Sunday, December 3, 2017

Internet dating while Muslim

The Guardian has the story: how the Yorkshire dating site transformed Muslim romance
It is one of the biggest dating sites in the world and after 17 years, it has has led to over 50,000 marriages.

"The UK site boasts nearly a million UK active users and the company is expanding internationally. (Traffic analysis suggests there are about 1.4m page views per month).Because it is in effect a marriage site rather than a dating site, it also claims a high rate of success. There have been 50,000 weddings, and counting.
"When Younis originally set up his website, the problems came from fundamentalists. “Back in the day we used to have death threats,” he says. “All from anonymous keyboard warriors. They would be like ‘it is haram [forbidden] to display photographs of women’. People would have seen their sister on there.”

"Younis was unfazed. Now, he says, he doesn’t hear of anyone who is against what they are doing, mainly because, he believes, “everyone knows someone the site has helped”.
"You don’t have to spend very long on to realise it is not Tinder. The options in creating a profile on the site require users to select their level of piety (Very religious/Somewhat religious/Prefer not to say) their sect (Shia/Sunni/Just Muslim) and appearance preferences (Hijab? Beard?).

“What we are not is this kind of swipe right, one-night stand kind of service,” Younis says. “People call it ‘halal dating’ and that’s fine. Halal means being wholesome and right in your faith.”

"About 10% of members join as a family. In those cases, traditionally the mums or the grannies use the site to do the matchmaking, Khan explains. What the company mostly promotes, though, is the opportunity to broaden that search as far as possible. The case studies on the site highlight couples who have crossed national and racial barriers to marry. “We are not or,” Younis suggests. There is an empowering impulse in this – and in the insistence that photographs must be full face. “Females who are fully covered don’t get in our galleries,” Khan says. “There is no point in having an image where you just see the eyes.”

No comments: