yourname2000 saidAs sexy as a lot of Arabs (and Persians, frankly) are, there's no way I'd ever date someone who believe in a pedophile prophet and that demonic book. I've dated a (non-practicing) Christian Lebanese guy, and he was amazing. And I've hired plenty of Muslims (even having to resource a prayer room), and they've been amazing employees and no doubt great family men. But the proof is in the pudding, and that is a religion of hatred and backwardness and there's no way I'd have a relationship with someone who truly "believed" it, to the point of prayers 5 times a day, or fasting crap (what the fuck is that....if there was a religion that said you needed to hop on one foot for an hour upon waking one month of the year, everyone would see how stupid that is, right?)
So yeah...if he's given it all up, and that's just his background, we're good to go. If he wants me to read the Qur'an (and I do have one) with him, then he's got to go. Right away. Now.
I think it's unfair to call Islam a religion of hate and backwardness. Sure, the scriptures have some unsettling elements. But we must not forget that it was written 15 centuries ago. So just like it is done in other monotheistic religions, I believe some verses should be ignored.
Now , the problem is that in the Arab world, we haven't come to that stage yet. Generally , Muslims do tend to take at heart what's written in the Qur'an more than Christians, for instance, do with the Bible. And it is true that it would be very difficult for Muslims to accept that some of the scriptures are simply outdated.
This is why Muslim countries are still lagging behind when it comes to human rights .
(That being said , I would like to point out that, despite sticking to traditional values and believing in the validity of the scriptures, most Muslims are completely against terrorism ( which is the result of a misinterpretation of the Qur'an anyway). Just like the "Western World" , we are also victims of Islamic extremism .
Case in point , most people ignore that , but along with the terrorist attacks that occurred in New york, London, Madrid, there was one in Casablanca in 2003. 40 people were killed, most of whom were Moroccan. So , yeah, Morocco , a MUSLIM country was also attacked by Al Qaeda.
Sadly, the lines are blurred in many people's minds. And , well, terrorism has played a big part in people's general perception of Islam in the world today )
I guess what I'm trying to say is that religion is what people make of it. Arab countries do still have a lot of work in terms of human rights , but ... to say there's nothing but hate and backwardness. That's untrue. One of the first things that people tell me when they go to Morocco , is how well received they are, and how touched they are by people's kindness and generosity. Well , I personally think Islam has a lot to do with that. Just like Christianity, Islam also insists on treating your " neighbor". And contrary to you westerners , we still do that haha ^^
You also mentioned praying and fasting. Now , let me explain to you what these two rites mean exactly.
1. PRAYING : Muslims are expected to pray five times a day : dawn/morning , noon, afternoon, evening, night. Before praying , you have to wash up : face , hands, arms ,feet. So praying serves two purposes
a - Hygiene
b- Keeping god in your mind all times of day.
What you should keep in mind, that people generally don't know, is that , if you're in a hurry , you can make your prayer last no more than 30 seconds( although it's not recommended). But generally, people do about 2 minutes. So it's not like you're locked for 2 hours five times a day.
Also , you can do all your prayers at the end of day, instead of interrupting your work to pray. That's what my dad does . I don't pray , my mom doesn't and most Muslims I know don't. Why ? Because it takes a lot of dedication and we just don't have the motivation. But having done it in the past, it does feel great to get to be in a spiritual bubble for a few minutes.
2- FASTING : The purpose of fasting is very simple . It's not a masochistic experience that muslims inflict on themselves. The point is to feel hunger would feel like for a day, to help you understand poverty and be more compassionate with people who don't get to eat every day. Yes, it is very hard thing to do and yes I do complain all day when I do it ^^ but yeah , it does have a meaning to it , so it's not like hopping on one for an hour.
What's hilarious though is how people have completely transformed Ramadan into an excuse to eat like a fucking horse every night ^^ In fact, a lot of people ( myself included) tend to gain weight during this month and kind of miss the point haha
There , I hope I made these few things clearer. The last thing I'd like to add is that if a guy EVER asks me to deny my culture and my heritage to be with him , believe me , I would be the first to leave.