Social media platforms, such Facebook, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, have been aggressively censoring many posts by users on the Palestinian issue and coverage of the worldwide protests. WhatsApp has been accused by journalists covering the news on the ground in Palestine, of being blocked from using the platform during their news reporting sessions. Other social media platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn have also imposed censorship on this topic, albeit to a lesser degree.
If social media censorship including messaging apps such as WhatsApp blocking usage by on-the-ground news reporters, it’s high time Muslims choose Muslim-owned, Muslim-developed technologies over the Western-owned technologies.
It is not for the lack of availability that Muslim-owned, or Muslim-developed technology platforms are available for the Muslim consumers to use these Muslim-focused alternatives, but for the lack of awareness and urgency.
Halalop has covered the Muslim-developed and Muslim-owned technology platforms that are the alternatives to the popular Western platforms.
Its high time that we raise awareness and raise the urgency among our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world that Muslim-tech alternatives are available for us to use.
But why bother use lesser-known Muslim technologies?
Social media censorship is not new. Back in 2019, TikTok banned a user for bringing up the plights of Muslim Uighur communities in China who are equally being oppressed with their lands stolen. Why? Because TikTok is owned by a China corporation.
The current narrative of Palestinians being the aggressors is now being challenged via social media. Where previously people who were either uninterested or were biased due to biased Western reportings on the ongoing issue, they can now no longer hide behind their false narratives.
Western journalists, such Associated Press’s journalist, Emily Wilder, are being fired from their jobs for their truthful reporting.
To create awareness, yes, we do need to reach out to the masses who are unaware through their popular platforms. But we Muslims also need our own platforms to reach out to the masses with our narratives.
When 9-11 happened, the entire Western and non-Muslim world embraced the narrative that Muslims are terrorists. From CNN to the BBC, the narrative is just that: practising Islam meant that you’re a radical and support terrorism.
Five years later, Aljazeera English, an international English news channel by the Qatari government, was founded to challenge the biased Western media reporting. TRT World, which is owned by the Turkish government, now joins the list of bringing balanced reporting to the English-speaking world.
It’s high time that we embrace and fully utilize our Muslim alternatives in technology, whether in social media, messaging, browsers and so on.
Here are just some of the alternative technology platforms that we are aware of.
This list is not complete, so do let us know about other Muslim-owned and Muslim-developed tech, and share with your family and friends too.
Farah Ishak is a Content Writer at Halalop. She grew up in the United Kingdom where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Management. Later, she completed her MBA and held senior-level positions in Malaysian based MNC. She left the corporate world to be with her young kids. She is passionate about issues concerning Muslim women, Startups and Muslim businesses in general.
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