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Friday, November 8, 2002


My Wife, the Trojan Horse

By Scott Harrison




The Beginning

April 15, five and a half years ago

Dear Khadija,

This is an important letter so please read it very carefully. But before I say anything I want to send my hopes and thoughts to your mother that she is now well or will soon be healthy again.

Also say hello to your kind and wise father and give each of your three sisters a kiss for me. Say hello to your brother.

Khadija, I tried five times to call you on your birthday but I could not reach you. I wanted to hear your voice and surprise you and wish you a very happy birthday. Iím very sorry that I failed. I hope you are well and not too worried about the future because a good person like you I think will find great happiness.

Now I wish to tell you the important things which I mentioned. We must be as honest and true with these issues as we possibly can be.

You will recall when I visited you that I liked you and your family very much. I would like to make your life better but, as you know, there are only small things which I can do. I resolved to help you with your English because I felt sure that would open to you many opportunities so I bought you two dictionaries, sent you books and a tape recorder. If you can write and speak good English then you can educate yourself and do many things. Even if I never saw you again I wanted to help you in this way.

Then I told you that I would help pay for your trip to America so that you could visit. I did not know that such an offer would do you no good because the requirements are so strict to come here. Please Khadija believe me I did not know that it is so hard for you to even visit San Francisco. It seems so unfair. I donít want to disappoint you!

From the beginning you and your father suggested that we marry. I liked to think of this because I liked you so much and I thought that maybe this would be a way to also help you. But since my return to San Francisco I have had many doubts which have only multiplied with time. In the first place it seemed to me to be your fatherís wish and not yours. Secondly I felt I would be taking advantage of your circumstances and third I got to feel that when you came here a marriage with me would never work because I am so much older. Also I felt you would expect too much of me and America and not be happy. But Khadija, in America we become friends with people we like and marry because of love. We are very against forming a marriage on anything else. We especially feel that the choice must be completely our own. In Morocco they do things differently.

Despite all these problems I still wanted to consider marrying you because I like you so much and it seemed like a nice thought to me.

But when I returned to San Francisco every person I mentioned a possible marriage to you with thought it was a bad idea. An Algerian man said that your family is trying to trap me. A woman told me you will only wait until you are an American citizen then discard me like trash. Another man said, ďDo not trust them!Ē

So Khadija, after these last six months Iíve come to a decision. If you wish to marry me to escape Morocco I cannot help you. If you wish to marry me only because it is your fatherís wish, that is ok, that is good for Morocco but not for America. You can only get married if it is your desire, your wish and it is not only to become an American citizen.

The biggest trouble preventing me from marriage is that your background is Islam and mine is Christian.

I am happy with my beliefs, as you are happy with yours. If you can accept this difference and we can be married by American civil law, rather then either your religion or mine; but as equals in a bridge that is half way between our ancient traditions. If you feel in your heart that you want to marry me, not from force or obligation, if you will accept the task of working very hard with me to achieve a happy life togetherÖbut Khadija if we can be married by American law not Moroccan requirements then I now will agree to be your husband. For life and for real. I offer myself to you.

Will you accept these conditions and join me? I know this is not all that you wish because you prefer that I become entirely Muslim. Well with time you can show me all the wisdom of Islam and share the wealth of your mind and experience. I will share the wisdom of the West.

If you can agree then I will marry you and promise to do all I can to make your life happy and also interesting.

I know they direct you to marry an Islamic man but for now this is all I can do. It is not a perfect world and peace and happiness is possible by compromise. If we are to spend our lives together we must be able to make a bridge between our two worlds.

Please think of what Iíve said and only accept me and accept my offer of marriage if you want it and are happy with what I can offer. Do not have regrets. Do not form any bitterness. I want to try to be with you and bring you here and it is for you to decide.

If you agree, if this is your wish then I will begin the paperwork here in San Francisco. It will be hard and take a long time. Basically we will be married here but you will be absent. Then as legal American man and wife I can travel to Morocco where we can celebrate our marriage in Morocco with your friends and family. It will only be a celebration not a Moroccan marriage. Then it will take more time to get a Visa so you can travel back here to San Francisco with me. Of course if your mother is still ill then travel may not be possible. Maybe with your mother ill you cannot accept my offer. Please seek her advice and consent. And your fine sisters and brother and of course your father. Then if you want it from the roots of your heart please write me soon and tell me!

Love, Scott