Last Updated: Thu Mar 08, 2012 19:14 pm (KSA) 16:14 pm (GMT)

New social networking site set to be ‘Facebook for Muslims’

Creators say that a new social networking site will be censored according to Muslim culture. (File photo)
Creators say that a new social networking site will be censored according to Muslim culture. (File photo)

A new social networking site dubbed the “Facebook for Muslims” is set to be launched in coming months, with a goal to attract 50 million users within five years of launching.

Salamworld, based in Istanbul, is an International Islamic start-up expected to go online in July.

One of Salamworld's owners, Abdulvahed Niyazo, said that current social networks open young Muslims up to ideas they should not be exposed to.

“The content that is being used on other social networks is not very secure and full of haram,” Niyazo told Hürriyet Daily News. Haram means forbidden in Arabic.

“We don’t want our young people to absorb all these ideas that are not familiar to them,” he added.

Salamworld will therefore not include topics such as homosexuality and other practices forbidden in the Muslim culture, but religiously-sensitive discussions will be allowed, Said Sadov told the Dubai-based daily newspaper, 7Days.

The site expects to tap a market where an estimated 300 million Muslims regularly surf the internet, according to the newspaper. Also, it will only need to attract 17 percent of the online Muslim community register in order to reach its goal of 50 million, the Computer Business Review reported.

Salamworld will be available in eight different languages and aims to be a cleaner and more filtered version of social networking heavyweight, Facebook.

“By filtering out harmful content, by making the content uphold and respect family values, we conform to the requirements of Muslims throughout the world. At Salamworld, our aim is to overcome all political, language and cultural barriers, to open the world to Muslims. And open Muslims to the world,” Niyazov told Hürriyet Daily News.

(Written by Eman El-Shenawi)

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