A conservative mosque may assist arrange marriages in hopes of maintaining modesty and chastity, the most important norms in Islam. Religion, ethnicity, and community all play significant roles in the negotiation of marriage options for new immigrants (Ternikar 1-22). Whereas, the person is central to American culture and his/her unique attributes are respected while in other (Markus 80-82). In this paper American perception on arranged marriages and dating in some of the immigrant communities is presented.
In arranged marriages parents agree before children do. The Americans wonder how could someone marry if they have not lived together before. In Islamic culture males are raised differently than females . They are considered superior and take all decisions. For marriage, their friends or family introduces young men. The male's parents play an important role, they judge the suitability of the girl for marriage on the basis of her financial condition and family back ground. If satisfied, they make a proposal. They visit the girl's house where she serves them tea. The man can, then, take the girl out usually with her parents to coffeehouse, ice-cream parlor, park or even a movie. The girl wears modest cloths and couple cannot touch each other. They cannot even hold hands. Three such dates mean they are ready for marriage (Kuriansky 37).
In an example of a Muslim marriage, the american-muslim husband replies as an idealist that he would love his wife selected by parents, regardless of who she is. He further said that in American culture a man looks for his special someone himself while in his culture he makes the girl selected by parents 'the one'. The match works well and they share something deeper than love and great compatibility (Tarabay par.1). Actually there is no concept of dating in Islamic culture. Live-in or physical relationship or any premarital relationship between man and women is absolutely taboo (Joseph and Najmabadi 95). They further disclose that Internet, though, is permitted to get in touch where the people of opposite sex can exchange their ideas, liking and disliking. They can communicate with more than one prospective life partner also. The Internet puts mind and personality over physical appearance. Similarly Indian culture permits boy and girl to meet before marriage though in presence of family. They can talk about their preferences etc. It seems like the parentally facilitated dating of United States but it is not (Yalom and Carstensen 217). They further explain that boy and girl may have multiple meetings prior to wedding but the acquaintanceship or dating leading to romantic love does not develop as in America (219). The girl should ideally be docile and good in running the home. An independent or opinionated girl does not make good wife. A woman has to make more sacrifices in arranged marriages. She has to compromise more also. The word of male is final and the verbal communication to handle conflicts is less (Yalom and Carstensen 224). As a result, they say the women suffer silently and conclude that love, attraction, similarities, commitments may provide marital choice