A wedding in Lebanon has created quite a stir as it was controversial. The wedding took place in a church between hijab-wearing Muslim woman and a Christian man. The couple Marwa Fawaz and Botrous Katoura were criticized for choosing a religious ceremony.
The Lebanese law does not allow unions between people of different faiths, couples must choose to convert to one religion or the other to get married in a religious ceremony.
The couple who fell in love seven years ago wanted to have both Islamic and Christian ceremony in order to keep their own religion. Meanwhile, Father Basillios Nasr, who led the church ceremony said that the marriage will be good for the country.
“Our goal is to unite people rather than divide them, and to build a society based on understanding and love,” said Nasr.
The couple had a Muslim wedding earlier. The ceremony was carried out based on a ruling that allows Muslims to marry “People of the Book”, which refers to Jews and Christians.
Previously the main traditional Muslim schools of religious law generally held that a female Muslim is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim male.
A Muslim man is, however, allowed to marry women belonging to the Abrahamic faiths or “the Peoples of the Book”.
However, in order to legalise their wedding in Lebanon the couple had to carry out a civil wedding abroad.
Some voiced their outrage at the move, dismissing both religious ceremonies as illegitimate.
“In Lebanon, a woman wearing the hijab marries a Christian man in a church,” one Twitter user said, sharing the image of the church wedding.
“But how?!” another user responded.
“Which religion was the basis of this unity? The marriage contract is annulled as it is not permissible in either religions!” a Facebook user said.
“She has betrayed her religion, which is not just about wearing a hijab! He too has betrayed his religion as this marriage is illegitimate. The clerics have also betrayed their religions by agreeing to marry them!” a user tweeted.
On the flipside, some appreciated the couple for portraying an image of coexistence.
“It is beautiful and should not be shameful in civilised countries. Interfaith marriages are more and more common now, and couples live happily. The couples should be hailed for their courage and the strength of their love!” a Facebook user said.
“First of all congratulations to the newlyweds. All the negative comments by those who are backwards must stop! This young couple has the chance to break free from our rotten society by offering this model of love, which must be celebrated,” another Facebook user said.
“Many congratulations to the couple! I pray that their lives are filled with pure love and happiness just like their hearts,” one Facebook user said.