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The tone of the warning is unusually direct for today's ecumenical climate, in which organized religions are at pains to express their tolerance of other cultural backgrounds.
"I think it is just playing on the existing Islamophobia, which is taking a grip on our society. I mean this whole Islamophobia, the war on terror, has come about as a result of political reasons," he said.Islamic scholars are expressing surprise at a Vatican statement cautioning Catholic women against marrying Muslim men.The Catholic Church, like most major religions, does not favor religiously mixed marriages, and has set restrictions on them.Part of the church's worry about marriage with Muslim men is that the dominating position of the man in many Islamic households makes it impossible in reality for the wife to bring up the children as Catholics. Muslim men are allowed to marry Jewish or Christian women with the proviso their children are brought up as Muslims.Islam does not allow a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man -- probably originally for the same reason, namely that the husband is likely to take the dominant role in deciding what religion the children will take.