“THE GOATMILK DEBATES” will be an ongoing series featuring two debaters tackling an interesting or controversial question in a unique, irreverent manner.
Each debater makes their opening argument. They can elect to post a rebuttal.
The winner will be decided by the online audience and judged according to the strength of their argument.
The motion: “Muslim Women Should Be Able to Marry Non-Muslim Men”
For the motion: Nadia S. Mohammad [See her article here] and May Alhassen
Against the motion: Sister Soul and Mahdi Ahmad
AGAINST THE MOTION: “Marriage Issues” – SISTER SOUL
I am not a legal scholar and I have not researched the legal aspects of the issue of Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men. To me, the essential issue in looking at this particular issue or others that “progressive” Muslims tend to discuss is whether “Islam” allows it or not – not whether we think it should be allowed or not. What we want is too tempting in this kind of topic and can bias our interpretations of our religion, and of course what each person wants can and does vary.
How do we decide what our religion says? This of course involves figuring out what “Islam” is and what it allows, which leads us to the Qur’an, sunnah, shari’ah and on and on. Certainly we’d want to look at the Qur’an, but even then we need to figure out how to understand it. Some verses we tend to say refer to a specific context and yet some we say refer to all times and all places. How do we decide which verses are which? And what about the sunnah, how do we use it when it is completely immersed in a specific context? Same with shari’ah. What this all gets at is methodology—coming up with one, being consistent with it and figuring out how it should mix with what we want (if at all). Now I’d like to set aside the legal issues and bring up others, while trying to come up with alternative solutions.
Why are we interested in this issue? If we are interested purely as a legal exercise, then we need to engage in a legal discussion, which this is not. I suspect that we are interested in the issue as a solution to a problem. That problem is that Muslims are having a hard time finding fellow Muslims in America to marry. I want to explore this topic now. Continue reading