After a slow start, the discussion took off and now has 17,000 comments, or about four a day.I believe this to be a premier website for this topic. Daniel Pipes.org, about one in eighteen comments on the website are on this page.

For those American women reluctant to wear an abaya (the all-encompassing black cloak) and for those Saudi husbands who did not make an issue of the abaya prior to arriving, the intense public scrutiny that starts at the airport—given to a western woman who is accompanying a Saudi male—is usually the catalyst for the eventual covering up.

Since the overwhelming majority of American citizen wives never travel to the Kingdom prior to their marriage, they are abruptly catapulted into Saudi society.

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.

A Muslim woman may not marry an unbeliever while a Muslim man may marry Christian and Jewish women." If the European men convert to Islam, that changes everything, he went on; then, Moroccan women may marry them.

"Islam only requires two witnesses for someone to be able to convert and [then] such a marriage is valid." But this is not to be undertaken lightly: "If a European then decides to abandon Islam, Muhammad's words apply to him: those who renounce their own religion must be killed, as they are apostates." Tawil's position represents classic Shari'a but it contravenes the 2005 reforms of the Mudawana, Morocco's family law, which eased the way for foreigners to marry Moroccan women.

It's remarkable that, multiculturalism notwithstanding, such institutions as the U. government and the Vatican are warning women away from inter-religious marriages. 1, 2005 update: Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the Italian Bishops Conference and a right-hand man to Pope Benedict XVI, issued a statement yesterday on behalf of the conference, warning against Catholics marrying Muslims.

"In addition to the problems that any couple encounters when forming a family, Catholics and Muslims have to reckon with the difficulties that inevitably arise from deep cultural differences." He also noted that it is usually a Catholic woman who marries a Muslim men, that usually she converts, not he, and their children tend to be brought up as Muslims.

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?

" It begins by contrasting verses from the Koran and New Testament: Because our country receives people of all nationalities, cultures and religions, you may meet and develop a relationship with a Muslim man.

His sweet words and attention may blind you regarding the influence of his Muslim religion and culture.