Thursday, August 06, 2009

Inter-sect marriages on the rise in Iraq

Muhanad Talib, a Sunni Muslim, married his Shiite bride because she was a "suitable woman" for him. It also didn't hurt that their vows made them eligible for a $2,000 payout from the government.

Talib and his wife are among more than 1,700 newlywed couples who have accepted cash from a government program that encourages Sunnis and Shiites to tie the knot.
As security has improved, Iraqis are returning to their homes in mixed neighborhoods and spending more time at offices, universities and other places where they meet their future spouses, said Shiite cleric Sayyid Ahmed Hirz al-Yasiri in Baghdad's Shiite stronghold of Sadr City.

"There was a time when families were reluctant to consent to such marriages because of concerns created by certain conservative people from both sects," he said. "That is over now and things are getting back to normal, like they were before the fall of Baghdad. In the past two months, I married 40 to 50 Sunnis, including 20 mixed weddings."
Thanks to Marginal Revolution for the pointer.

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