Did you get a chance to watch the premier of All American Muslim last night on TLC? Obviously, I did. If you are new to this blog, my husband and his entire family, as well as many of my friends, are Muslim.
This show has about seven more episodes to go, and you can see it at 10pm EST on Sunday nights.
First of all, I am not surprised they picked the cast that they did. My eye brows shot up when there were at least three of the people with tattoos and two of the women dress very provocatively. I realize they were trying to make small-town-USA believe that many Muslims are very westernized, which they are - however, Islam forbids tattoos. Granted, Christianity and Judaism and other religions forbid a lot of things also, but for the most part, many Muslims follow a very strict code of conduct.
There was one couple that mirror a more realistic picture of what I have seen in America. The wife wears a Hijab (veil - or cover for her hair.) and dresses very modestly. The thing is, I am sure most of America probably felt sorry for her, while she was in her house and covered. However, you must understand, when she is home, she can let her hair down and dress any way she wants to. Since cameras are in the house, this is the way you see her. I hope they share that at some point.
I do like how that one girl did share the struggles of most couples, where the man leaves all of the child rearing and household issues to the wife. She was bragging about her husband because he lives as her partner. Several times through out the episode, the women mentioned how a lot of the household burden falls on them.
There was also a couple that has a daughter that was going to marry an Irish Catholic man. He had to convert to Islam. In their religion, a man may marry a Christian, but a woman must marry a Muslim. This is because in their religion, the children should be raised in the religion of the father.
I am looking forward to seeing whether they touch more on gender roles, halal cooking, and other specifics in the religion.
When I look at my own situation, here are the facts in my home:
1. No pork allowed in the house.
2. No alcohol allowed in the house.
3. I cannot wear short skirts or shorts outside of the house.
4. The house must remain clean. Every day. (Because when they pray, the home must be purified.)
5. The man is the head of the house. In the end, he makes the final decision.
6. If we had children, they would have to be raised in the Islamic faith.
7. When my husband is praying, I am not to walk in front of him.
8. When he is praying, I am to turn the tv and radio down or off.
9. No men in the house (outside of relatives) when he is not there. Nor can he have women in the house when I am not there. (Another reason he is not comfortable with us hosting exchange students.)
10. Finally - do not put anything on top of the Quran.
Those are the only adjustments I had to make. Of course, I am just as quirky. But that's for another day! ;-)