Global Ikhwan is a multi-million dollar business network in Malaysia. Their headquarters is based in Rawang, an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, where they have established a community, with clinics and restaurants, a bakery and beauty salon. The name Ikhwan, meaning Muslim Brotherhood, suggests that they are a religiously devout community. A branch of Al Arqam, a religious movement banned in 1994 for ‘deviant’ beliefs, ‘Global Ikhwan’ has now become a recognisable brand in Malaysia. While their way of life may evoke mystery and even suspicion amongst certain quarters, it is their attitude to sex which is most fascinating.
In June 2011, Global Ikhwan established the Obedient Wives Club (OWC). The group promised sex lessons to help wives ‘serve their husbands better than…first-class prostitute[s]’ to protect marriages and curb social ills. Its vice-president, Dr Rohaya Mohamad, said a religious wife should also possess good sexual prowess and go beyond being a traditional ‘good wife or good cook’. But why were these sex lessons needed? According to the group’s secretary, Hajiera Hartley, they were merely responses to questions from members, for example on kissing. ‘Honestly, the Malays do not know how to kiss,’ she lamented.