A Scotsman And An Afghan Walk Into A Bar
From "The Places in Between," by Rory Stewart, pages, 122-123:
How much do you pay for a wife in Scotland?" asked Dr. Habibullah.
I told him.
"What is your religion?"
"Jesewi--Christian," I said.
"You believe in God?"
"Would you marry your mother's sister's daughter?"
"I don't think so."
"How about your mother's brother's daughter?"
"Your father's brother's or your sister's daughter?"
"No, not them either."
"Then who would you marry?"
"Probably someone not related to me."
Silence. Habibullah's questions suggested he was interrogating a Stone Age tribesman about kinship structures, but these were not anthropological questions. They were religious questions. Islam, much more than Christianity, is a political and a social religion. Clear rules govern who and how you can marry. In this region most people married their first cousins.
A tall beared man came running after us. He ignored my greetings entirely and asked Dr. Habibullah, "What religion is he?"
"He's a Jahdui--a Jew," said Dr. Habibullah.
"No, no, I'm an Esawi--a Christian."
Dr. Habibullah turned around, looked at me, and then said to his friend, "I can't work this out--is there a difference?" Many people who fought in the holy war against the Russians must have known less about other religions than Dr. Habibullah. The man led him aside and whispered to him, and then we were on our way.
"That man was a mullah," said Dr. Habibullah. "He said that you can marry our daughters--you are a type of Muslim."