Home » In Egypt, Halal Internet Comes First

In Egypt, Halal Internet Comes First

News From : DagangHalal.com (10 Sep 2009)

CAIRO — Although it has made its debut only a few days ago, the new ImHalal search engine is fast winning the approval of several Egyptian internet users.

“The new engine is great,” Marwa Adeeb, an Egyptian bank clerk, told IslamOnline.net.

“It was a colleague of mine who told me about it. I’ve not stopped using it since then.”

The Islamic search engine, launched last week, filters internet content and presents users with what its creators call “clean web pages” that do not contain bawdy material.

It gives Muslims around the world the chance to search the internet safely without coming across offending or pornographic content.

Once a user comes into contact with offending content, the engine returns a negative search advice.

When searching offending words like “sex” or “nudity”, for example, the search tells users that the results contain “haram” or un-Islamic material.

The world’s first Islamic search engine is available in 15 languages including Arabic, Chinese, Farsi and Turkish, as well as English.

In Egypt, where more than 90 percent of the 80-million population are Muslims and around 12 percent have access to the internet, the new search engine gives many people exactly what they have been looking for.

“It will save both internet users and parents the worry about whether internet can be harmful to the moral or religious sensitivities of their children,” says an enthusiastic Adeeb.

Like so many young Egyptians, she uses the internet as long as she is glued to her computer screen, which she does almost all day-long.

The internet has never been safe for her in the past. Whenever she logged unto a website or another, her attempts were never free from the risk of encountering pornographic material.

Nude pictures and scenes used to pop up, to her irritation.

“Now, I don’t find these pictures with the new search engine,” Adeeb, 26, says happily.

Real Manna

While some have expressed concerns the new search engine ushers a new form of political or moral sensor, the majority embraced it warmly, saying it protects teenagers, in particular, from bawdy internet materials.

“A search engine like this one can prevent crises,” said Abdel Latif Abdel Hakam, who is doing Islamic studies at the prestigious al-Azhar Univerity.

“The founder of the engine has really done something useful to all Muslims.”

The founder, Reza Sardeha, a 20-year-old Iranian-Kuwaiti student living in the Netherlands, hopes his new engine would become the number one search site for every Muslim user.

Surprisingly the ImHalal is also being given a wide welcome mat by the nation’s sizable Christian minority.

Maryam Ra’afat, a Copt, has benefited a lot from the new engine and says it has saved her and her mother the worry over encountering explicit materials when surfing the web.

“It’s really great,” Ra’afat, 24, told IOL.

“It has made the internet a safe realm.”

Ra’afat, who works as a freelance journalist, still uses Google and Yahoo for her internet search.

“The new search engine blocks some web pages and that isn’t always a good thing for a journalist who seeks all sorts of information.”

By  Amr Emam, IOL Correspondent
Source: IslamOnline.net

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