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Apr. 5 2010 - 11:20 am | 1,031 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

The Muslim sex toy store

Some of El Asira's products

A Muslim-Dutch businessman has embarked on an unusual enterprise — an online martial aid store aimed at his coreligionists.

The shop, El Asira, is billed as “the first halal ’sex shop’.”

Founder Abdelaziz Aouragh, 29, claims to have consulted with an unnamed Saudi sheik in order to receive a fatwa authorizing the sale of sex toys to married Muslim couples. The products sold on El Asira’s websites do not use animal fats and the website does not display any images of men or women.

Dutch paper NRC Handelsblad interviewed Aouragh about sex, religion and selling lubricants to traditional Muslim couples:

As well as making money, Aouragh wants his sex shop to change the image of Islam as hostile to women. “The image of women in the kitchen, submissive, dressed in a burkah isn’t true. There is a lot of love. Islam has a lot of respect for women. Our shop puts the woman at the centre of things.” The webshop also offers information; people can find answers to their questions there.

The imam who advised El Asira is Boularia Houari, a 35-year-old glass fibre cable technician who gives Koran lessons and preaches on request at various mosques. He is with Aouragh for our second meeting. He has a beard, speaks poor Dutch and wears a black cap. He says he gives sexual advice to many married people. “People are afraid of Viagra; it’s a medicine. In Islam there are herbs which help. Poppy seed oil, pure honey. Scholars recommend these too.”

El Asira’s website features separate entrances for men and women, along with different color schemes for each gender.

The only problem… El Asira’s website has been offline for the past five days. Visitors to El Asira are told that “Due to the succes (sic) of ElAsira.com, our provider could not provide the necessary bandwidth. We are now moving and will be back online within a few days.” Fast Company noticed this too and contacted Aouragh, who said that “the host was not able to give us the capacity we needed.” However, Aouragh refused to answer questions about how he would handle elements in the Muslim community who might not agree with the idea of a Halal sex shop.

However, one thing is for sure — El Asira is not the first company to market adult toys in the Muslim world. Tupperware-like sex toy parties (Français) have been taking place in Morocco for years.


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    About Me

    A New York-based journalist and blogger who has spent extensive time in the Middle East and is currently working on an MA thesis in Middle Eastern Studies. My thesis focuses on the 2009 Iranian election demonstrations and their coverage in the international media.

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    Contributor Since: July 2009
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