Ayatollahs cry prostitution!

An Iranian dating site is banned for encouraging sinful behavior.

By Abby Margulies
Published December 11, 2008 6:44PM (EST)

Hamsarchat.com, "Iran's most complete spouse-finding website," has been banned for "encouraging prostitution," according to an article in the Guardian. The site, which is one of Iran's most popular dating sites, claims to help people find spouses and start families, but recently senior ayatollahs have begged to differ. As with any dating site, members complete a questionnaire about themselves, though beyond the typical height/weight details, they are also asked to comment on how strongly they feel about a partner's hijab, describe their religious views and clarify if their goal is permanent marriage, Islamic temporary marriage or "unknown."

After a complaint from Tehran's public prosecutor, a judge consulted with the senior ayatollahs and decided to fine the Web site, ordering them to return the money they had collected to their clients, in addition to shutting down the site. According to Raja News, a fundamentalist Web site closely allied with President Ahmadinejad, the ban was issued because members were asked to post their pictures and e-mail addresses, thereby promoting prostitution.

Sure, that's a logical conclusion. I can't remember the last time I gave someone my e-mail address and wasn't thinking about how it would lead to sex for money, especially in this economy.

Abby Margulies

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