I Went From Muslim To Jewish For Love

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I Went From Muslim To Jewish For Love
A Muslim woman gave up her past to provide her family with a future.

As Told To Marisa Belger

It was during my second month of medical school—as I was cutting anatomy class—that I met Ron. We bonded over our mutual dislike of the subject, and I felt like we had an instant connection.

In the course of that first conversation we also wound up discussing our backgrounds: Ron, I learned, was Israeli-Jewish; I was Iranian-Muslim.

The relationship grew serious quickly. Ron proposed a year and a half in, and we planned a Jewish-Persian wedding, where we drank wine, did readings in Hebrew, and let my relatives grind sugar over us to add sweetness to the marriage, according to Iranian/Persian tradition.

Then, six months after we married, we began discussing the idea of conversion. Ron and I had both been raised in secular homes, and he felt connected to Judaism on a cultural, rather than religious, level.

I, on the other hand, have never really felt tied to Islam. I believe in gay marriage—and I believe that a woman can do anything a man can do. I don’t think there’s a lot of room in Islam for liberal, or even moderate, viewpoints.

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