British Columbia

'Salaam Swipe': B.C. man creates Muslim, Tinder-style app

A young man from Surrey, B.C., has created a new Tinder-style dating app for Muslims called Salaam Swipe.

Developer Khalil Jessa says app actually similar to how Muslims found their partners in the past

Khalil Jessa says he created Salaam Swipe to help dating Muslims have access to the full diversity of the Muslim community. (CBC News)

For Muslims in B.C., finding that special someone could just be a swipe away, according to a young man from Surrey who has created a new Tinder-style dating app for Muslims called Salaam Swipe.

Khalil Jessa's new app launched today on Apple's app store and already he says he's gotten a tremendous amount of positive feedback from Muslims eager to try it.

"People have seen this and given me tremendous support because they know that for Muslims in particular it's a lot more difficult to meet people within their communities, simply because we have more gender segregation and, you know, things like that," Jessa said.

"Each community is divided on ethnic lines as well as sectarian lines. Sectarian sounds like a dirty word but it's really not. It just means Sunni or Shia.

"Those divisions, as well as gender divisions, makes it hard for people to meet each other serendipitously. We're trying to mimic that serendipitous meeting through an app."

Like Tinder, Jessa's app allows people to swipe right if they like someone's profile or swipe left if they don't.

Users of Salaam Swipe can filter profiles based on a person's denomination, religiousness or even willingness to convert. (CBC News)

Unlike Tinder, however, which has a reputation as a "hook up" tool, he says his app has features to better protect people's privacy and is really about helping Muslims find and connect with other Muslims who share similar interests and values.

"People that are coming to Salaam Swipe are there because they are Muslim and that already shows that the people that they match with will have a deeper connection. They'll have something to start with.

"We have filters that allow you to filter based off of your denomination as well as your religiosity. So you can say you're a liberal Sunni or a conservative Shia and on top of that we've built other features that give you enhanced privacy, like an incognito mode that will hide you from your friends and family."

Jessa says in some ways it's very similar to how Muslim people have found their partners in the past, only this makes it easier.

"In Muslim communities often times the way that people used to meet each other, and still do, is ... they'd send a picture and a little bio to this one family, then the other family would send the same thing, and if two people say they like each other then they go meet each other.

"It's the same model without the middleman."

It's not the first dating app created specifically for the Muslim community. There are Muslim dating apps such as Crescent and Minder. There are also dating apps for other religious communities such as J-swipe, for Jewish singles. 

To hear the full interview listen to the audio labelled, "Salaam Swipe, a new app that's like a Muslim Tinder"

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