As for the non-Muslim girls, talk to them, but don’t ever bring one home."Unsurprisingly, sexual education is also clouded with conflicting and illogical messages (as this humorous essay by Zahra Noorbakhsh makes clear) — that is, when talking about sex happens at all.As writer and blogger Nashwa Khan noted, "As a fragmented diaspora that is racialized, [young Muslims] are both viewed as oppressed but also hyper-sexualized.
The women used to wear long chaste dresses and their dating did not involve the close intimacy that we see today.At home, "there was no such thing as the words dating or relationships.It was just something that was non-existent," he recalls. "You see your friends, they go out on movie dates and they go to the mall and they hold hands," he says. And this creates a dilemma for young Muslims in search of love.He was born there too, but when he was 3, they all moved to the US.Growing up, when it came to dating, relationships and girls, Shaikh would experience one thing at home, another outside.The messages young people get can go so far as to warn that "seemingly innocuous email exchanges or online dating could topple one off the Islamic path if one lack[s] vigilance." The takeaway for religious young people is that they should marry, but they shouldn't actually date to get there.At a Muslim "speed dating" event in 2006, Imam Muhamed Magid of the Adams Center summed it up this way: "Don’t talk to the Muslim girls, ever, but you are going to marry them. One of those names probably looks less familiar than the others, and for good reason.But for those who do, the experiences between the genders is often strained and stunted by well-meaning but traditional parents and communities. Significantly younger and more diverse than the public as a whole, young religious Muslims straddle two worlds. Young Muslim Americans aren't exactly dominant in the mainstream dating conversation, and that's because "dating while Muslim" is its own unique, oft-misunderstood reality. And with devout religion comes tradition that doesn't necessarily mesh with modern dating culture. Not all young Muslim Americans have serious religious upbringings. More than 6 in 10 do not see a conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society, according to Pew data; but 80% of Muslim Americans say that religion does play an important part of their lives.That makes them a difficult, but not impossible challenge for an outsider.