A Moroccan entrepreneur has reportedly received Saudi support to open the first “halal” sex shop in the holy city of Makkah.
Abdelaziz Aouragh told Arabic news channel Alyaoum24 the shop would be fully Shariah compliant and it had been approved by a Saudi Arabian cleric with whom he consulted.
The store would not stock sex toys or pornographic DVDs but instead sell items that “increase feelings of sensuality and… improve the atmosphere between the couple”, he said, according to translated reports of the interview.
Aouragh already runs online Arabic sex shop El Asira, which promotes itself as “a unique Arabic collection for a sensual love life” and sells products such as scented candles, creams and oils, the Huffington Post UK reported.
Aouragh said he hoped the Makkah store would bring married partners closer together and challenge the stereotype of women in Islam.
“It is not true that Muslim women are seen only in the kitchen and seen only wearing the veil. We should also highlight love,” he told Alyaoum24.
“In our case, [halal] has nothing to do with food. It has to do with the fact that our products are permissible by Islamic law and the Islamic religion. Therefore all our products are maintaining the integrity, pure humanity and ethics inherent with the Shariah.”
Saudi Arabia is a deeply conservative kingdom where women have traditionally had to receive permission to leave the house.
They are not allowed to drive and until recent years they were not allowed to work or manage their own money.
Women’s rights have progressed in the past few years, under the late King Abdullah, who appointed 30 women to the influential Shoura Council and opening up some employment opportunities. However, marriages remain mostly arranged and women must wear the black veil in public at all times.
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