Keep in mind that if you marry a Muslim and go to a Muslim country, you are under Muslim law," said Yvonne Haddad, professor of Islamic history and Christian-Muslim relations at Georgetown University. "If you do not convert to Islam but end up divorcing, the children become his.
"Even if you do convert, you only keep the children until a certain age," which is 7 to 9 for boys and 15 for girls. Most women do convert, she said, because of the immense social pressure to do so.
The Koran, which calls the husband the head of the family, does not allow a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man. However, Muslim men are allowed to marry Jewish or Christian women with the proviso their children are brought up as Muslims. Also, there is no Muslim man who is going to have his children baptized," she said.
A woman who marries may find that on the marriage certificate that her name had been changed to a Muslim name and she had, at least on paper, been converted to Islam.
The Zennah Ministries, a Holmes Beach, Fla.-based group for women married to Muslims.has a Web site, www.zennahministries.com, and includes an "abuse escape plan" and phone numbers of domestic abuse hot lines.
They say that, "in no way do I believe that all Muslims beat their wives, nor do I believe that all Christian men do not," she states on the site. "The difference is that in Islam, men are given the permission to beat their wives with no questions asked if they feel the need."
· 1 decade ago