RELIGION
12/12/2014 11:22 am ET Updated Dec 12, 2014

Why Are Millions Of Muslims Signing Up For Online Dating?

AlekZotoff via Getty Images

Arranged marriages are standard practice in many societies, but the introductions and screening process can be an ordeal for the young people involved - even if they are pleased with the eventual outcome. Some Western Muslims have concluded that online matchmaking can help reduce embarrassment.

"You don't like her? Why not? She got two legs, she got two arms, she's a professional. How can you not like her?"

Adeem Younis remembers all too well the trials of his family-orchestrated matchmaking. "Someone would be brought round for an evening meal and it was a really big deal. The samosas came out and the chicken and the chapattis… It was so highly pressurized."

Along with others in Europe and the US, Younis began looking for samosa-free ways to help young Muslims tie the knot, and Muslim online matchmaking was born.

Sometime in the last decade or so, online dating became a mainstream activity, in Europe and North America at least. These days everyone is at it, from the likes of Halle Berry and Adele - both say they have given it a go - to your aunt, my grandmother, and half the people swinging like coat hangers on the early morning commute.

So perhaps it's not surprising that Western Muslims adapted the idea to their needs. For many, online dating offers a low-stress solution to the daunting challenge of finding a partner for marriage in countries where few share their faith, and in communities where matchmaking is considered a family affair.

Read more on BBC

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