Widely ignored by the Western media…
Sometimes being forewarned of a potential danger is enough to give anyone pause. But when you’re Apple Inc., maybe the rules don’t apply.
That certainly is the impression I get from the latest involving the multinational mega company.
As reported by (interestingly enough) The National news portal of the United Arab Emirates, Apple recently launch the app “Euro Fatwa”, reportedly as “a guide to help Muslims adhere to Islam.”
Obviously a big hit in Europe, The National notes that the Euro Fatwa app “has been in the top 100 downloads in the Apple store in a third of European countries since its launch…”
However, The National also cited that a number of European governmental individuals and organizations have slammed the very same app as not only “dangerous” and “poisonous”, but could also be one of the building blocks of militant Islamist fundamentalist extremism.
The Euro Fatwa “was created by the European Council for Fatwa and Research, a Dublin private foundation set up by [Sheik] Yusuf Al Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Al Qaradwi has issued a number of fatwas (Islamic religious rulings) declaring that Muslims residing in Europe can simply disobey the laws of the nation they live in “if they contradict Islamic rules.”
He’s also made a name for himself defending “violence against US troops in Iraq and regularly delivered vehement lectures against the West on Qatari television. He has also suggested that the Holocaust was ‘divine punishment’ against Jews and called for Israel’s destruction.”
When the good folks at Apple were informed that the app “is a radicalisation tool” when The National cited the app’s content, “Google banned it within hours.”
While it’s rare for me to say anything even close to nice when it comes to Google, to their credit, Google has been true to their word, has kept the ban in place.
Apple Inc., not so much. As reported by The National;
“While we can’t comment on individual apps, we’ll take swift action against any that break our policies once we’ve been made aware of them, including those that contain hate speech,” the company said.
But a month after The National informed Apple that the app contains hate speech, it is still accessible from the App Store.
“We are reviewing Euro Fatwa again for possible violations of our guidelines and, if we find content that violates our guidelines and is harmful to users, we will notify the developer and may remove it from the store,” an Apple spokesman said.
On a personal note, I invested about 20 seconds to see if the Euro Fatwa app would be available for download. As seen in the photo above, Apple has yet to remove it as of this article’s publishing date.
The German-language Apple site still offers the app despite the overwhelming evidence of the violent intent, which is suppose to be in violation of Apple’s own hate speech policy.
To date, here are just a small example of those who’ve spoken out against said app;
- The United Kingdom’s Home Office
- Germany’s security service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution
- French senator and member of the Gulf-French Friendship Committee Nathalie Goulet, who referred to the app “poisonous” on Twitter and called for it to be banned
- A former French anti-corruption magistrate said it was to blame for last month’s Lyon nail bomb terror attack, in which 13 people were wounded
For his part, Al Qaradawi has been “banned from the US, UK and France for his extremist views.”
With the sheik living the good life in Doha, Qatar, the previously mentioned Western nations aren’t the only ones hammering Qaradawi. The National also reported;
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt referred to Al Qaradawi’s role as a terrorist, supported by Qatar, when the four countries announced a boycott of Doha in 2017.
They said the boycott was in response to the country’s support for terrorism and harbouring supporters of extremism, such as Al Qaradawi.
Furthermore, the Emirati news service also cited (emphasis mine);
In 2015, an investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood by the British government concluded that membership “may be an indicator of extremism”, and that aspects of its ideology and tactics were contrary to the UK’s fundamental values.
Campaigners have repeatedly highlighted the dangers of Al Qaradawi’s web and social media presence for creating extremists.
“What makes Qaradawi unique from other extremists are the ways in which his presence is condoned by social media, specifically through Facebook and Twitter’s verified user checkmark,” Counter-Extremism Project researcher Joshua Fisher-Birch said this year.