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UC Berkeley God, Sex and Family

Matters of Love and Faith

An Audio Portrait of a Muslim Polygamous Family
By Pauline Bartolone, October 11, 2007

(Aired on NPR's Weekend Edition, Saturday October 13th, 2007)

Image: muhammed for radio piece
Faith can make people do funny things.

It can give us the power to face life with an unworldly optimism, or make us harbor feelings of hatred. But love is something different. Religion may provide rules for relationships, but can it control what we feel inside our hearts?

That’s the question I explored during the three days I spent with a polygamous Muslim family in San Diego. For over 15 years, Ali, who prefers to only use his first name, has been religiously married to Hasanah and Asiila. Their ideas about love and family are so different from mainstream American society, yet their model works for them. In this 11 minute radio piece, we found out why.

*images and last names were witheld for sources' anonymity

Image: Masjid
Click above to watch a slideshow of a Friday night Shia prayer service.


"Love is one of those things that is not finite. The more you give, the more you have, it actually increases. The blessings come."

-Asiila, second wife in a Muslim polygamous family




The Latest

Aug 14, 2007 - Our site is near completion. We have all of our projects up - or in some cases samples of the projects to come.

Please check out our wildly popular Moral Compass project, which has been averaging 1,500 visitors a day.

The Data Road Trip project continues to inform viewers by showing the human side of religious statistics we found during our reporting.

Our very own Jason Blalock has completed a powerful video documentary about spending a week with his Christian family in Florida in My Brother, The Christian.

Also taking place in Florida, the Ave Maria project shows the dichotomy between two Catholic communities, and how two cultures exist under one faith.

Recently featured in a full page spread in the San Francisco Chronicle, Pauline Bartolone's project about Muslim Polygamy is taking viewers into an intimate world most know little about. Stay Tuned.

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