Apple won’t remove app criticized as a tool for Islamic radicalization

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Critics call the Euro Fatwa app a tool for Islamic radicalization.
App has been criticized as a tool for radicalization.
Photo: Fatwa and Research Council of Europe

Apple has declined to remove the Euro Fatwa app from the App Store, despite critics’ allegations that it contains hate speech and is a tool for Islamic radicalization.

Google removed the Euro Fatwa app from its store last month shortly after its launch. However, Euro Fatwa remains available in the App Store. Apple says the app does not fall afoul of its guidelines.

The European Council for Fatwa and Research, an organization founded by controversial Islamic theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi, created the Euro Fatwa app.

Considered the chief ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaradawi has been banned from the United States, France and Britain for his extremist views, which include supporting suicide bombers in Israel.

A tool for Islamic radicalization?

On the App Store, the Euro Fatwa app is described as “a simplified and concise Fiqh guide issued by the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) to enable the European Muslims to adhere to the regulations and manners of Islam and to fulfill their duties as Muslim citizens, while taking care of the legal, customary and cultural specificities of European societies.”

The app does not explicitly support terrorism. However, it notes that “terrorism does not cover in its remit permitted forms of legal resistance against foreign occupation by all available means, including armed resistance.”

The Euro Fatwa app includes anti-Semitic content and other objectionable material, critics say. It reportedly ranked in the top 100 downloads in one-third of European countries since its May launch.

Apple reviews Euro Fatwa app

Germany’s domestic security agency describes the app as “a building block in the process of radicalization.”

But it seems that Apple disagrees.

In a statement reproduced in The Sunday Times (paywall), Apple said: “Our guidelines require that apps don’t contain upsetting or offensive content. We reviewed the app and did not find a violation of our guidelines.”

Apple recently began cracking down on content that the company’s app reviewers consider objectionable. This notably includes apps from Alex Jones, the right-wing conspiracy theorist who runs InfoWars. Apple’s purge prompted Jones to be banned from a variety of other tech platforms.