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Faking it! Faux conversions to Islam.

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@notme @Gaius I. Caesar @hameedeh

@hasanhh

One of my sons is a bit discomfited by a situation. He is friends with an Iranian -American fellow he met in college several years back. (I don't really know him.) The guy was born here , but somehow has dual citizenship with Iran and the US. ( Sorry, don't know much about Iranian rules either.)He still has a lot of relatives in Iran, it seems. My son thought his family was some sort of lapsed Christian or simply atheist or agnostic  because they do nothing religious at all and during their college years my son often had to go out ,get him ,and make sure this fellow got home safely due to  his two-fisted boozing. Turns out the guy's technically Muslim. 

The gentleman in question gets married a couple of years ago in a civil ceremony to an American woman who is a professed atheist. While the Iranian fellow might be " meh" towards religion, his wife genuinely  hates it. She doesn't miss too many opportunities to tease my son about his beliefs ,he says. My son just gently reminds her some people are religious and goes about his business to keep the peace. They don't hang out too much any more,but still occasionally bump into each other and he still considers the fellow a friend.

They ran  into each other in a  coffee shop the other day and he was surprised to hear her announce to him that she was going to " go down to the Islamic Center" in a  city  in the region to  convert to Islam. But not really, and she laughed.  It seems they want to travel to Iran to visit relatives and she has to convert to get in?! My son asked her if she didn't feel badly lying about that. She said nope because there is no God to lie to and all religion,religious leaders, etc. are *^+#%%^. And Iran is ^**%#,too,but the relatives are there.

To make matters worse, the fellow that helps run the Islamic center  they are going to go to to  ask to sign off on this is also somewhat known to my son. He has participated in interfaith activities in the region along with other religious leaders in the area, and has supported the native students on some indigenous issues,especially this year. My son has talked with him on a few occasions. He  likes him and feels bad that he would be lied to. Basically this couple  told him that it was "not his religion "and to "mind his  own business".  So he is, but he feels rotten about it.

 It's unlikely he will ever be asked about his friend by this religious leader ( don't think he is even aware of the connection) but he hopes he isn't.

He let me know how disrespectful he feels this is, even though he he is sure it happens in all faiths. People faking conversions to Catholicism , usually in order to marry a Catholic, isn't unknown,but it is unnecessary to do so to marry one...and the year's worth of study and preparation required these days in order to formally join the Church has probably cut way down on "conversions of convenience" . (My son-in-law at this point does not even want to discuss this guy with my son for lots of his own  reasons.)

My only contribution to this so far has been to tell my son that the guy at the Islamic Center  has probably seen this kind of thing before. In my experience any religious leader who has been at the job any number of years has seen/heard it all. And he will either help them or not...for whatever reasons. It's between them and God. Really don't know what else I can tell him ,but am willing to listen if you have any other wisdom. Thanks.

 

Edited by LeftCoastMom

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*shrugs*

It's weird to me, but let God take care of it in due time. 

I don't know anything about Iranian visa requirements, but I don't think a person has to be Muslim to visit. I've read about non-Muslims visiting, but maybe things have changed since Donald started wrecking the world. 

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It looks like the Iranian-American man is filling out paperwork to get an Iranian passport and/or national ID card for him and his wife. One of the forms is a statement of the wife's name and the date of marriage, etc. If an Iranian man travels to Iran and wants to take his wife to a hotel, they need to submit their passports for inspection (which shows the name of the spouse on it). Hotels are not going to allow unmarried people to get a room. That's just the way it is.   

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I would wonder how family would feel about an atheist being married to their nephew or son etc., the conversion could be to ease family tensions.

in the end, God knows the hearts of people, and will be the one to make the final call.

interesting post though.

Edited by iCambrian

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1 hour ago, LeftCoastMom said:

^ Thanks...But what has that got to do with her religion, though? They can show they are married.

Maybe they have to have an Islamic marriage since at least the husband will presumably have to pretend to be Muslim to not upset his relatives or draw suspicion from authorities?

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Hard enough for people to pretend they are Christian. I have no idea how an atheist could pretend to be Muslim. She's going to walk like an atheist, talk like an atheist and somebody better tell her how to lower her gaze. I can see an atheist having a problem with that. I'd be asking buddy what's the chances she can pull it off, and...how is that going to effect him. She has nothing to lose, he does.

 

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14 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

Hard enough for people to pretend they are Christian. I have no idea how an atheist could pretend to be Muslim. She's going to walk like an atheist, talk like an atheist and somebody better tell her how to lower her gaze. I can see an atheist having a problem with that. I'd be asking buddy what's the chances she can pull it off, and...how is that going to effect him. She has nothing to lose, he does.

 

Salam Son of Placid,

How do atheists walk? I've never noticed atheists walking any differently than theists do. Have you? 

If she's going to lie about being a Muslim, she may not talk like an Atheist.

Do you think Atheists don't know how to lower their gaze???

What does he have to lose? His life? His family? What?

Definitely, if a person wants to marry an Atheist, that's his or her right.

Personally, the only reason I'm not an Atheist is Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the only reason I'm a Theist.

Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach) is the only reason I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) specifically, instead of believing in the Hindu gods for example.

Peace and God bless you

 

Edited by Christianlady

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23 hours ago, notme said:

Maybe they have to have an Islamic marriage since at least the husband will presumably have to pretend to be Muslim to not upset his relatives or draw suspicion from authorities?

Salam Notme,

It's a shame that some people feel like they have to lie in order to not "upset his relatives or draw suspicion from authorities"... that's not freedom.  :(

I have friends and family members who are Atheist. And, I'm fine with that. I respect their rights. They don't have to change or lie about changing to be accepted.

I respect and understand their point of view, and they are perfectly free to explain what they don't believe and why. I would feel horrified if they felt like they had to lie to me.

I would be sad if they felt like they had to lie about converting to Christianity in order to feel accepted. :(:(:(

Peace and God bless you

Edited by Christianlady

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10 minutes ago, Christianlady said:

Salam Son of Placid,

How do atheists walk? I've never noticed atheists walking any differently than theists do. Have you? 

If she's going to lie about being a Muslim, she may not talk like an Atheist.

Do you think Atheists don't know how to lower their gaze???

What does he have to lose? His life? His family? What?

Definitely, if a person wants to marry an Atheist, that's his or her right.

Personally, the only reason I'm not an Atheist is Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the only reason I'm a Theist.

Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach) is the only reason I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel).

Peace and God bless you

 

This is about someone dolling up like a Muslim and going to Iran, not coming to America. It's not so much that there is a standardized atheist gait, but she totally lacks the humbleness of a Muslim woman in pace and speech, and response.

By LCM's initial description her contempt will eventually show through. 

In Iran, family honour is worth a lot more than in America where anything goes. 

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35 minutes ago, Son of Placid said:

This is about someone dolling up like a Muslim and going to Iran, not coming to America.

Salam Son of Placid,

Obviously, because America has freedom of religion.

Quote

It's not so much that there is a standardized atheist gait, but she totally lacks the humbleness of a Muslim woman in pace and speech, and response.

Muslim women are diverse, same as every other group of women. (I have an Atheist friend who is very humble. Atheists are diverse same as every other group of people.)

Quote

By LCM's initial description her contempt will eventually show through. 

That's possible. However and again, it's sad that she thinks she has to lie in order to visit Iran.

Quote

In Iran, family honour is worth a lot more than in America where anything goes. 

 

Family honor, sad to say, sometimes leads to honor killings. :(

About every 90 minutes, an honor killing unfolds somewhere in the world, usually in a Muslim country. Pakistan alone has more than 1,000 a year, and the killers often go unpunished.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/31/opinion/sunday/her-father-shot-her-in-the-head-as-an-honor-killing.html?_r=0

You did not answer my question about what does he have to lose? His family? His life?

The following is about an Iranian lady's husband and friend being honor-killed for allegedly hurting her family's honor.

Irsan is charged with stalking her sister, Nesreen Irsan, after Nersreen left their father's home to marry a Christian man, Coty Beavers.

Their father, Ali Irsan, is Muslim. Prosecutors call him controlling and domineering, and they say he murdered Coty, and Nesreen's best friend, Gelareh Bagherzadeh, because he thought she helped convert his daughter to Christianity.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/texas-woman-accused-stalking-sis-honor-killing-article-1.2211728

Family honor that can result in honor killings is not cool. Could this Atheist wife and her Muslim husband be in danger of being "honor" killed??? Maybe that's why she is thinking about lying to Iranian authorities.

Peace and God bless you

 

Edited by Christianlady

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Well, since I opened this can of worms, we decided to look into it on our own. (Actually, my son did the looking...I have grandma duty too much due to exams for the baby's parents coming up in a couple of weeks. Two months old !!. :grin:) It seems that the government of Iran requires this of a woman married to a Muslim Iranian male. If he is an Iranian Christian, Jew, or Zoroastrian...no problem...they go by their own rules. But if you marry a Muslim guy from there ,if you are not already Muslim and you want to enter Iran, you have to convert and have your marriage recognised. I don't know whether this is because the wife and any kids born to them are considered Iranian citizens,too, which apparently they are...or what. Have no idea about whether the government cares about the sincerity of the conversion or not. I found this interesting because I thought Islam allowed marriages to Christian or Jewish women even if they don't convert. Iran may not be the only Islamic country that does this,though. Didn't look for any more. I guess ,at least, that  it is good that Iran  gives wives citizenship. I used to talk  to  a couple of western women  in a now-defunct online interfaith group who were married to Saudis . The rules there have recently  been changed to be more friendly to them, but citizenship likely won't ever be given. This sometimes affects their ability to pursue a career,among other things.

If we're wrong about any of this....anyone who is in the know, please let me know. Thanks!

 

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17 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

Hard enough for people to pretend they are Christian. I have no idea how an atheist could pretend to be Muslim. She's going to walk like an atheist, talk like an atheist and somebody better tell her how to lower her gaze. I can see an atheist having a problem with that. I'd be asking buddy what's the chances she can pull it off, and...how is that going to effect him. She has nothing to lose, he does.

 

It will be interesting if her behavior is an issue over there. One of the reasons my son does not hang out too much with them anymore is because he often finds her " abrasive". I suspect all Iranians will know she is a western foreigner. Maybe their tolerance levels are higher than my son's? Lol.

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4 hours ago, LeftCoastMom said:

Well, since I opened this can of worms, we decided to look into it on our own. (Actually, my son did the looking...I have grandma duty too much due to exams for the baby's parents coming up in a couple of weeks. Two months old !!. :grin:) It seems that the government of Iran requires this of a woman married to a Muslim Iranian male.

 

Salam LeftCoastMom,

So basically, this requirement encourages lies. As an Atheist who has no desire to truly convert to Islam, she has 2 choices:

1.) She tells the truth and faces the consequences.

2.) She lies and pretends to convert.


Because she wants to go to her husband's native country, she is choosing option 2.).

Due to her personal convictions, she doesn't see the harm in lying to the Iranian government. By the way, she's not alone.

A friend of mine from Iran became a Christian long before I met her. She has still not told her family in Iran about her conversion. I have no idea if she will ever tell them. She leads a double life: a nominal Muslim when she visits her family in Iran, and a Christian in the USA. Out of respect for her privacy and concern for her safety, I won't ever tell anyone her name. Why? Cause I saw the fear in her eyes when I asked her why she doesn't tell her family in Iran. She's scared of them. :(

 

Quote

 

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Quote

I don't know whether this is because the wife and any kids born to them are considered Iranian citizens,too, which apparently they are...or what.

I don't know either, but I'm so thankful that the USA does not have such requirements!!!
 

Quote

 

Have no idea about whether the government cares about the sincerity of the conversion or not.

 

 

 

Maybe they'd prefer being lied to than knowing the truth? I don't know. Personally, I think a government making religious requirements breeds hypocrisy and lies.

Quote

I found this interesting because I thought Islam allowed marriages to Christian or Jewish women even if they don't convert.

Islam does. In the Qur'an, marrying women of the Book is perfectly fine.

Quote

Iran may not be the only Islamic country that does this,though.

That's a great thing to research. I'd like to look that up.

Quote

Didn't look for any more. I guess ,at least, that  it is good that Iran  gives wives citizenship.

Why can't they give wives citizenship no matter the wife's religious belief or no religious belief? Lying about it isn't good.

I don't know the rules for Iran; I just know that it's fine for Muslim men to marry Christian or Jewish women, but it's NOT fine in Islam for Muslim women to marry Christian or Jewish men. 

I didn't know till today that Non-Muslim women had to convert to Islam (or fake it)  for citizenship status. Imagine if a spouse from another country had to convert to Christianity to become an American citizen... :( 

No wonder so many people from Iran (including Christian and Muslim and Atheist Iranians) are immigrating to the USA!!!

It's horrible by the way that Trump wants to put on immigration ban on people from Iran. :( I don't understand that at all, but I wonder how this will impact this couple when/if they want to return to the USA? 

Peace and God bless you

Edited by Christianlady

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17 minutes ago, Christianlady said:

 

Why can't they give wives citizenship no matter the wife's religious belief or no religious belief? 

I didn't know till today that Non-Muslim women had to convert to Islam (or fake it)  for citizenship status.

It's horrible by the way that Trump wants to put on immigration ban on people from Iran. :( I don't understand that at all, but I wonder how this will impact this couple when/if they want to return to the USA? 

 

My understanding from what my son said is that citizenship is usually automatic for a woman upon marriage to an Iranian man. The only glitch is if you are a non-Muslim female married to a Muslim male. If a  foreign woman marries a Christian Iranian man,for example,  she does not have to convert to anything, far as he could tell, and is considered a citizen. 

They are supposedly only going for a short visit. Won't be staying long.  I assume they will re-enter on their US passports,not that that guarantees freedom from problems.

I agree it is an interesting rule.

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38 minutes ago, Christianlady said:

Imagine if a spouse from another country had to convert to Christianity to become an American citizen... :( 

 

 

That's true. One of the perks of being a secular nation. However, the US does not grant automatic citizenship to spouses, either.

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5 minutes ago, LeftCoastMom said:

That's true. One of the perks of being a secular nation.

Yep!!!

Quote

However, the US does not grant automatic citizenship to spouses, either.

I wish they did!!! If I could change that, I would lol!

I was not pleased when I found out how much money and all the annoying paperwork it took for my awesome hubby to become a resident. If God wills, hopefully soon he can get his American citizenship!!! Personally, I think the immigration system needs to be reformed so it's easier for people to become citizens.

While I would love to someday visit his native country of Ecuador if God wills, I don't personally want to become a citizen! We are waiting for him to become an American citizen before visiting his home country!

Peace and God bless you and your wonderful family. :) 

Edited by Christianlady

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On 5/4/2017 at 11:05 AM, Christianlady said:

Salam Son of Placid,

Obviously, because America has freedom of religion.

Muslim women are diverse, same as every other group of women. (I have an Atheist friend who is very humble. Atheists are diverse same as every other group of people.)

That's possible. However and again, it's sad that she thinks she has to lie in order to visit Iran.

 

Family honor, sad to say, sometimes leads to honor killings. :(

About every 90 minutes, an honor killing unfolds somewhere in the world, usually in a Muslim country. Pakistan alone has more than 1,000 a year, and the killers often go unpunished.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/31/opinion/sunday/her-father-shot-her-in-the-head-as-an-honor-killing.html?_r=0

You did not answer my question about what does he have to lose? His family? His life?

The following is about an Iranian lady's husband and friend being honor-killed for allegedly hurting her family's honor.

Irsan is charged with stalking her sister, Nesreen Irsan, after Nersreen left their father's home to marry a Christian man, Coty Beavers.

Their father, Ali Irsan, is Muslim. Prosecutors call him controlling and domineering, and they say he murdered Coty, and Nesreen's best friend, Gelareh Bagherzadeh, because he thought she helped convert his daughter to Christianity.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/texas-woman-accused-stalking-sis-honor-killing-article-1.2211728

Family honor that can result in honor killings is not cool. Could this Atheist wife and her Muslim husband be in danger of being "honor" killed??? Maybe that's why she is thinking about lying to Iranian authorities.

Peace and God bless you

 

What I have found in this walk in life in my 59 years is that humans can and will change if the basic elements are in place. This lady at least loves her husband enough to "fake it" by making the effort to go to an Islamic center and reciting the Kalima, or testimony of faith and belief. Possible just this act may either make or break her Atheist beliefs. Only God, Allah, knows what is in her heart and knows the condition of her heart.She may find something meaningful in this visit. To a person in the right heart condition there is nothing quite as beautiful as an adhan calling the faithful to prayer in a musllim land. It calls to people, and the shia Adhans are for the most part breathtaking. Inshallah this lady will at least find God in any way, and reignite the love of her husband for his Rabb,

 

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On 2017-5-5 at 6:35 AM, LeftCoastMom said:

Have no idea about whether the government cares about the sincerity of the conversion or not.

Even if they cared, it is never easy to be absolutely sure if someone is sincere or not.

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On Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 5:45 PM, Hameedeh said:

It looks like the Iranian-American man is filling out paperwork to get an Iranian passport and/or national ID card for him and his wife. One of the forms is a statement of the wife's name and the date of marriage, etc. If an Iranian man travels to Iran and wants to take his wife to a hotel, they need to submit their passports for inspection (which shows the name of the spouse on it). Hotels are not going to allow unmarried people to get a room. That's just the way it is.   

This is a minor problem. A couple can survive not sharing bedroom, only having to pay for two single rooms is more expensive. 

For a Scandinavian (male) like me, I am more curious to know how a Muslim woman feels about not being allowed to marry a Christian man, whilst her brother may marry a Christian woman. Does this  not signal that wives in Islam are regarded as husbands property?  Had Christianity had the same restriction, intermarriage had been impossible. 

 

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I wonder if a muslim woman were to marry a christian man, in a country that legally accepts the interfaith marriage, if that same couple traveled to Iran or Saudi Arabia, would the marriage become void?

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