A few months after the first meeting, Jarred was visiting his family in Toronto, which usually involved his mother trying to set him up with a nice Jewish girl.
That's when he realized Shaaz meant more to him than being just a friend.
“Islam allows Muslim men to marry non-Muslim women and such marriages are common, but I am one of the only people who will do it the other way round.” He said couples had to sign up to five non-negotiable conditions protecting the woman’s faith, and agree to counselling before he would perform marriages.
Muslim Sana Majeed Mc Million, 27, and Christian-born Andrew Mc Million, 32, were married by Dr Hargey last night in Abingdon — a 1,500 mile round-trip from their home in Oslo.
Today, American Jews and Muslims make up a similarly small portion of the population; they are generally highly educated and well-off, and both groups are concentrated in major metropolitan areas.
Although estimates of interfaith marriage among small population groups such as Muslims are hard to pin down, a 2011 Pew Research Center study found that about 16 percent of Muslims who are married or living with someone have a non-Muslim spouse or partner.
Some planned to return to their countries, but as the political situation at home deteriorated, a large population settled here.Mr Mc Million, an account manager for an IT company, said: “Generally speaking it seems to be totally accepted for men to marry non-Muslims, but not women.“When we talked to Dr Taj we finally met someone who had a different understanding of that.” The pair had a civil wedding in Oslo last July, but wanted a Muslim marriage contract and the blessing of Allah on their union.That was the first year Pew studied whom Muslims married, and it’s one of the only organizations to do so.Muslims intermarry less often than other faith groups with longer histories in the United States, such as Catholics and Jews, but they do so more often than Hindus (10 percent) and about as often as Mormons (17 percent), according to a 2007 Pew study.
Shaaz says this prompted some very specific questions that came out of left field.