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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY > First Islamic Facebook aims to create ‘halal’ field for Muslims

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

The first global Islamic social network, called ‘Salamworld,’ aims to prevent the ‘haram’ content of Western social sites and has a target of 50 million users in five years. The network held its first global summit in Istanbul

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One of the owners of Salamworld, Abdulvahed Niyazov, speaks to Hürriyet Daily News reporter during the global summit. ‘Muslims in the world are not well-represented on the Internet,’ Niyazov says.DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

One of the owners of Salamworld, Abdulvahed Niyazov, speaks to Hürriyet Daily News reporter during the global summit. ‘Muslims in the world are not well-represented on the Internet,’ Niyazov says.DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

İpek Yezdani İpek Yezdani ipek.yezdani@hurriyet.com.tr

“Salamworld,” a pioneering global Islamic social network that aims to create a “halal” environment for Muslims on the Internet, recently held its first global summit in Istanbul with the participation of 250 people from 40 countries.

“The content that is being used on other social networks is not very secure and full of haram. We don’t want our young people to absorb all these ideas that are not familiar to them,” one of the owners of Salamworld, Abdulvahed Niyazov, a Muslim businessman from Siberia, told the Hürriyet Daily News in a recent interview.

A group of Russian and Turkish investors have put tens of millions of dollars into the development of the site, which aims to become an Islamic version of Facebook.

“Muslims in the world are not well-represented on the Internet; we want to change this situation. However, we’re not constructing an Internet mosque, we are just creating a halal environment for Muslims,” Niyazov said. According to Niyazov, the advertisements will also have “halal content” on the Internet network.

Some Madonna videos are haram

Explaining what will be considered haram, Niyazov said, “Some [music videos] of Madonna, for instance, are considered haram.”

When asked about “Islamic dating,” Niyazov said: “This is not a dating site. It is a social network for the new generation where members can feel useful and comfortable.”

Touching on the notion of atheists joining the site, Niyazov said: “I feel sorry that there are still atheists in the world. However, yes, any individual who shares our ideas can be a member.”
Niyazov said they were planning to use three levels of moderation on the social website. “Besides technical and editorial moderation, most importantly there will be self-moderation within the communities. This community idea will be a consistent part of our project.”

The project’s head office is in Istanbul, and branch offices will be in Cairo, Moscow and other cities. Niyazov said they chose Istanbul as Salamworld’s headquarters because “it is a bridge between civilizations, and it is one of the biggest cultural cities of the Islamic world.”

“The other reason why we wanted to have our headquarters in Turkey is because today’s modern Islamic government in Turkey is setting trends in the Islamic world,” Niyazov said.

Salamworld will be launched in summer 2012 in eight languages. The social network aims to register 50 million users within five years.

February/16/2012

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mara mcglothin

2/16/2012 5:05:29 PM

Good one JRC! Facebook, be it halal or haram is bad business and no one should participate in such sites.

Red Tail

2/16/2012 11:54:56 AM

I did not fully understand the logic. If kids want to find "bad" things, they will do it anyways on the internet. But if they want to avoid it, they can do so too. Or will the kids only be allowed to visit this page, and nothing else on internet?

JRC JRC

2/16/2012 8:17:52 AM

Yes, millions of Muslim teenagers will rush to join a Muslim network that aims to censor content to keep their parents happy, because teenagers are well known for obeying their parents.
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