.... if not by voilence... by LOVE JIHAD..... where any of the gender has to surrender to ISLAM so WHAT THE FUCK IS LOVE ALL ABOUT  Huh?............. Just my two cent......

    wondering what should be here as what is today good not necessarly good tomorrow
  • Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #18 - April 08, 2013, 11:58 PM

    V late in here guys, sorry to have missed your posts when they first came out, so Canuck5551 and istabraq if your still out there, how's it going, any changes in the muslimah relationship situations?
  • Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #19 - April 17, 2013, 05:30 AM

    No changes for me, unfortunately. We're still stuck in the same limbo.
  • Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #20 - April 17, 2013, 06:26 AM

    Is there a problem with people living together long term?

    When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.


    A.A. Milne,

    "We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"
  • Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #21 - April 17, 2013, 03:28 PM

    Can I ask you one question though. Does it not bother you knowing that the person you love thinks that you are going to hell and be punished for eternity?
  • Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #22 - April 17, 2013, 05:05 PM

    I am really not trying to be sarcastic here, but are there progressive, secular, liberal Muslims? I am  sure there must be, but it seems like a very all or nothing religion, which is the reason I couldn't have my children brought up in it as it affords them no freedom of choice.

    My girlfriend does drink and obviously she is with me even though I am an atheist, so she is more liberal than others, but to me she still seems very extreme.



    I'm an ex-Muslim and I was in the same boat as you.
    I come from a cultural Muslim community, so only my immediate family knows of my rejection of Islam. To everyone else, I'm just non-practicing.
    So it was relatively easier for me to do that in front of my wife's family as well.  I hate to say it comes naturally now, but it really does.

    They don't ask, I don't make a big deal out of it.

    I have a very hard time explaining the the duality of liberal Muslims. My wife as well genuinely believes in Islam, but doesn't pray, drink, doesn't cover...
    I gave up a while ago or trying to figure out how her mind rationalizes it all.  I've had numerous conversations with other people and its the same duality.
    I asked my wife many times if she was sure... because I'm going to hell according to Islam.

    In any case, in my own head, I just accept her as a cultural Muslim. It's more spiritual and community based than any real acceptance of Islamic principles.   I guess some people have more of an attachment to things than other. 

    There are loads of progressive/liberal/cultural Muslims out there. I have parts of my community that are basically just Muslim by name and celebrate the holidays. That's the extent of their Islam. But the community bonds still remain. It is hard to break these community bonds if you are Indian/Arab or something like that.  Out community is just not at that level where they are willing to accept atheism. So we play along. A couple years back, there was one known apostate. He was in medical school and passed away. Half the people wouldn't even come to his funeral. The other half were talking about him getting cancer because he left Islam...

    I don't wish that kind of hatred on my family or myself (more my family, as I could care less about community).

    As for me, I have no issue raising Muslim by name children. As long as they don't turn into hadeeth following quranic nutjobs. 
    Just make sure you and your wife agree to teach them a very liberal interpretation of Islam.








  • Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #23 - April 17, 2013, 09:57 PM

    Can I ask you one question though. Does it not bother you knowing that the person you love thinks that you are going to hell and be punished for eternity?

    I honestly just think she doesn't think about that. I tend not to tell her what she "should" believe as a Muslim, with her less than orthodox opinions (accepting evolution, not supporting the death penalty, etc.) and just address what she actually does believe.
  • Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #24 - April 17, 2013, 10:13 PM

    I honestly just think she doesn't think about that. I tend not to tell her what she "should" believe as a Muslim, with her less than orthodox opinions (accepting evolution, not supporting the death penalty, etc.) and just address what she actually does believe.


    I have working theory on the mindset of such liberal Muslims.

    To understand it, you have to come at it from a FAITH first approach.

    Accept as a matter of faith that Islam is true and Mohamed is the model human being that we are to aspire to act like.
    Now anything that is contrary to their personalized idea of 'goodness' is rejected as being part of Islam. It is either out of context, not true, part of the time, another million reasons.

    It is very hard to convince someone who comes at it from a faith first approach of anything textual as long as the faintest explanation/excuse remains.
    My wife for example as a bit of a feminist. She refused the idea that Mohamed married 6 year old Aisha and had sex with her at 9. At some point in her life, she read that Mohamed never had sex with Aisha. He died while she was a virgin. That is how she rationalized her idealized version of Mohamed with the documented Mohamed.

    My point of all this is not to discourage you from trying to convince her.  Keep trying.. .i still do at times.
    But at some point, I think you should take a step back and really ask is what SHE believes in a practical sense really that bad.
    Not what SHE should believe.
    But what SHE actually believes.
    And how much can change her views of practical things.

    That will determine how much of a success such a marriage or kids will have.
  • Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #25 - April 18, 2013, 11:20 PM

    Hi Canuck5551, I'll try and write a proper post when the brain's functioning a little better, right now it's beginning to shut down. Anyway it sounds like your in "stale mate" at the moment with neither party budging, I've heard an example of this condition going on for up to 8 years until the muslimah and the infidel finally broke up as he refused to convert but it took that long for it to come to ahead. I've also heard muslims calling this situation such a waste of time. That said, I've heard of muslim marriages lasting less than 8 years, much of the couples time spent in unhappiness yet I haven't heard muslims say the same thing regarding this kind of brake up. I'll stop now because I'm not sure how much sense I'm making.
  • Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #26 - April 22, 2013, 11:21 PM

    Hey Canuck, it's a good start that your gf actually accepts evolution, mine is still not willing to even contimplate such a "crazy" notion. This is a good sign, as Musivore said, chip away at her. As for the the question of "does it bother you that she thinks your going to hell and punished for eternity" again I have to agree with you, I don't think my wife thinks like that, she probably either deliberately pushes the idea out of her mind or convinces herself that because I bared witness this is enough of a get out of jail(hell) card in itself.
    As my marriage goes on, I find she is trying to become more religious in herself while I'm moving further in the opposite direction. Lately our veiws haven't clashed but with kids and inlaws you can bet a flair up is never to far away.
  • Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #27 - April 25, 2013, 03:49 AM

    She's a biology student, so it'd have been kind of hard for her to be a creationist when faced with the evidence every day. I know some less open-minded religious people still manage to do just that, though. With the only real negative about her religiousness being that she gets kind of defensive about the subject, I don't really feel the need to chip away at it. She could remain a Muslim for the rest of her life without me really minding. On the other hand, her parents' faith is obviously a fair amount more detrimental..
  • Can I watch my children be raised in Islam?
     Reply #28 - April 25, 2013, 11:19 PM

    "She could remain a Muslim for the rest of her life without me really minding. On the other hand, her parents' faith is obviously a fair amount more detrimental.."
    ^
    Yeah I get that, sounds like you guys are doing ok, just stick to your guns and don't give into her families demands. If you stand by what you've written, she's the one who has to make the decision not you.
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