March 31, 2010

Halal sex shop popular with Muslims


by Sara Levy

An online sex shop aimed at Muslims has launched in the Netherlands to meet demand for erotica that does not offend Islamic law.

El Asira went online last week and welcomed 70,000 visitors in the first four days of opening.

All of the shop’s products – including massage oils, lubricants, and tablets that claim to act as aphrodisiacs – are halal, permissible under Sharia law.

The shop’s founder, Abdellaziz Aouragh, said his target audience is married Muslim couples looking for alternatives to websites “that focus on pornography and the extravagant side of erotica”.

“Most of the other products out there have pictures of naked people or foul language – it was very difficult to find ones that I could use in my business,” he said.

Before setting up the shop, Aouragh sought a fatwa, or religious decree, to make sure he wasn’t breaking Islamic law.

The fatwa, issued by a Saudi Sheikh, permits the shop provided that the products are only used within the context of marriage.

Dutch imam Abdul Jabbar said: “As long as he doesn’t sell sex toys or those sorts of things there is no problem.”

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