In any case, the marriage between a Catholic and a Muslim, if celebrated in spite of all this, requires not only canonical dispensation but also the support of the Catholic community both before and after the marriage.
One of the most important tasks of Catholic associations, volunteer workers and counselling services will be to help these families educate their children and, if need be, to support the least protected member of the Muslim family, that is the woman, to know and insist on her rights.
AKI reports today that, in response to the growing number of Moroccan women who are marrying European men, Sheikh Mohammed al-Tawil of Fez, Morocco insisted in an interview with Al-Arabiya television that marriage between Moroccan women and non-Muslim European men is unacceptable.
"This kind of marriage, between Moroccan women and European men, is forbidden by the Koran and the Sunna.
He may be especially attractive because of his dark good looks, education, financial means and the interest he shows in you.
You may be excited that you have found the 'tall, dark and handsome man' you have been looking for.
A Muslim woman may not marry an unbeliever while a Muslim man may marry Christian and Jewish women." If the European men convert to Islam, that changes everything, he went on; then, Moroccan women may marry them.
"Islam only requires two witnesses for someone to be able to convert and [then] such a marriage is valid." But this is not to be undertaken lightly: "If a European then decides to abandon Islam, Muhammad's words apply to him: those who renounce their own religion must be killed, as they are apostates." Tawil's position represents classic Shari'a but it contravenes the 2005 reforms of the Mudawana, Morocco's family law, which eased the way for foreigners to marry Moroccan women.
Note to readers: This weblog entry on official advice to women not to marry Muslim men has, to my surprise and delight, become the springboard for an intense, heated, and personal dialogue between non-Muslim women romantically involved with Muslim men.
Judging by a number of testimonies of many writers, the site has proved valuable to many women benefiting from advice and the sharing of information; for a couple of examples see the postings by Sally, Nourshehane, Jeweler46, and Cindy (starting here, continuing here, and ending here).
Further, if an Italian woman marries a Muslim immigrant and they move to his country of origin, her rights are "not guaranteed in the way they are in Italy or in other Western nations." Such marriages, the statement concluded, should therefore be discouraged. 26, 2005 update: Stephen Fumio Hamao, a Japanese Catholic cardinal, wrote in 2004 about the "bitter experiences" of European women who marry Muslims. 23, 2007 update: The Kamil Internaltional Ministries Organization of Raleigh, North Carolina, has published a tract, "Why Women Should Not Marry Muslims?
" It begins by contrasting verses from the Koran and New Testament: Because our country receives people of all nationalities, cultures and religions, you may meet and develop a relationship with a Muslim man.
During it the two fiancés will be helped to know and consciously "assume" the profound cultural and religious differences they will have to face, both between themselves and in relation to their respective families and the Muslim's original environment, to which they may possibly return after a period spent abroad.