There Are Good Reasons to Not Date a Muslim Man

I came across this video the other day, and, welp, see for yourself (transcript).

To get this out of the way: Karim is not a “Muslim name.” It is an Arabic name that Muslims name their children, since Karim is one of the 99 names of Allah, but the word and name predate Islam.

As for her reason to not date this Karim, obviously, since most Muslims don’t behead people or beat their wives, not wanting to associate with people like that is a bad reason to not want to date a Muslim.

There are some good reasons why this woman might want to walk away, though, that aren’t based on less-warranted stereotypes, reasons that have to do with the realities of the ways in which sexism, misogyny, sex-negativity, patriarchy, and purity culture manifest themselves Muslim-dominated cultures.

In short, mid-life crises come early and hit harder for non-practicing Muslim men.

I have seen this play out so many times in my own family and community that it no longer surprises me. There are men who spend their youth in Western countries like England, Canada, or the US and abuse the sexism of their family’s double-standards and low expectations for men to its fullest. Since, generally speaking, male children are not as carefully guarded and watched over as female ones, young Muslim men have the opportunity to far more easily date, have sex, and get involved with non-Muslim women than young Muslim women do. Some of the men will go out partying, drinking, clubbing — you name the haraam thing, they do it (except for maybe eating pork).

However, since these men still identify as Muslims, the dissonance eventually catches up with them. Add increasing pressure from families to wed the “right” sort of person (i.e. the same pressure their sisters felt much more acutely and from a much younger age) and this means an eventual return to fulfilling filial expectations. They will ditch their youthful “sinful” lifestyle and all those associated with it in favor of an arranged marriage to an often much-younger, presumably virgin woman from “back home.” Their families rejoice that their sons have finally done the “right thing”, even if it means dumping any number of non-Muslim girlfriends to attain that goal.

I know a lot of non-Muslim women who have been unceremoniously dumped after years of a long-term relationship with a Muslim man to clear the way for him to marry a teenager deemed appropriate by his family. Their reward for open-mindedness to someone of a minority, demonized faith was heartbreak. Being tossed aside like so much old garbage after years of being with someone and planning a future with them is not what most people have in mind for their lives.

The return-to-tradition brides often don’t fare much better, either. If they are from overseas, the adjustment to life in the United States can be difficult. Whether they are foreign or Western, their husbands might treat them resentfully as symbols of all the “fun” they left behind. I personally know of cases where the Muslim husband continued dating his non-Muslim girlfriend after marriage and, when caught and confronted, claimed that he was “trying the whole marriage thing out.” Unbeknownst to his wife, he was testing the waters, not fully committed to a marriage.

Granted, non-Muslim girlfriends of Muslim men have a much higher chance of marrying their partners than non-Muslim boyfriends of Muslim women. In Islam, male believers are allowed to marry Jewish and Christian women but a marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man is considered invalid (though there is a loophole). However, the reason for this is that Muhammad presumed that (1) the reason for marriage is to increase the population of the Muslim ummah and (2) the husband determined the religion of his children, not the wife. The implication is that women in such marriages have little to no say in the religion to be taught to the children, which is a rather bitter pill to swallow.

To return to the video, because Karim approached Denise in a very heteronormative way and she responded in kind, I’m going to assume that they’re typical straight people who want to date and eventually marry. He may be all sweet-talk with her now, but if they were to have a relationship, her beauty might not be enough to prevent him from retreating to tradition, either in terms of his long-term relationship goals or any future children they might have.

There Are Good Reasons to Not Date a Muslim Man

15 thoughts on “There Are Good Reasons to Not Date a Muslim Man

  1. 1

    I find it particularly interesting that according to Islamic law, religion is patrilineal.

    I’m Jewish, and halachically speaking (according to Jewish law), religion is matrilineal.

    What this means in practice is that if a Muslim man and a Jewish woman procreate, both Islam and Judaism would claim the child according to their respective laws.

    Even a child raised in such a household as a Muslim would be considered by Jewish law to be Jewish. Where does Islam fall on that? Is a child born Muslim but raised otherwise considered Muslim?

    1. 1.1

      Hi Jessica,

      For Muslim everyone is born muslim, even if they parent arent, but when he grow up he choose to follow a religion or
      not. So if he die a children he go to heaven.
      So religion isnt patrilineal for us, its not in the blood, the father or the mother teach the children.
      I believed this was the race that was transmitted by the mother and not the religion for the jewish ?
      Muslim men can marry jewish women, but men have the responsability of the religion, he have to teach her children.
      But of course if you marry someone who have a different religion you will talk about how to raise your children.
      Since Islam isnt a race ,the children will be considered by jewish as jewish if i understood, and by muslim as a mixed child.

      ps: sorry for my bad english

    2. 1.2

      A child who is born into a Muslim household and raised at least somewhat Muslim is considered to be Muslim unless they openly renounce the faith and do not recant that renouncing.

      1. The comment isn’t matrilineal, it’s about influence norms across all societies. Correctly, a wife loves her husband and is influenced by him (and vice versa). Our view is a believer should marry a Muslim woman who can fully support her spirituality, since a mother is the foundation of a family and frankly of all society.

        To Heina’s point about being born into a Muslim family. Sure, everyone is considered part of their family’s heritage, across all cultures. However the Muslim view is all children are Muslim. When they come of age, they continue to be, or choose an alternate path such as Christianity, Judaism, or even Atheism. For context, “Muslim” does not mean a member of Islam (i.e. Christian-Christianity, Jew-Judaism, etc.), rather is means ‘one that submits’ to the ‘fitrah’ of one’s nature.

        So in this context, we consider birds, dogs, people, even rocks and stars as ‘Muslim.’ it is humans who have the freedom of choice to conform to our fitrah/nature and be Muslim, or not and be something else.

        Long answer, but I hope this clarifies..

        PS. Muslim dudes can’t date! That’ whole problem is a cultural problem, not a religious one. Many muslims both in and out of Muslim majority countries have challenges with their faith. The story above describes what happens here, but the same often happens elsewhere. This is not a unique story to Muslims. It’s an unfortunate reality across cultures and faiths, and happens for many reasons, most frequently socio-economic reasons. Women are not treated well enough in any circumstance, but that is not due to Islam, rather a lack of it as sister Heina describes above.

  2. 2

    A friend of mine is trying to have a relationship with a Kurdish woman and its fraught with problems.

    Although she is outwardly western, her family is traditional and she has made it clear that if they are found out, her brothers (who take full advantage of western culture for themselves) are likely to become violent.

    She is divorced with a young son who obviously cant be expected to keep secrets , so although they have been seeing each other for about 2 years, and is not a problem for them to be seen having a drink together as “friends”, there can be not hint that they spend any intimate time together.

    The traditional attitudes seem to start and stop at her vagina.

  3. 3

    the actual problem here is , the way Islam looks at non muslim woman
    and the way a typical muslim culture looks at non muslim woman
    where , hijab = shame
    then by default , non hijab = shameless
    uncovered , half naked , prostitute , whore , slut , bitch
    so , at the end of day , she is like a prostitute ,
    never mind if she is very gentle , polite , humorous , full of humanity ,
    but still she is like a prostitute ,
    who wears attractive dresses (attractive by islamic standards ) to attract men ,
    thereby asking for sex ,
    she herself is asking for sex openly ,
    then she should not complain about molestation and rape
    after all , she is a whore

    1. 3.1

      Not all Muslim cultures think this way, and not all Muslims do. Furthermore, other cultures and societies do the same thing. Even in my country (the United States), women are told that they are “asking for it” (“it” being rape) by dressing a certain way.

  4. 4

    Hmm… so at what point does a woman (or anyone) start rejecting people due to the prevalence of behavior within a group? There’s only a small percentage of Islamists, so that’s not a valid reason, but a larger percentage of Muslim men who have shaky commitments, so it is? Does the bar come at 5%, or 30%, or just whatever someone decides before it’s a “valid” reason?

    I’m not judging the girl for her decision, nor you for this post (which at the very leat, is helpfully informative), but it seems to raise a lot of questions related to racism and bigotry.

  5. 5

    Well said, Heina.

    Some of the men will go out partying, drinking, clubbing — you name the haraam thing, they do it (except for maybe eating pork).

    This was amusing. It’s so true. Avoiding pork is among the easiest of the “do’s and don’ts” of Islam so everybody does it. Most Muslims I know don’t pray five times a day. Not a single Muslim I know eats pork. Praying five times a day is inconvenient and hard to keep up. Not eating pork is very easy.

  6. 6

    in this case , the best way to conform the views of a muslim man , is directly asking him
    what if his sister wants to date a non muslim man
    if he says something along these lines
    that he can not allow his sister to become a whore just like a non muslim woman
    who gives away her modesty and chastity and becomes like a free prostitute
    when he says something like this ,
    he reveals his ideology for women

  7. 7

    the most amazing fact here is ,
    when its a muslim lady dressing liberal
    its pretty easy to make assumptions of whether the person is liberal or not
    but when its a muslim man
    even if he is dressing liberal
    still you can not say by his dressing ,
    whether he is liberal or not

  8. 9

    Denise’s bigotry is justified because Islam does sanction beheading, rape and sexual enslavement of infidel women, and beating of wives. Granted, not all Muslim men abide by these sanctions, but the more they devout they become, the more they are receptive to these sanctions. And I think Karim is a secular Muslim and he did the video as a lame attempt to convince gullible and naive infidels that Islam is a religion of tolerance and peace (which is not). Good of Denise for rejecting him.

  9. 10

    Sorry, just got to the bottom of the comments. Interesting and disturbing. Heina I’m impressed by your respectful nature despite your loss of faith..

    Angela sadly sounds like the lady in the video. The real world isn’t a simple binary, black and white. I accepted Islam over 20 years ago, am observant, beard, the whole nine. I have spent countless hours studying with qualified religious scholars from multiple disciplines and geographies and none of them – none of them – would agree that our Deen/religion sanctions beheadings, rape, sexual enslavement, beating our wives. This is what ignorant Da’ish/ISIS people believe, but NOBODY else. Those knuckleheads represent literally 0.001% of worldwide Muslims, and are regularly condemned, publicly by scholars, although given almost zero airtime by the media…

    So her bigotry is very sad and I wish we lived in a world where people were less bigoted. Totally.
    That being said, Karim is rolling up so some lady, spitting game, and asking her for her phone number. If you’re non-Muslim, I sincerely hope this is not your introduction to Islam. Everything he does goes against our religious teachings, is immodest (yes, men should be modest too), does not follow Islamic norms for respecting a woman, and now unfortunately this lady may never speak to another Muslim male and will sum them all up by this experience. He should be more ashamed of himself then of this lady’s reaction, however bigoted she is..

    This young man should instead use his creativity for something more inspiring, morally uplifting and inclusive. I hope that he does that insha’Allah…

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