My boyfriend is a Muslim and not only that, he’s also arabic. When I first told that to my mother and my aunt, their reactions were anything but joyful. My mother stopped talking abruptly and my aunt was suddenly afraid for me. All this made me very insecure. And then all of a sudden I was no longer sure if I had got myself involved in something wrong.
This uncertainty continued for several weeks. This feeling of mistrust came and went and never let me go. I caught myself thinking that my new boyfriend might soon let *the cat out of the bag* (German saying about something, what will be discovered, what was unexpected) and that this great and uncomplicated beginning would take its quick end.
The cat did not come out of the bag, not until today. All wild concerns, how “is he now praying every morning?” or “does he perhaps still have a family with children in the home country?”
But what I have learned through this culture, which I have never known before, is amazing. Whatever adventurous judgements I have encountered in myself is even more amazing. Obviously tolerant and open minded, my true I was triggered by the closeness of the relationship into many old fearful ideas that suddenly crawled out of my head without being asked. I mean, who hasn’t seen the book “Not without my daughter” lying on the book table of his parents as a child…this oppressive face under this burka…it left a deep impression in my head. And at the same time a manslaughter indoctrination which does not convey to you in a questionable way “Girl, let yourself get involved with someone from the Orient and you will have to fight for your life”. Even though it was hard for me to admit, these old ideas, frightening thoughts and impressions were still firmly in my consciousness and I was suddenly confronted with them. Everything reappeared again, more than I would have liked myself to do – those were the judgments and condemned I had seen always in others….
It didn’t help, I dealt with it. One by one, whenever I had the feeling that something was already there that I could not deal with. I examined these thoughts, sometimes together with my boyfriend, we thought about where something like this came from, what it does to people. My boyfriend’s favorite question at this time was “How many Arabs do you know?” That catapulted me into the present moment to realize that I was worried about things that somebody, somewhere had told me (I couldn’t even remember who they were), beliefs I had taken over, although I didn’t know it at all. That made me curious. I asked a lot of questions and again and again, as different as I did it in my head, we were not at all. And everything that looked different was totally interesting on closer inspection if you can understand it better.
People say, if you love each other, then you can overcome everything. I slowly ask myself, how many don’t dare to allow love, because of fear of what you don’t know.
Why is it advantageous to have a Muslim in the family? If you are lucky and your partner, like me, comes from the Arab world, you will experience a sea of delicacies and he will turn your kitchen into his. He will probably invite all your friends and then renew your entire spice cupboard, just as you continue to open and renew your judgment cupboard step by step. Family management is one of the best practices, you can be sure that a perfect flow of communication will be maintained and that your mother will be called more often than you are. And once someone from your family is in the hospital, you won’t be able to be the first visitor – your boyfriend will make it his highest priority and have been there before you with flowers and chocolate in his hand.
My tip, overcome your own beliefs, make your own experience, ask questions and do something for a more open society where people are different. And of course the people around you will ask you all the questions you have asked yourself before. And your answers will help people to check their views. Until there is only baklava left and lots of laughter… and the deep insight how damn untrue some seemingly true beliefs are that separate us.
Interested? Of course, that you should deliberately look for a Muslim as a boyfriend was a joke. But to examine the own beliefs, to become really honest, to face what frightens you is something what I only can recommend to everyone. And don’t pretend you don’t have any judgments at all :-), that would be a lie from the beginning.
“The mission of Avatar in the world is to catalyze the integration of belief systems. When we perceive that the only difference between us is our beliefs and that beliefs can be created or discreated with ease, the right and
wrong game will wind down, a co-create game will unfold, and world peace will ensue.” Harry Palmer