Five things I learnt dating a Muslim.

In Think

Dating a Muslim is nothing special. It’s marked by the same complexity, anxiety, and monotony as dating any other human. However, it taught me many things about a faith I used to know very little about.

Bosnian Muslims are easier to introduce to your family.
My ex, Nermin, is a Bosnian Muslim, which is much easier for Islamaphobes to tolerate because he’s white. He even has fair hair and blue eyes. Prejudice is so often not about anything deeper than visual differences.

Religion doesn’t get in the way that much.
I’m an atheist and he’s a creationist. That fact was hard to deal with initially. He thought God created the world in a few days … I didn’t. But there is very little room for discussion when two people have such strong beliefs, so I let it go.

Most Muslims won’t slit your throat because you’re an infidel.
Like any faith, or life value, it’s personal. What one person interprets from the Qur’an, another sees differently. Murdering someone for not believing something isn’t for Muslims, its just for crazy people.

Sex before marriage isn’t a big sin. And it’s also kind of nice.
Of course it is. And so is a cocktail or two. And letting girls walk beside you instead of three steps behind. And holding hands in public. All nice things. And things that are culturally acceptable to some Muslims. For some people, sex before marriage is a huge sin, for others, it isn’t.

Muslims aren’t solely defined by their religion.
What attracted me most to him was the similar way in which we saw the world, and how we tried to accept people for who they were. My ex is a person like any other. Cultural and religious difference could have caused many difficulties for us but in the end that’s not why we broke up. It’s because he had a mother who wanted to kill me.

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