Online dating has been legalised by a Palestinian authority, but only if its use is directed toward marriage.
The Jerusalem Post reports that the Palestinian Authority’s Supreme Fatwa Council made the ruling on Tuesday, saying that online dating has become “unavoidable and impossible to prohibit completely.”
Describing social media and dating sites as an “indispensable necessity”, they ruled that Muslim men and women could use such technology for dating.
This decision defied extremist Islamic scholars, who had issued fatwas against the use of online dating for Muslims.
The Post reports that the council’s decision was made on certain conditions, and with “adherence to the required moral standards and Shari’a rules.”
The main condition was that “the existence of an urgent need for establishing such contact through the Internet, with the basic goal being marriage in line with available legitimate means.”
And when talking online, “the conversation should be restricted to achieving this goal. It should not transcend to private matters that could stir instincts and awaken desires.”
Other conditions include that women aren’t allowed to display a profile picture or give too much detail away about themselves.
And if the two meet, the women must also be accompanied by a family member, and the two must not speak in “a soft or submissive tone”.
Describing the ruling as a “conditional permit”, the council said that traditional methods for finding a spouse were preferable.