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World's first Muslim search engine filters 'haram' content
by Josie Ensor
Muslims will be able to surf the Web without accidentally encountering explicit material, after a Dutch company launched the world's first Islamic search engine Monday. The search engine, ImHalal.com, or "I am Halal," works by filtering Internet content so it does not return the user any results considered forbidden and only shows those that are deemed halal, as approved by Muslim religious law.
Reza Sardeha, founder of AZS Media Group which runs the search engine, said the idea grew after his friends complained of bumping into sexually explicit content when using search engines such as Yahoo! or Google.
"The first step was to block these sites," he said.
The filter examines the user's search terms and the websites that are returned, trawling for a "non-halal list" of words that may indicate forbidden fruit. On the site, sex-related terms such as "gay," "lesbian" or simply "sexy" merit a haram level of three; the highest score on the list.
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