Yasmin Ahmad’s obsession with Malay girl/Chinese boy relationships was something I found cloying.
Not to mention all the non-Muslim boys quibbling about how they can’t hook up with Malay/Muslim girls because of the whole ‘having to convert’ thing.
They blame Malaysian law, blather on about human rights.
Let’s get some facts straight.
Islam dictates clearly that Muslim men may marry women who are ‘People of the Book’ i.e. Christians or Jews.
Unfortunately, the same doesn’t apply for Muslim women. There are reasons behind that, which I will not comment on as I’m not well-versed in Islamic code and strictures.
So even if it wasn’t a legal requirement in this country for a man to convert to Islam to marry a Muslim girl, chances are he would still get pressure anyway.
No tok kadi would marry or recognise a marriage between a Muslim girl to a non-Muslim.
Let’s not get into the kind of pressures the girl’s family would exert. “Kau nak kahwin kafir? Dia tak nak peluk Islam? Kau gila ke apa?”
In an ideal world, having different faiths shouldn’t be an obstacle to falling in love or getting married.
But when a faith clearly delineates boundaries, there will be a hard choice to make:
Will you go against love? Or go against your faith? If your faith never mattered much to you in the first place, then this is a very easy choice. No drama involved at all.
Christianity itself frowns upon marriages that are ‘inequally yoked’. Unlike Islam, it doesn’t expressly forbid a believer from marrying a non-believer but it warns of the many pitfalls such a marriage entails.
I know a Christian boy who, despite a deep connection with a Muslim girl, stopped short of having a relationship with her. He ended up slowly distancing himself from her because he knew that he could, and would, only choose God.
Some may call that retarded. But the thing is, for some people faith is precious. God is central to their lives and being with someone so opposed to something that is so much a part of you is painful.
If you were a churchgoer, wouldn’t it depress you everytime your lover calls you stupid for worshipping a lie? How can you not take it personally?
Faith in God makes me what I am so being with someone who refuses to accept that or tries to force me to give that up – I can’t.
Men come. Men go. They leave. They lie. They make promises they cannot keep.
Romance is overrated. Romeo and Juliet were lovesick fools with very stupid families.
So if you expect me to give up my God for you, you are asking me to give a part of myself up.
You are asking me to become something I am not.
Love means accepting a person for what they are. For who they are. For what they believe in.
If you have to force them to change that, then you do not understand what love is at all. And probably never will.
As Philip Yancey said in “The Jesus I Never Knew”: “Even God with all his power, cannot force a man to love.”
If you have to make someone into something else, if you have to change them into something they’re not, or someone more pleasing to you, then you have no business saying you ‘love’ someone.