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A little snippet from the section on Jain-Muslim marriages gives us an inkling about the courage and openness of young people and in equal measure or more their foolhardiness.Here is “Sweta” in a section titled “I am a Jain girl and love a Muslim” (p.As I reported elsewhere (South Writ Large, Spring 2016), “the first Indians who landed on the shores of the United States might have been brought here as slaves and, within a generation of the English setting up camp in Jamestown, there were English- and French-speaking Indian slaves, who had been “Christianised,” and who considered themselves a different class of slaves.How many of them survived, married, had children, and made a life for themselves, we don’t know.Chapter two is a general introduction on interfaith marriages but includes some important pointers – like this set of questions: What will be the religion of children?A Dharmic must ask: is there any expectation of a religious “label” to be placed on the child/children by Baptism (according to Christians), Bris (according to Jews), or Sunat (according to Muslims)?
The book is not an academic tome as much as a handbook/playbook for understanding interfaith relationships, and the do’s and don’ts that can guide young couples to lasting marriages and healthy relationships.
What he also notes is that the young people are usually tolerant and accommodating of their partner’s faith in the beginning but begin to change their mind and become more adamant because of pressure from family/parents, and religious institutions.
Given the fact that most of us are wary of sharing our experience, it is difficult for the public to know what kinds of relational and religious faith dynamics shape and change a couple’s life.
Dr Amin argues that without equality – in faith, practices, beliefs, attitudes – the road to love and happiness, long term, will be fraught with danger.
His goal is to promote “religious pluralism and tolerance” but he acknowledges that it is indeed difficult when it comes to supremacist claims by certain religions – especially Islam, and surely, to an extent, Christianity – and that conflict appears very quickly in a relationship – a few months before marriage, or tragically, a few days after the birth of a child: what rituals shall we have for our marriage? Will we have to change our faith and take on a new name? What religious ceremonies shall we have after the birth of our child?