Candid but demure, an online sex shop for Muslims was launched last week in Amsterdam to tap into the demand for erotica that does not offend Sharia law. The site has now crashed due to overwhelming response, said founder Abdelaziz Aouragh.
Called El Asira, Aouragh claims that this is the world’s first erotic webshop for Muslims. “We had about 70,000 hits in the first four days,” he said. The 29-year-old Dutch national said the site targets married Muslim couples as an alternative to sites “that focus on porno-graphy and the extravagant side of erotica” — forbidden in Islam.
The home page of El Asira is a sober black and grey street with a line down the centre, inviting women to enter on the left and men on the right. Once inside, clients can browse in Dutch, Arabic or English through more than a dozen products, mainly massage oils, lubricants and tablets that claim to act as aphrodisiacs. All ingredients are halal, or “permissible under Islam”, said Aouragh. Conspicuously absent are dildos, vibrators and any type of pornography.