It's remarkable that, multiculturalism notwithstanding, such institutions as the U. government and the Vatican are warning women away from inter-religious marriages. 1, 2005 update: Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the Italian Bishops Conference and a right-hand man to Pope Benedict XVI, issued a statement yesterday on behalf of the conference, warning against Catholics marrying Muslims.
"In addition to the problems that any couple encounters when forming a family, Catholics and Muslims have to reckon with the difficulties that inevitably arise from deep cultural differences." He also noted that it is usually a Catholic woman who marries a Muslim men, that usually she converts, not he, and their children tend to be brought up as Muslims.
For those American women reluctant to wear an abaya (the all-encompassing black cloak) and for those Saudi husbands who did not make an issue of the abaya prior to arriving, the intense public scrutiny that starts at the airport—given to a western woman who is accompanying a Saudi male—is usually the catalyst for the eventual covering up.
Since the overwhelming majority of American citizen wives never travel to the Kingdom prior to their marriage, they are abruptly catapulted into Saudi society.
It is remarkable for its undiplomatic and anecdotal tone, so distant from the department's standard bureaucratic style.