I am in extremely bad mood right now! I have been reviewing profiles of eligible Muslim men on a halal dating app, MuzMatch. I registered on this rather popular app with the hope of finding a husband. I have been using this app seriously for only around a month; and, I have already reported and blocked more than five men. These are born Muslim or revert Muslim men. I am hearing things from them that I find criminal. I have reported whoever I could report. But, sitting inside a slaughter house of this sort will never allow me to report everyone—when I get very tired of reporting, I just block.
One man called me from Serbia to talk to me. I was just getting out my bed when he called. I answered his audio call; but, I told him that I can’t connect with him right now because I am just getting out my bed. He got mad at me right away. And, he said that he is looking for an easy going person and not a hard-minded, crazy woman.
Another man just talked to me for some while and told me some important things about himself. Then he just vanished for some while. Then the next day or perhaps after a couple of days—I don’t fully recall because I am trying to forget what happened—someone who looked a lot like him added me to his Instagram. I started talking to him and asked him if he was that particular guy. He just texted back, “Yeah sure!”. Then the rest of crisis unfolded. He asked me to just download WhatsApp so that he may show me some tricks about investing in something. I said that I wasn’t interested in WhatsApp because this application has privacy issues. When I refused, he seemed annoyed. I eventually got fed up of this conversation; and, I left him too.
Then there was Prince Charming who went on being nice and polite for four or five days—and, he prays too. And, then one day he called me and indulged in saying some sexual things to me, which I found extremely offensive. I felt so discouraged when I heard him say all this. I left him right away.
Below is one of the conversations I had on this app; it is my first and last conversation with this guy. My comments are inside the red bubbles.
I am feeling very sick of all this! This isn’t the first time I have been cyberbullied. But, I know that abuse of women is increasing due to various factors like neglect and pandemic. This isn’t just happening inside the Muslim community; this is happening across the globe. Not to forget that Islamophobia and exclusion of Muslims are playing a role in increasing online abuse of Muslim women—this reality is taught through several online articles that share how the lives of Indigenous women were destroyed due to colonialism.
I have reported most of the men; and, app’s administration has taken some action against them. However, what’s freaky about all this is if I didn’t know what I was looking at and the guy managed to do something and get away with it, then so many other people will point fingers at me.
I did some further digging. Apparently, another complaint about MuzMatch was filed and this was reported by a Human Rights Activist named Aisha Ali-Khan. Read her article “Muslim Marriage App Allowed A Predator To Attack Me. Now I Am Warning Others Too“. She wrote that a complaint was made to the police and that the police found out that MuzMatch allowed a sexual predator to make multiple accounts there. You know what! I have observed on this app that some folks actually have multiple accounts; after reading Aisha’s story, I realized why they want multiple accounts. Here is two other interesting articles: Faima Bakar’s article “Muslims share their worst Muzmatch and Minder dating stories” and Alia Waheed’s article “‘He began stalking me’: Muslim women have been duped into fake marriages and assaulted by men from matrimonial sites“.
I like MuzMatch’s articles and replies; for instance look at this article “Dear muzmatch: He Keeps Bringing Up Sex On A Muslim Dating App!” However, I think that sites like MuzMatch needs to do more to ensure safety of users; for example, they should run multiple campaigns including Fundraisers to prevent Misogyny and Women Abuse. I remind myself that they can only attempt to manage the process but not the outcome; this means that we need to do more to prevent ongoing abuse of women.
Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.