Despite belonging to different religions, a Lebanese couple has tied the knot and shared their elaborate wedding video online. It sends a strong message celebrating their shared “humanist values and mutual respect.”
Despite belonging to different religions, a Lebanese couple has tied the knot and shared their elaborate wedding video online. It sends a strong message the people of Lebanon should grow more tolerant of a societal trend showing no signs of slowing: interfaith marriages.
Interfaith marriages like theirs are still a rarity in Lebanon and the rest of the Muslim world today. Which is why the couple first had a civil marriage in Cyprus. As they would have been unable to tie the knot in Lebanon, where marriages fall under religious law. Another wished the couple a great future, and a third god’s blessing.
‘Our love prevailed’
“We have learned to love one another and respect each other as individuals, regardless of our nationality, our religion and our environment,” Mamlouk told DW. She admits, however, that the marriage posed a challenge for some of her friends and family. Mamlouk says she and her partner realize that their marriage clashes with Lebanese reality today, but “we trusted each other from the very beginning and our love prevailed.”
Tradition counts for much
Mouez Khalfaoui, a professor of Islamic law at Tübingen University in Germany, says the issue with inter-religious marriages dates back to the premodern age of Islam.
He says there are two reasons for this. “If women married into another confession, their children were born into a different religion and social context,” says Khalfaoui.
The political dimension
In June, Abdallah Salam, a Muslim, married his Christian partner Marie-Joe Abi-Nassif in Lebanon.
Speaking to the press in the summer, Abdallah Salam said that Lebanon’s “religious institutions oppose such [interfaith] marriages because it undermines their power.” The groom says that “for me, this is about my identity, but for them, it is about power — they are worried they will lose those people who have a civil marriage.” Religious traditions also still have a major influence on Lebanese family life today. Sfeer says that often, parents will oppose their daughters marrying a non-Muslim man. In the future, he underlined, theologians of all religions will also need to find approaches to the issue.