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Convert to Sufism. Watch the video below of a sufi worship service to see a manly form of group worship that you won't find in the feminist dominated West. It would be worth it if you could find a real teacher. But be careful about new age clown pretenders.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSPIGsE ... zkcJinT7e8
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I've been in Sarajevo for the past two weeks. There certainly seem to be plenty of devout Muslims here. Many mosques, lots of chanting coming from the towers over loudspeakers, plenty of people bowing toward Mecca during the day. As far as the Bosnian birth rate goes, that probably has a lot to do with the diaspora during the war in the '90s. Sarajevo lost about 200,000 people.
The women here are quite attractive, approachable and friendly. Imagine, if you can, getting a big smile from attractive young women when you start a conversation. And the country is beautiful, Sarajevo is a splendid city full of character and history. The prices here for many things, such as rent, are third world.
Downside: ubiquitous cigarette smoke. You can't escape it.
I'm generally in agreement with OutWest's point. Tenuous though my religious beliefs may be, they aren't for sale in exchange for a woman. But I also generally subscribe to the position of my favorite religion writer, Huston Smith: "My body belongs to the Methodist Church, as it always has, but my soul belongs to all the world's great religions." I would consider converting to one of them, as long as the woman understood that my beliefs are internal and sacrosanct, and may not be of a piece with my outward form of worship.
I rushed into something with the first agreeable woman here, and Sarajevo is a bit like a small town, in that everybody is always out and about in the pedestrian culture. So you can get a reputation pretty fast if you interact. For that reason and others, I'm moving on in a couple of weeks. I'd prefer not to marry a Muslim woman. But I recommend the place, especially if you think that tradition might be for you. I certainly wouldn't rule it out for the reasons you stated.
Birth rates in Albania and Bosnia started dropping long before the war. In fact, there is no precipitous drop in the 90s...just a continuation of the steady decline. Clearly, the women there are not interested in kids.
Regarding beliefs...clearly I have none at the moment. I have no religion, nationality, or culture that I belong to. I can say I prefer Strawberries to apples and that I like sunshine better than rain....that's the extent of my belief system at the moment.
However, I would consider joining a religion that practices what it preaches. As I said in my previous post, Evangelical Christians preach family values but have a higher divorce rate than average. Muslims preach family values...and they actually have that in practice. If there is any sign that Islam is a true religion, its that it preaches good things...AND they actually practice them. Isn't that what a religion is supposed to be about? Isn't religion supposed to teach good values and communion with God? And wouldn't people who truly believed in God and their faith do as they were instructed to do and be good people with good family values?
A system of beliefs with traditional gender roles, family values, and promotion of marriage is a system that interests me enough to at least explore it as a possibility. Some people say that Islam oppresses women...I disagree. There is research out there that shows women in more traditional roles are HAPPIER...not less so. Some people say Islam restricts freedom....well there is definitely a lot of research that defined roles with fewer options makes people HAPPIER. Perhaps it is the natural path for humans. Humans need some choice, but unlimited options confuse. Perhaps Islam is a way to contain humans, set boundaries, and focus people on a path.
http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/nyt-t ... marriages/
The more I think about it...the more it makes sense. I need to find the most traditional religion and culture that I can integrate into. I used to think Happier abroad was all about poor countries abroad...now I realize that's not it. Ukraine is poor, very poor, yet they lack traditional culture. Religion plays a minimal role in daily life, traditional gender roles among the young have degraded and continue to do so. However, the places with high birth rate, low divorce rate, high religion rate, and traditional culture are all possibilities. I have also read about Ethiopian Christianity and it also seems like a very traditional religion worth considering. Sufi Islam also has intriguing ideas. All good possibilities....
Have you ever lived in a Muslim society or spent significant time there?
I live with Muslims close at hand and have done so for years in my area of the Philippines, and I have nearly daily dealings with them. Generally, Filipino Muslims are pretty permissive as far as Muslims go, but some are quite strict.
If you read my post, the point was not to denigrate Muslims, it was critical of those who think
that converting is something to play in order to score better women. As I said, were I an Islamic cleric, I would be critical of suspect conversions.
Myself, I do not want to be ruled by religious authorities. I prefer such things to be a matter of conscience. If you like the idea, help yourself.
All dictatorships seem to reason that limiting freedom and choice for the "masses" will make them
happier. Generally, given human nature, with dictatorship comes oppression, while the leadership continues to insist that "the people" are happy to be living under their rule.
There are plenty of moderate Islamic sects in the world. Turkey could be an interesting place to go. It was the British who installed the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia because it was believed they were the most stable protectors of the oil supply. The Wahhbis are the most extreme form of Islam. And a moderate Islamic democracy was overthrown in Iran because the leader threatened to nationalize a British Oil Company. Then again the US supported the Taliban to fight the Soviet Union. Again the extremists take over. It was the West that installed Islamic extremism in order to secure a steady supply of oil for the West and Islam gets blamed. It would be like Middle Eastern countries giving a trillion dollars to snake handlers in West Virginia and then complaining that Christian extremists are a world problem.