Published December 11, 2008
There's no sex, no drugs, no wine, no women — well, there may be women, but they're probably wearing headscarves.
The first virtual world catering to practicing Muslims has made a trial launch in cyberspace, thanks to Muxlim, a English-language, Finland-based Web site devoted to Muslims living in the West.
"We are not a religious site — we are a site that is focused on the lifestyle," site founder Mohamed El-Fatatry tells the BBC. "This is for anyone who is remotely interested in the Muslim culture and the Muslim lifestyle."
The virtual world, called Muxlim Pal, isn't as high-tech as "Second Life." Its three-quarter viewing angle and blocky cartoonish figures make it look like an older version of the "Sims" series.
There also aren't any recognizably female figures in the four screenshots posted on the Web site, though there are several prayer rugs.
"How it differs from The Sims is that it is social," El-Fatatry told the BBC. "So you can actually be with other people at the same time, interact, and see what their characters are doing."
Users' avatars, or virtual selves, can go to the beach, go shopping or personalize their "living spaces" — but the tight clothing, sexually charged atmosphere and constant partying of "Second Life" is a long way away.