Good news for singles in Kazakhstan – a new dating site promises to bring lonely hearts together, and – unlike many such forums which are simply an excuse to peddle sex – nikah.imam.kz has lofty aims: It seeks to help pious Muslims find their other half.
Along with information about attributes such as height, eye color and ethnicity, the site offers users the chance to provide information about their views on questions pertinent to Islam.
Answers to “how do you feel about the hijab?” range from “not obligatory” (Aynur, a 27-year old female from Almaty) to “only in the mosque” (Asiya, a 20-year-old female from Petropavlovsk) and “obligatory for women” (Rakhat, a 22-year-old male from Pavlodar, and Nazyma, a 35-year-old female from Almaty).
The photos accompanying the would-be daters’ profiles show a range of attitudes to the headscarf among the women – some have their heads uncovered, some are wearing headscarves and some are in the full niqab.
The wearing of the hijab in schools and universities became a source of controversy in Kazakhstan earlier this year, at one point causing President Nursultan Nazarbayev to weigh in against wearing it.
Another question asks users how they feel about polygamy, which – as RFE/RL reported earlier this year – is on the rise in Kazakhstan. Answers range from “negative” (Asem, a 20-year-old female from Petropavlovsk), “I don’t know” (Akmalya, a 20-year-old female from Almaty), to “normal” (Rauan, a 26-year-old male from Karaganda, and Roza, a 26-year-old convert to Islam from Almaty).
Aman from Aktobe leaves no doubt about his wholehearted support of the practice of taking more than one wife. “Married with children,” the 38-year-old’s profile reads. “For the satisfaction of ALLAH I want to create another family and become a husband and buttress to another woman who observes the canons of Islam.”