Should I invite our muslim next door neighbours to our *holiday* open house? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 12-18-2007, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're having an open house party this weekend and we're inviting a bunch of our neighbours, but I'm hesitant to invite our muslim next door neighbours. Our party is really a christmas party where we'll have christmas music and all the decorations and wine and beer, etc.

Our neighbours are from Saudi Arabia and are living here while the husband gets his engineering degree. They are very traditional/orthodox muslims.

My concern is that I don't want to invite them to an event that they're going to feel uncomfortable at, given their strong beliefs.

What would you do?

Thanks so much for your thoughts!
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#2 of 24 Old 12-18-2007, 04:17 PM
 
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The polite thing to do is to invite them. They are adults. They can decide for themselves how to handle the invitation. I think it is silly and maybe a little disrespectful to feel as though you are responsible for both sides of an interaction with other adults.
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#3 of 24 Old 12-18-2007, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Eeek! I guess it is a bit disrespectful, isn't it? I re-read my post and I don't like how it sounds at all. I think I might edit it. I think you're right, too, that I should let them make that decision.
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#4 of 24 Old 12-18-2007, 05:07 PM
 
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My husband and I are fairly conservative Muslims and we would appreciate an invitation to a neighbor's Christmas party. We would probably make a quick appearance with a plate of goodies and then head out because we prefer not to be around alcohol, but we would be touched by the invitation. So I guess I am weighing in to say they may come or they may not, but it is fine to invite them and you shouldn't feel like you have to warn them about anything. They'll figure it out! That is nice that you are thinking of them.
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#5 of 24 Old 12-18-2007, 09:10 PM
 
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I'd invite them even if I suspected they might decline the invitation. I wouldn't want them to feel left out, especially if you're inviting other neighbors.

Kama's right. Don't assume how they might feel or what they might do. Just invite them.
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#6 of 24 Old 12-18-2007, 09:15 PM
 
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yup, just invite them. I would feel terribly left out if all the other neighbors were invited and I wasn't for whatever reason.
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#7 of 24 Old 12-18-2007, 09:24 PM
 
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I don't know. I'm not sure about Saudi Arabia ( don't know a lot about social customs there) but in some Asian cultures isn't it generally understood that you don't ask for something/invite someone to something unless you know it's somewhere they would be comfortable and want to go?

The concept that they are adults and so can just say no is pretty US centric if you ask me. I know I'd never admire some things in certain friends homes for fear they would insist I take it home as a gift for instance.

Different cultures have difference expectations and obligations socially and taking your friends culture into consideration is a good thing to me.
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#8 of 24 Old 12-18-2007, 09:24 PM
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yep, invite them!! definitely more rude to exclude them.
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#9 of 24 Old 12-18-2007, 09:35 PM
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My best friend and her husband are Muslim and they are going to my family's Christmas Eve party

It just all depends. I understand there are varying degrees of comfort levels (that goes for everyone!) and realize that my best friend is a convert who grew up in the states. Her husband is from Morocco...

Anyway, I would probably stop by with a little plate of goodies and say something like: "I wanted to extend the welcome to our holiday open house on *whatever date*. There will be some alcohol and some Christmas themes, so I do understand if that is out of your comfort level... but I wanted to extend the invitation should you want to stop by!" or something to that effect...

I would hate for them to think that you were intentionally excluding them and I am sure they would appreciate the invite even if they chose not to go... to me it would let them know in a more general sense that you are welcoming to them.

Good luck
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#10 of 24 Old 12-18-2007, 10:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post

The concept that they are adults and so can just say no is pretty US centric if you ask me. I know I'd never admire some things in certain friends homes for fear they would insist I take it home as a gift for instance.
Fair point... I was speaking in generalities to a degree... that many people, mostly women, put a lot of energy into having both sides of a conversation before the fact. It's exhausting and somewhat disrespectful, IMO.
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#11 of 24 Old 12-18-2007, 10:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
I don't know. I'm not sure about Saudi Arabia ( don't know a lot about social customs there) but in some Asian cultures isn't it generally understood that you don't ask for something/invite someone to something unless you know it's somewhere they would be comfortable and want to go?
Generally Arab cultures place a lot more value on hospitality and keeping in touch with neighbors than many Western cultures. I really think it would be OK to invite them without any caveats, unless it's going to be a night of debauchery and naked Twister.
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#12 of 24 Old 12-18-2007, 11:11 PM
 
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I think you should invite them. If you don't invite them just because you don't want to offend them you may actually end up offending them much more, by making them feel like the black sheep of the neighborhood. I agree with the pp's.

Everyone is different, but I went to school with a Muslim couple who loved going out and socializing with all of the rest of us. We just made a non-issue out of the differences in our beliefs, and that is how they preferred it. Let your neighbors make their own decision on if they want to come or not and let it end there.

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#13 of 24 Old 12-19-2007, 03:42 PM
 
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I say invite them, too. For what it's worth, this year our second biggest Muslim holiday is just before Christmas, so it's holiday time for us, too! My only suggestion is that maybe you might want to make sure that you have pork-free goodies on hand for consumption.
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#14 of 24 Old 12-19-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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I really think it would be OK to invite them without any caveats, unless it's going to be a night of debauchery and naked Twister.
And if this is the plan for your party, please make sure to invite me!
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#15 of 24 Old 12-19-2007, 04:51 PM
 
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My church has dietary restrictions prior to the holidays that make partying hard. So I wouldn't be able to eat most of what is served and I wouldn't be able to drink. however I am sure I would still be able to have a good time. if I was for some reason going to be truely uncomfortable there i would politely and graciuosly decline but still really appreciate the invite.

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#16 of 24 Old 12-19-2007, 04:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy View Post
Anyway, I would probably stop by with a little plate of goodies and say something like: "I wanted to extend the welcome to our holiday open house on *whatever date*. There will be some alcohol and some Christmas themes, so I do understand if that is out of your comfort level... but I wanted to extend the invitation should you want to stop by!" or something to that effect...

I would hate for them to think that you were intentionally excluding them and I am sure they would appreciate the invite even if they chose not to go... to me it would let them know in a more general sense that you are welcoming to them.

Good luck
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#17 of 24 Old 12-19-2007, 11:01 PM
 
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And if this is the plan for your party, please make sure to invite me!
Nice signature too, OMG! Good thing I wasn't sipping a beverage when I read that one.
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#18 of 24 Old 12-20-2007, 10:06 AM
 
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Nice signature too, OMG! Good thing I wasn't sipping a beverage when I read that one.
Thanks! It might be one of those conversations you had to be there for, but those single mom's that were definitely get it!
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#19 of 24 Old 12-20-2007, 12:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
My church has dietary restrictions prior to the holidays
i'm curious about this. what and why? if i may ask...

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#20 of 24 Old 12-20-2007, 01:09 PM
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i would be crazy-open about it.

what i mean by this is, invite them and tell them that you want them to attend if they feel that it is socially and religiously appropriate, and that you do not want them to feel uncomfortable.

i'd explain what you're serving food-wise, drink-wise, and what the music will be, etc.

and then they can decline or not. If they do, then say that you hope that they'll come to future events that are non-religious related.
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#21 of 24 Old 12-20-2007, 03:55 PM
 
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My church (Orthodox) always fasts before great feasts such as the Nativity and Ressurection. No meat, alcohol, meat products oil. . .I think that covers it. So Christmas parties are sometimes tricky because you don't want to seem unappreciative but at the same time we want to stick with it. Its not a huge deal though and not everyone keeps the fast to the same degre. also some parties are more conducive to chowing down than others. . . whatever . . The important thing is that even if I decline an invitation it still means a lot to me to be invited.

I don't know what all dietary restrictions and what not your neighbor has but fresh fruit and veggie trays usually are safe for everyone

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#22 of 24 Old 12-20-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
My church (Orthodox) always fasts before great feasts such as the Nativity and Ressurection. No meat, alcohol, meat products oil. . .I think that covers it. So Christmas parties are sometimes tricky because you don't want to seem unappreciative but at the same time we want to stick with it. Its not a huge deal though and not everyone keeps the fast to the same degre. also some parties are more conducive to chowing down than others. . . whatever . . The important thing is that even if I decline an invitation it still means a lot to me to be invited.

I don't know what all dietary restrictions and what not your neighbor has but fresh fruit and veggie trays usually are safe for everyone
You forgot the dairy! I miss that more than the meat!

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#23 of 24 Old 12-21-2007, 01:28 AM
 
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hahah, when I posted that I kept thinking "I know i am forgetting something . . . . I know I am forgetting something." Dairy was even the one I was thinking was so tricky because butter is in all things tastey and not so obvious as a chunk of steak or a bottle of beer.

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#24 of 24 Old 12-21-2007, 04:43 AM
 
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You forgot the dairy! I miss that more than the meat!
And eggs. :
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