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Segregated Muslim weddings are custom—not religious practice

PUBLISHED: 01:04 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:43 05 October 2010

Dear Ed, THE East London Advertiser website is conducting a poll asking if Government minister Jim Fitzpatrick was right to walk out of a Muslim wedding because he was segregated from his wife, with the answer option of No: He should respect religious practice’. But separating the sexes at weddings is custom, not religious practice

Dear Ed,

THE East London Advertiser website is conducting a poll asking if Government minister Jim Fitzpatrick was right to walk out of a Muslim wedding because he was segregated from his wife, with the answer option of 'No: He should respect religious practice'.

I can tell you as a student of Islam that separating the sexes at weddings is a custom, not a religious practice. There is nothing in the Koran that states men and women cannot be in the same room together.

The segregation at weddings and some other occasions is a custom, not ordained by God, which is practised in certain cultures for reason which have nothing to do with pleasing the Almighty.

If God had ordained that men and women should not be in the same room together, he would have made that a rule for every room and every occasion, not just weddings.

In fact, it is another custom among Muslims that unmarried women likely to come into contact with men should be accompanied by a relative. I would have thought a wedding would be a place where relatives would be bin abundance!

Michael Stewart

Liverpool

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