Popular Dating App Tinder is now available in several countries in the Middle East including Iran, Kuwait and Afghanistan. As expected in some of the more strict Islamic nations, the app comes with a few rules. Ahmed Al Bassam of the Religious Council of Kabul explained how it will work in his native Afghanistan.
“Women will be allowed to upload their favourite photograph of themselves as a profile picture – just like they do in the west – as long as we can’t see them. What I mean by that is they must not show their legs or their arms, or their feet or their hands, or their ears, eyes, eyebrows, neck, chin, nose, mouth, cheeks, forehead or hair. Everything in the general face area is forbidden. And all the other areas too. Apart from that anything goes.”
Ahmed said it shows that people in the west have a totally outdated idea of what it’s like to be a woman in modern Afghanistan.
“Afghan girls today are the envy of women all over the world. They’ve never had it so good. Honestly I think we will soon have to build a wall to keep out all the western women trying to move here. Not only can our girls now leave the house (with a man’s permission obviously) they can also walk down any street (with a male chaperone) and – unlike in the west with your oppressive and sexist laws – our women can get married from the age of 8. Now that’s what I call Girl Power. What do you think of that Scary Spice?”
There have been some encouraging signs recently that parts of the Islamic world are serious about finally leaving the dark ages. Last year Saudi Arabia announced that it is going to allow women to drive, ending a longstanding policy that has become a global symbol of the oppression of women in the ultra-conservative kingdom. The move is seen as a huge victory not only for Saudi women but also for Saudi men who will at long last be able to make jokes about women drivers.