Started in 2006 by Egyptian, Mohamed El-Fatatry, 24, the Muxlim site in English is one of a handful of specifically Muslim communities developing a niche in a growing market. Similar sites include Mecca.com and Islamicaweb.com. Muslim youths claim they like the site’s culturally sympathetic sounding board.
Muxlim is tiny: In Britain alone, it registered 22,000 unique visitors in January 2009 versus 22 million for Facebook. Mecca.com says it has 50,000 users, while a recent member search on Islamicaweb.com showed 9,748 users. The sites all feature videos, news, images, blogs and chat related to Muslim culture and Islam.
‘‘Socially conservative Muslims with more rigorous rules for interacting with the opposite gender often have no problems communicating with one another online,’’ claimed Ali Eteraz, an American-Pakistani journalist and blogger. Eteraz added the site could be especially attractive to Muslims in the West, especially in the United States, Canada and Britain, and a ‘‘younger crowd’’ from Muslim-majority countries.