newsletter april 2011

Dear Friends

 

Welcome to the spring newsletter of the Muslim Christian marriage support group!

 

 

Here are a couple of dates :

 

Sunday May 8th    

our next couples’ support meeting,  at the usual venue in Southall, thanks as always to Michael Barnes’ hospitality.

All are welcome from 11.30 till 3.30 . Hope you can join us, RSVP if you can, by email or on 07958 184039 .

Here’s what someone who came to a meeting for the first time this February had to say about it:

 

‘ I’ve been in a relationship with a Muslim boy for three years.  I’m non Muslim and for the last two years have been looking into whether we can have  future together and especially whether we can we raise children together.  What religion will they be?  Can they be 2 religions?  Or parts or different religions? How would we both feel about this?  Will they just turn out to be really confused?  I’ve talked it over with various people over the years, friends, family and my boyfriend and looked a  lot on the internet but it came to the point where I really needed to meet real people who are living what could be my life one day.
So I went along to the meeting last weekend.  I was nervous!!  But I made myself stop sitting outside and seeing who was going in and go in myself!  And from there on it was easy! It was really informal and I liked the way you could say as much or as little as you liked. The people were really honest and friendly and when I heard one lady mention the children she had with her Muslim husband I wished I’d gone on that day 2 years ago when I started researching (worrying about!) the subject!!
I wasn’t naïve enough to think that I’d go to a meeting and come out with all the answers for the perfect future in a mixed faith relationship and I didn’t come out with those answers. I still have my worries/concerns/confusions. But what I did come out with was a more positive way of thinking about the future and the other peoples opinions and approaches made me think that a mixed faith marriage/upbringing for children can be just that; a positive.  Before I had focussed very much on the negatives, and the things that could go wrong.  As I said, I don’t have THE answer but I left with a sense that maybe these very confused children that I’d predicted me having could, on the other hand be open minded aware children with good moral teachings.
I will definitely be going to the next one…..and I might even let my boyfriend come with me this time!’

 

 

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Oxford Christian Muslim forum for families meetings:

 

Saturday May 21st

 

Faith, Change and Families.”

 

                    at 10.30-3.30 , includes lunch, refreshments and children’s activities. All are welcome.

Price is £10 per person, £5concessions and members of Christian Muslim Forum, some subsidised places available & children come for free.

 

 

Friday June 24th at 10- 4,   aimed especially at those who work with families.

 

These   workshops are built around paired conversations as Muslims and Christians think together about faith, diversity and change in families and communities.

 

Both take place at St Anthony of Padua Church Hall 115 Headley Way    Headington, Oxford OX3 7SS  http://www.communigate.co.uk/oxford/rcchurch/page8.phtml  entrance to John Radcliffe Hospital

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Join us on Facebook !

Thanks to the technical skills of one of our members we now have a Facebook page for fans of the muslim christian and interfaith marriage support group.  Which you can access here . http://www.facebook.com/pages/Muslim-Christian-and-Interfaith-Marriage-Support/197079873647699#!/pages/Muslim-Christian-and-Interfaith-Marriage-Support/197079873647699

 

 

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Anyone have any Muslim Christian couple contacts in or near Geneva, Switzerland?

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London Scriptural Reasoning events –

 

Money debt and Justice

 A limited number of tickets are available from the Contextual Theology Centre for an event with Cambridge Interfaith Programme and Citizens UK.  On the morning of May 2nd, 150 Christians, Jews and Muslims will be reflecting on Biblical and Qu’ranic texts on money, debt and justice – before Citizens holds a 2000 person assembly to celebrate ten years of its Living Wage Campaign.  The Scriptural Reasoning event is at 11 for 11.30am at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster. To book a place, email Angus Ritchie (director@theology-centre.org)

 

Plus Children of Abraham warmly invites all Scriptural Reasoners to a special reception and panel event on the occasion of Europe Day

Exploring themes from our religious texts and traditions on:  “Faith, Multiculturalism and Integration in Europe”

Rabbi Reuben Livingstone, Chair of the imams and rabbis charity Children of Abraham, Lecturer at Etz Chaim Yeshiva

Revd Jon Dal Din, Director of Westminster Interfaith (Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster)

Sheikh Dr Mohamed Elsharkawy, Dean of Al-Azhar College, Al-Azhar Al-Sharif together with a panel of UK and European political leaders and diplomats MONDAY 9 MAY AT 7.00PM

AZIZYE MOSQUE, 117-119 STOKE NEWINGTON ROAD, LONDON N16 8BU
(nearest station:  Dalston Kingsland) Halal, kosher and vegetarian refreshments provided.  To attend, please e-mail enquiries@childrenofabraham.org.uk

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Research on Happy marriages: what’s faith got to do with it?

 

Researching Moslem-Christian Marriages: Extrapolating from Mixed-faith Couples towards the Practices of ‘Convivencia’

by Abe Ata and Mark Furlong in the Australia and New Zealand Journal of family therapy which you can read here

http://www.anzjft.com/pages/contents_abstracts.php?id=110#979

http://www.anzjft.com/pages/articles/979.pdf

also from Australia,  an article from Prepare/Enrich on recent research on marital satisfaction amongst interfaith couples.

http://www.prepare-enrich.com.au/administrators/news1012.html

Answering the question Why do some interfaith marriages flourish when others don’t?

The study described which was published in American Journal of family therapy in 2007 (Parsons et al)  is based on other studies : in particular ideas about the development of mature identity and differentiation (becoming an adult with a sense of being separate from one’s parents) that can be traced back to therapist Erik Erikson.

The authors were looking to see whether it’s possible to predict marital satisfaction in interfaith marriages.

The study of 84 people seems to suggest that people who had achieved a clear sense of self in terms of  values and ethical thinking (including in their religious outlook) were more likely to have marital satisfaction in an interfaith marriage than people who hadn’t begun the process of thinking through values and beliefs for themselves rather than just following on from parents . Not surprising in itself perhaps, but what is maybe surprising is the suggestion that religiosity –how religious people were – didn’t seem to be a determining factor.

It’s complicated!   Does the research show that religious difference in and of itself doesn’t predict unhappy marriages, but the extent to which people were ‘identity achieved’ and ‘differentiated’ predicted happy ones?   I’ll leave you to judge for yourself!

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And a round-up of some websites which may interest you…

http://www.thestar.com/article/908455–finding-peace-in-palestine

A Christian-Muslim Palestinian family

 

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=10643211755&topic=8147#topic_top

Discussion of Muslim Christian marriage on National Public Radio (USA)

 

 

http://www.mariage-et-religion.com/Mariages_A/le_mariage__inter_relig.htm#Turabi

One Imam’s contraversial fatwa on muslim women marrying non-muslims .

 

http://www.slate.com/id/2281117

Hanin Ghaddar a Shiite Muslim woman married to a Maronite Christian in Lebanon makes the case for secular government

 

 

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2004/09/19/leap-faith-taking-plunge-interreligious-marriage.html

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2005/04/24/son-mixed-marriage-speaks.html

News from Indonesia on mixed faith marriage and a new book

 

http://muxlim.com/blogs/GoatMilk/rep-anthony-weiner-d-queens-wed-huma-abedin-saturday-in-huntinto/

‘Goatmilk’  debate on mixed faith marriage. (USA) 

 

http://interfaithshaadi.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=98:changing-landscape-of-muslims-in-america&Itemid=78&layout=default

Changing landscape of Muslims in America

 

 

 

With best wishes to you and all your family

 

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