London: A Glasgow-based Islamic scholar has told young British Muslim grooms with origins in the Indian sub-continent to marry women born in Scotland rather than "import" wives from India and Pakistan.
Parents of Asian children born and brought up in Britain prefer to "import" wives from India and Pakistan on the assumption that they are better cultured and make better wives than Asian women born and brought up with western values in Britain.
The result is that there are many young Asian women who have been `left on the shelf` because young Asian men and their families often insist on marrying women from India and Pakistan.
The issue is evident across religions in the Asian community, but for the first time an Islamic scholar in Glasgow has intervened and has told Muslim grooms to choose their partners from Scotland for better integration with the culture both partners have grown up in.
Shaykh Jamil, an Islamic scholar who set up a family counselling service, said: "I would say the situation is at a critical level. There are many well-educated women up and down the country who want to get married but are not finding the right match."
He told the Glasgow media: “There is an acute shortage of suitable male options and the ones who are available are getting married from back home. Consequently, this leads to many women reluctantly having to bring someone over from South Asia and that can lead to problems.”
“Importing wives from Pakistan who cannot speak English has implications for their integration with British society,” he said.
Jamil said: "The men coming over have a different mentality and are not used to seeing a female working or having a life outside of the home.”
“It makes sense to marry from within the UK as both partners will speak English and will be familiar with British culture. This will also make raising children much easier."
Naseem Khan, who ran Muslim marriage events in Glasgow for five years, said that attitudes were changing amongst the younger generation, who want different things from a relationship.
She said: "Our mothers came here and brought with them some cultural baggage that led them to get their daughters married within the family, within the same caste or someone who they had given their word to back in Pakistan.”
“Such attitudes are not prevalent amongst me or my friends. We are more flexible."