Dinner at McDonalds in Karachi

This is an ‘Islamic’ republic: You can’t sit next to your wife!

I haven’t written in a while, nor have I written much of anything when it comes to religious topics. What I can say is this article portrays a possible take on Islam, and religion in general, that rocks the male-female experience to its core.

The author speaks of going to a simple McDonald’s restaurant in Karachi to enjoy a meal with his wife. From what I’m told, McDonald’s is a different experience internationally than it is here in the USA. That is all well and good, and it’s interesting to think that McDonald’s is a place to go for dinner with your wife. Here, in America, it’s where middle school and high school kids go on their first dates or after school. Adults in general tend to just use it for what it is, fast food. But I digress…

Noman Ansari, the author, writes how he and his wife are approached by an employee asking them to move. He assumes it’s simply an issue of block the TV. That would make sense? I personally probably would have thought the exact same thing. But this was not the case. He was asked to move because he was sitting adjacent to his wife.

Now, in a purely objective, non-religious stand-point, I am not exactly the most comfortable with the concept of public displays of affection. It has more to do with how I was raised and my own personal views of intimacy. I grew up in fairly conservative household inNew Jersey. Muslim by faith, my parents were modest and humble. But growing up in America, I’ve been exposed to PDA through out my life, be it from friends, school, or just peopling being affectionate in public. So while I am no great fan of watching people make-out in public, I personally would never even think twice of people holding hands (except for when it gets in the way of moving around), hugging or holding each other, or sitting adjacent to each other.

Now from an Islamic stand-point, had Noman and his companion not been married, the issue would be completely different. It could be considered inappropriate for two non-married, or non-mahram (people who are no related), to be sitting next to each other. But the fact that they are married; any they were just having dinner. There was no PDA, or anything inappropriate.

The worst part is that there was a rule against this to begin with. That it’s considered inappropriate to sit next to the opposite gender. Someone sat down and thought they thought this through. That a couple, a religiously and legally appropriate couple could not sit together, in public, side by side. And I don’t mean to blow things out of proportion, it’s just the issue is so small, but there is far too much to be taken from it. Is not part of the reason to be married to have someone to sit next to?

The latter half of the article, on the disciplining of the child is irrelevant in my opinion and I feel moots the point the author is trying to make.

One Comment

  1. Being asked to move away from your wife in a restaurant sounded quite shocking and almost unbelievable. Overall the whole article intrigued me, this is why I spent few hours reading all the comments to it. I found a surprising reply from someone who states to have seen the CCTV footage from that day. According to him, Noman and his wife didn’t just sit next to each other, they started making up in the middle of the restaurant. That already sounds a little more plausible. :-)

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