Wednesday, September 20, 2006

speed dating for muslims

Here's a sample from an article in the New York Times about the whole marriage meat market thing that supposedly goes on at ISNA conferences.

The questions raised at the seminar reflected just how pained many
American Muslims are by the subject. One middle-aged man wondered
if there was anything he could do now that his 32-year-old son had
declared his intention of marrying a (shudder) Roman Catholic. A young
man asked what might be considered going too far when courting a
Muslim woman.

At the end there was an hourlong social hour which allowed
participants time to collect e-mail addresses and telephone numbers
over a pasta dinner with sodas. (Given the Muslim ban on alcohol, no
one could soothe jumpy nerves with a drink.)

First of all, what an inane thing to report, and second, what's with the tone? Isn't the Times supposed to be a respectable publication? Do respectable publications print articles in which they blatantly mock people's lifestyles and place them right next to foreign policy analyses? This is almost like the idiots who mock the people at the Scientology stands by shouting vehemently about how they "want to make noise when they give birth."

I'm the first to say I absolutely disagree with whatever goes on at these ISNA matrimonial events, but if this is how people choose to reconcile their conflicting cultures, then so be it. It's not as if Muslims are the only ones getting arranged marriages. And it's certainly not as if Muslims are the only ones who get pissed about their children being exogamous. Finally, it's not as if the entire concept of speed dating and online dating is immune to mockery, so why not start there first. Seriously man, report on some real shit for God's sake.


Anonymous said...

Would it be possible for you to write in words the data collected by yourself regarding Pakistan's progress using the past 3 years GDP, GNP?

billu said...

I'd have to redo the analysis, not sure where those files are. I'll work on it.

omarhaq said...

i just read this article - and as usual i will update it with what you said - i agree that it was mocking the situtation. would it be less idiotic if perhaps a muslim wrote it ?? though i doubt a muslim would talk about booze.

However, by mentioning this line about booze, he is trying to show us the differene in the 2 cultures. speed dating started in the west and muslims in the west are adopting it. And they are trying to adopt it by keeping their cultures intact.

he mentions no booze, as their is always booze to calm the nerves. Completely understandable in the west. However that is another reason why it may or may not work with muslims.

secondly, he mentions how ludicrous it is that the mothers are watching, or one parents was supposed to be at the table. seems like the organizer are still experimenting. they have had 7 marriages in 5 years, but the process of perfecting it is is ongoing.

even the attendants said 7 mins is not enough. I think that perhaps is point of the indicate that some cultural and religious norms are not condusive to dating...(they even change the name man!!)

if you don't mind, I will publish these thoughts on my blog too