JERUSALEM POST -- May 9 -- Qiran.com, arablounge.com, onlinearabia.net, misyar.com. A decade ago, dating sites were unheard of in conservative Arab and Muslim societies, where most marriages were arranged by parents. While gathering material on the Web for this article, I was approached on Skype by Ali, who was equipped with a Web-cam. "As a matter of fact, I prefer marrying someone outside of the kingdom, since then both the dowry demands and the wedding would be less expensive," he explained. The religious establishment sees these Web sites as another attempt to corrupt Muslim society. Numerous fatwas (religious edicts) were published against matchmaking Web sites, chatting with the opposite sex and any on-line interaction whatsoever for dating. In Egypt a man could be arrested and in Saudi Arabia even killed if accused of homosexual tendencies. In Saudi Arabia, polygamy is legal, weddings are expensive and the divorce rate is 30- 35%.
The full article was originally published at JPost, but is no longer available.