Interracial marriages within the Pakistani community don’t always go down as smoothly as they should. It often becomes a huge challenge to marry someone who is not the same ethnicity as us. Convincing parents and other family members as well as asking for your relationship to be accepted can feel like walking up a long steep hill, shattering.
Going outside our tight-knit community and finding ourselves more exotic fish in the sea is something that is unbearable to most Pakistani Asian parents. As according to them we should only be able to see a future with an individual who is the same ethnicity as us. Being from a Pakistani community interracial marriage is quite rare. I mean there are a few marriages involving a White British wife and a Pakistani husband but that’s pretty much as all-embracing we get. And yes it does suck. Especially, when the faith I believe in speaks about how we are all equal and is all for interracial marriages. I personally believe the reason why most Asian parents don’t encourage the idea of getting married outside your own Asian community is because they don’t want to neglect their community values and be shunned by their fellow “friends and family”. I know it sounds slightly bizarre and confusing but that’s the way it just is.
Respect and ‘izzat’ (honour) are hugely important to us, sometimes the opinions of people become more important and influential then the words of the Qu’ran (holy Islamic book). My faith gives people who follow guidelines in what to look for in a partner when considering to marrying them. For instance, how practising they are is one of the most important. The woman or man who is looking should focus on this matter more and not just rely on the outward appearances. Colour, ethnicity and all these qualities should not have to be considered. Islam teaches us that people didn’t choose their ethnicity and the pigmentation of one’s skin were created by the higher Devine and no creation of his is unpleasant. Therefore, no human is ugly looking and all skin colours have their own flawless beauty. Unfortunately instead of Pakistani parents focusing on what their religion teaches them they would rather just focus on society and carry on living to please others. It’s the sad reality but hopefully the people of my generation will not preach these shallow teachings to their children and in effect go onto to creating a more diverse community that doesn’t focus so much on superficial appearances of people. Cue the “you are beautiful” song :”)