Note to readers: This weblog entry on official advice to women not to marry Muslim men has, to my surprise and delight, become the springboard for an intense, heated, and personal dialogue between non-Muslim women romantically involved with Muslim men.
Judging by a number of testimonies, the site has proved valuable to many women benefiting from advice and the sharing of information; for a couple of examples see the postings by Sally, Nourshehane, Jeweler46, and Cindy (starting here, continuing here, and ending here).
Further, if an Italian woman marries a Muslim immigrant and they move to his country of origin, her rights are "not guaranteed in the way they are in Italy or in other Western nations." Such marriages, the statement concluded, should therefore be discouraged. 26, 2005 update: Stephen Fumio Hamao, a Japanese Catholic cardinal, wrote in 2004 about the "bitter experiences" of European women who marry Muslims. 23, 2007 update: The Kamil Internaltional Ministries Organization of Raleigh, North Carolina, has published a tract, "Why Women Should Not Marry Muslims?
Because we have freedom of religion, he may agree that you can keep your religion and you may think there will be no problem with such a marriage. Very often there is a motive behind such a marriage.
There is the universal recollection of approaching Riyadh and witnessing the donning of the black abayas and face veils by the fashionably dressed Saudi women.
For many women, the Saudi airport is the first time they see their husband in Arab dress (i.e., the thobe and ghutra).
Indeed, almost 6,000 such marriages were registered in Morocco in 2007 – about six times as many as a decade earlier and more than the number of Moroccan men who married foreign women that year (which was just over 4,300). 1, 2008 update: Asked about mixed marriages, Mariano Crociata, the new secretary-general of the Italian Bishops' Conference, replied that they are not encouraging, because with the passage of time there is often a return to [the spouses'] cultural, social, religious, and legal origins, with sometimes dramatic consequences, which the children pay for. 14, 2009 update: Another cardinal weighs in, this time the head of the Catholic Church in Portugal, Jose Policarpo.
He advised Christians to respect Muslims and to learn more about Islam.