18 June 2009

Conversions in my family

It's hard for me to understand why there's so much concern about conversions of minors in a family, where one parent embraces Islam.

Here’s my own story.

When I was 17, my parents divorced. My dad having remarried a Muslim, of course, was a convert. However, there were four of us from his first marriage. We were aged 20, 19, 17 and 13. Then, as best as I can remember, there was no issue about us believing and practising the religion of our choice. Neither were we even aware that it would be a topic of discussion, as it is today. We just carried on with our lives as best as we could.

Anyway, not long after the divorce, my second sister fell in love with a Muslim. She converted and got married.

Then the first born fell in love with a follower of the Hindu way of life. She married him and today, she practices what, she believes in her heart, is best for her family.

My brother also eventually converted and married a Muslim girl.

As for me, I remained open to all the many religious possibilities and, eventually, chose the one that was closest to my heart.

My point is that the children in a mixed marriage, of which one parent is a Muslim, should be given that freedom to choose.

In our case, we all grew up understanding and accepting each other without any of the religious hang-ups. We weren’t forced or indoctrinated by anybody. We were left to find our own paths in life.

This freedom to choose had been crucial to the harmony in our family. We were allowed to let nature takes its course and we all pursued different paths. Despite the differences, we are of one family.

Did it turn out to be the right formula to follow? I think so.

Am I qualified to make this observation? I think I am.


Antares said...

Of course you're qualified to speak out against the godawful bodysnatching religious police. In fact, there's nobody more qualified than YOU, dear Lita! Standing ovation for this post :-) xox

masterwordsmith said...

Hi Lita

Thanks for sharing..Am glad you posted this one that overflows with sincerity and purity. I think you posted it a few weeks back and when I clicked on it, it was not there. But I did not say anything because I knew deep within me that this post is a story that has to be told and that you would post it again and I am so glad you did :-).

Continue to let your light shine.

Blessings to you and your entire family...

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Antares: Bowing, blushing, grinning. YOU really made my morning!!!!!! Love ya! :)

And "xox" to you too, although I'm not sure what it means! hahaha

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

MWS: Oh my!!!!! You really have an exceptional memory. Yes, I had started on this earlier but did not finish it. Accidentally, I hit the "publish post" instead of "save draft". Alas, it went out into the cyberworld, so I had to delete the post and that's why you couldn't see anything.

Thanks for your patience, dear!

God bless you always. ;)

Patricia said...

Yes, you qualify to speak here. I think so many of us do. The ruckus about religion seems to be going on in a parallel world to ours, to me. In our world, we marry different races and religions - and live happily. No body snatching. No talk of tolerance (how I hate that word, when they speak of religion!)

But your family's beautiful story won't make the headlines. Know why? Not exciting lah.

More sensational to hear about a body disappearing in the night; or a dad waiting with a parang to kill his daughter outside a church; or a child snatched right out of its mother's arms - because she's of the wrong religion!

So lovely to read about your family. You guys must have great family reunions!

Antares said...

I'm told that XOX is the complete opposite of SOS! Where X = KISS & 0 = HUG; therefore, I gave you two kisses and one hug. Not enough ah??? ;-)

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Patricia: I could hear your voice as I read your comment! ;)

Yes, our reunions are always a blast. Sadly, they are few and far between because of family commitments.


Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Antares: So there was no hidden meaning. It is exactly like what it was in the good old-fashioned way.

These days, I have to take a second look and think a little deeper, just in case I missed a double meaning.

I actually crooked my head to see if it was some unknown "smiley".

Anyway, with a generous heart, I send back to you


Icekoolbabe50 said...

Hey Lita, I absolutely agree with you and coming from a family (aren't most Eurasian families mixed) background of mixies...(hee hee), children should be allowed to choose the religion of their choice. Anyway its great too cos you get to celebrate everything....Hugs my dear friend.

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Icecookbabe: Yes, it's really a bonus to be able to celebrate all the festivities with close loved ones.

Kiss kiss :)

Anonymous said...

Hi...read your piece and agree ..I do not have any leaning towards any religious beliefs except that you try and do good, my wife goes to her Greek Orthodox Church when she feels like it, my daughter leans towards being a good muslim (I think) and my son has still to show his preferences...MERDEKA.


Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

HH: It's nice to hear from you! Glad you agree but it's also okay for us to agree to disagree. hahaha!