The messages on this English-language dating site could have been written anywhere in the world.
“Greetings scented bouquet flowers,” a 28-year-old introduces himself.
“I'm not good in talking about myself...Passionate and romantic, and loves to enjoy life in a way,” writes another man.
A 23-year-old woman writes of herself, “I don't know why my life is like a ship???? Sometimes up and many times down!!! But the most beautiful thing is: I always find helpful and kind people.”
All of the messages are from Palestinian men and women, heading online to find their soul mate. Until now, posting online personals was strictly forbidden under Palestinian Authority Supreme Fatwa Council edicts. No longer. But there is a catch.
The Fatwa Council ruled on Tuesday that Palestinian men and women will be allowed to engage in online dating activities, but their posts and behavior must abide strictly by Sharia precepts. The men and women must adhere “to the required moral standards and Shari’a rules,” the Jerusalem Post reports.
That means all online dating must have the express purpose of aiming toward marriage.
And the Council set other major limitations, including no talking about private issues “that could stir instincts and awaken desires.”
The Jerusalem Post provides more detail on the decision:
According to the ruling, a woman is prohibited during the conversation from providing excessive detail about herself, displaying her photo to her male interlocutor or even meeting with him without the presence of her family.
The man and woman are also required to refrain from chatting or speaking in a soft or submissive tone, the council explained.
“The conversation should take place with the full knowledge of the family and not in a closed room or in secrecy,” the council wrote.
The council defended its unprecedented ruling, explaining that utilizing social media has “become an indispensable necessity” and thus a legitimate ground for finding a spouse. It also diverges from fatwas issued by other radical Muslim scholars who have ruled against online dating.
The council admitted online dating is now “unavoidable and impossible to prohibit completely.”
That said, it also expressed a preference for traditional, non-digital means of finding a future spouse.
(H/T: Jerusalem Post)