The seeds of this group were sown in the late 1990s when a small group of us made a decision to take a step into the unknown, not just to live our Muslim/Christian relationships quietly and privately but to make contact with others in a 'safe' setting where we could share our experience good and bad. Since then we have been meeting twice a year in Southall, communicating more than that, and have grown in trust and experience to the extent that we feel we might have a modest contribution to make. We couldn't have got this far without the help of wise people who have made the interfaith world so much more than a pious hope. Our interfaith facilitators have bequeathed to us the 'language' of tolerance that makes it possible for us to talk at all, and a wider community of people who think both faiths matter, so that we really do not feel alone, but most of all they give us the courage 'not to cease from exploration'.
WHO WE ARE
We are a network of people involved in or closely affected by Muslim/Christian marriage. We have a variety of backgrounds and affiliations across both faith traditions. We are united by our experience of living with both faiths at the heart of our love and our lives and by our desire to explore, value, celebrate and share this experience.
We do this by holding regular meetings, enjoyable and uniting social occasions which also provide an opportunity for members to discuss sincerely and openly with sympathetic others whatever issues affect them. The group has no particular religious bias or concern beyond the mutual support for committed people engaged on unique but related life journeys. Its underlying principles are goodwill and courtesy towards the sensibilities of others and tolerance of their different viewpoints.
We aim to build a group of sufficient size, enthusiasm and mutual trust to be able to reach out to the wider community in the following ways:
- By creating and providing supportive resources for those who are involved in, affected by, or thinking about entering a muslim-christian marriage;
- By identifying members who are prepared to represent the group in public or to respond to media and other inquiries;
- By developing links with organisations in both faith traditions, with interfaith organisations and with educational bodies, to ensure that the perspectives of muslim/christian couples and families are more widely known and understood;
- By offering befriending support to couples who require it and help to marriage support organisations in issues relating to muslim/christian marriages.
Our first issue came out in 2001 when
Eid Ramadan and Christmas occured close together
- and its theme was Celebrating Difference, different ideas about how to do it, not at a distance
but at close quarters - in our homes and hearts.
There is of course no single answer but many. The second issue
focused on marriage ceremonies and in our next issue we hope to bring together different experiences and ideas about raising children in a muslim/christian family.
We hope you will find food for thought, for agreement as
well as argument and we hope that you will be moved to
respond and contribute, to tell us what you like and what
you don't and what you would like to see in future newsletters: our experts are you! Above all though we hope you will feel welcome. This is the voice of a real community, a family like a real one where people are different, but get to know each other rather well.
And there are more of us than you think!