Recently, the CEO and also the Co-founder of the social network Muslimface that is a platform of social networking, Shoaib Fadie, was in Antalya at the startup Turkey conference. He was present there so that he could pitch his website to plausible investors that can offer job postings, prayer times, means of finding the closest mosque, means of ‘finding a spouse’ besides being a social networking site. It would not really be a good time now for us to write online content about Islam as there are prejudices that is all around the topic of Islamophobia that is rising. Come to think of the proposal of Donald Trump to stop immigrants of Muslim religion from getting entered to the US.
However, this project of Fadie, social network Muslimface, strikes us potentially that has sense from both social and entrepreneurial point of view. Besides, the population of Muslims in the world is said to hike from 1.6 billion to 2.2 billion within a span of fifteen years. It is a large fraction of the inhabitants of people who share similar types of tradition, tradition that are not essentially represented well by websites in the mainstream, like twitter or Facebook.
As of now, in other social networks, Muslims would not know when they could be exposed to content such as sexually explicit pictures, anti-Muslim stereotypes, blasphemy, content related to alcohol, extremism and other harmful contents. So, the social network Muslimface offers now a space for a platform that addresses concerns of this kind. Other websites like SalamYou, Ummaland, SalamWorld or even Tutlubwhich were recently launched assure something similar.
But Fadie believes that the social network Muslimface, unlike many of its contenders, has got everything it requires to depict itself as a website for Sharia complaints. With approval and advice received from scholars of high profile prior to the launch, and with a privacy pattern called as Mahram designed, the website ensures that religious percepts of female and male interactions are valued. It is possible for people to add friends only of their genders through this platform. Regulations related to marriage proposals, too, are considered seriously and with the feature of ‘find your spouse’ the platform has assisted two couples, one from the Gulf countries and another from Canada unite.
However, not all of them are excited. Mahmoud Ashour, Cairo’s Al-Azhar’s former secretary was quoted by Egypt independent website saying that every website that helps in getting couples together are not consented by traditions of Islamic marriages. The greatest challenge for the social network Muslimface based on religion is mostly preventing from turning into a platform for recruitment of extremists or becoming a forum for hatred speech. In Fadie’s perception, the answer is actually twofold.
There exists education on one side.
Over 60% of the whole Muslim population has people aged below 29 years. To our misfortune, Fadie says, that these people are being brought up with distorted and an inappropriate view of the religion they belong to and also of their world. This happens because they are consistently exposed to extremism, jokes and stereotype. Hence, it is vital for them to visit a social platform, which the social network Muslimface provides, that celebrates the marvel of the culture and religion they belong to, without any hidden agenda or biased opinions.
There is mentoring and filtering tools that will avoid any sort of abuse, on the other side.
A certain module has been brought into implementation which lets authorities monitor the use of specific tags and keywords that can cause harm. The staff is also implementing Clean Speak, a third party software that mentors the chats and comments and aids in avoiding abusive contents. The CEO, however, clarifies that they are not tracking any profile or users but it is only related to filtration of keywords that are violated. Would this be enough to turn the platform vibrant and safe? At the end of the day, it might just be about money. The social network Muslimface has got over six hundred thousand users within six months of its launch.