Last week, I came accross an intriguing article with the title : HALAL Search Engine Launched….and I kept on reading.
The Search Engine targets the muslim e-community that surfs the World Wide Web and would come accross ‘haram content’, hence the name of ‘halal’. To clarify both terms, Halal is anything accepted by Shariah Islamic Law, while Haram is anything that is forbidden.
How is that possible ? The Search keywords and the search results have ‘haram levels‘ and would prompt you in advance if you are about to view content against Islamic Law. Words and phrases that may have sexual connotations, alcohol, drugs, or related to certain actors and actresses are flagged up to the user . (For instance, a search for ‘red wine’ will be flagged).
To explain it better, I quote the founder Reza Sardeha, explaining how the Search engine works: “First of all, we have blocked all sexually explicit content. We are also in talks with Imams to determine what might be considered haram, and therefore, be blocked”.
He then adds: “Imhalal is not a dictatorial or censorship website, we want people to be able to continue their online search. We use a two-layer system, first of all the search engine analyses the content fetched by Imhalal.com and all websites that contain explicit material will be filtered out. Some websites will still be fetched and there the secondary, more aggressive and progressive filter kicks in and that is when you will see the haram level”.
The website was launched on the 1st September 2009, called: Imhala.com . There is a strong muslim feel about it, and offers you 4 types of Search: Home, Images, News and Website. I strongly recommend you try it yourself, and make see what you thin.
One thing springs to mind, why do we have to ‘restrict’ the Search in such a way where you have to be told whether your search is haram? Saying that it is not a censorship is a small contradiction in itself. Furthernore, why do we have to let other people decide on what should or should not appear on the Search Result Page ? Or even ‘determine’ what is hallal and what is not ? Surely the muslim community would not make ‘haram’ searches’ in the first place ?
Whether the muslim community will adopt this as the main source for their Searches …time will tell.However, it will be very hard to dishelve the monopoly of the major Search Engines.
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