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Like most Shiites, he supports the concept of Mut'ah marriages, but says young Muslims like Selman don't take them seriously enough."The obligation is not over by saying a few words," says Alidina."Don't blame the principle because it is abused," he says."The model is perfect."Selman's 26-year-old friend Richard Giganti provides a different perspective.As long as these tenets are followed, Alidina thinks Mut'ah marriages provide an important physical outlet for young Muslims."They are young and unemployed and these marriages are cheaper options," says Alidina.
"Some of them don't like it," he says, but, "they agree because they want to be with me..."You can't fall in love 25 times," he says, laughing."I had feelings for these women and I was attracted to them."But some Shiite scholars, like Muhsin Alidina, say that Selman is "fooling himself." Alidina runs the education department at the Al Khoei Islamic Center, a prominent Shiite institution in Queens.There were certain marriages where he felt committed to his bride, but others that he says were just "date-like.""I misused Mut'ah when I did it repeatedly and with several women," he says. "God ordered us to say these words and we say these words."Many years ago, when he was teaching at the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, Imam Alidina himself got a Mut'ah marriage for six months."A lot of us use it as an excuse to have sex, and we really should control ourselves." He says many of his friends are in Mut’ah marriages: "It is very common for religious Shiite." Does this casual use of Mut'ah make them sinners? His first marriage had been a traditional one, but, ironically, turned out to be temporary itself.