Mecca is getting its first halal sex shop
Islam's holiest city is getting its first halal sex shop.
El Asira, an erotic brand based in Amsterdam, is branching out to Mecca, the site of Islam's annual hajj pilgrimage. Launched in 2010 by Abdelaziz Aouragh, a Moroccan Muslim, the venture will operate an e-commerce site and a brick-and-mortar location. Aouragh is partnering with the German company Beate Uhse, a leading sex toy and porn vendor in Europe.
Muslim clerics and Saudi sheiks were reportedly consulted to ensure the business is "Sharia compliant."
"The products we're putting on the market have nothing to do with blow-up dolls or vibrators," Aouragh told the AFP news agency. Instead, the adult portal, which is targeted at married couples, will be stocking oils, creams and other goods that "increase atmosphere" and "heighten feelings of sensuality." One cleric was quoted as saying it would improve, "the sexual relationship between husband and wife," reports Tom Parfitt of the Daily Express.
Saudi Arabia is routinely ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for women's rights.
Under the deal, the store will carry 18 approved items. No word yet on an opening date.