CAIRO – Triggering an expected controversy, a so-called “Islamic” online sex shop has opened in Turkey to sell “halal” sex products, becoming the first of its kind in the predominantly Muslim country.
“Sex education means informing a young man and woman about how to satisfy sexual desires innate in them according to the laws established by Almighty Allah,” Sheikh Faisal Mawlawi, Deputy Chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, said in an earlier fatwa.
“It is natural that such kind of education must exist in the Muslim societies since it aims, originally, at teaching a Muslim the morals of Islam and its rulings,” he adds.
“Muslim Jurists were keen on disseminating such form of useful knowledge to the extent that they had a common dictum that reads: ‘Shyness should not stand in your way to seek knowledge about (sensitive) matters of religion.’”
According to Hurreit Daily News, the “Halal Sex Shop” website presents its products as being “entirely safe,” and in compliance with Islamic norms.
Unlike other sex shops, Turkey’s online ‘Islamic’ sex shop sells condoms, massage oils and perfumes only.
Internet users who enter the site find two different links directing them to separate sections for male and female products.
Other sections of the website are designed to discuss sex in the context of Islam under various headings: “Oral sex according to Islam”, “Sex manners in Islam” and “Sexual life in Islam.”
The founder of website, Haluk Murat Demirel, 38, said he had been inspired to launch the site by friends who wanted sex advice and products but found the content on other websites and in specialist stores too explicit.
“Online sex shops usually have pornographic pictures, which makes Muslims uncomfortable. We don’t sell vibrators for example, because they are not approved by Islam,” Demirel told Reuters.
On the website, the founder adds that he believes the online shop would help correct prejudices against Islam which is perceived as “against sex.”
“The religion of Islam has praised sex under certain circumstances,” the site says.
“The use of every product on sale is in compliance with Islam.”
Though the founders of the wesbsite confirmed its content respects Islamic teachings, the idea was criticized by other scholars as controversial and tricky.
“The idea of launching ‘Halal Online Sex Shop’ seems very strange,” Dr Wael Shehab, a scholar and Shari`ah researcher.
“According to the news-reports, the website has a section for men and another for women!
“One does really question whether or not organizers of the website could prevent women from browsing men’s section or men from visiting the women’s corner. This is very tricky,” he added.
The use of the halal label was also criticized by Dr. Shehab.
“In fact, I’m very worried about the overuse of the label ‘Halal’,” he said.
“These days, many people misuse the label “Halal” for commercial goals that are in conflict with Shari`ah (Islamic law) and its values.
“Therefore, overuse of the label “Halal” may distort the image of the Islamic Shari`ah itself.”
Approximately 99 percent of Turkey’s population are Muslim, mostly Sunnis.
Turkey does have so-called “erotic shops” in its streets, however Islamic conservative Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested they rename themselves “love shops.”
Allah created the sexual desire in humans. It is as normal as is the desire for food or shelter.
Yet, Islam is aware of educating man on the proper way of satisfying his desire in the light of its noble teachings.